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Ask any photographer about taking pictures of children. It can be an extremely challenging task. Now, think of compounding this frustration by adding autism or cerebral palsy to the formula. This is an assignment that many photographers would rather not undertake. Realizing this, parents of children with special needs often do not even attempt to have professional portraits made of their disabled offspring. Other parents express their frustration, because they are forever hoping for—but not getting—a picture that will bring out the true “spirit” of their very special son or daughter.

 Jennifer A. Butler, has recently completed training offered by Special Kids Photography of America (SKPA), a nationwide nonprofit organization. This unique instruction helps make the photographer’s interaction with the child easier and the parents a lot happier with the results.

Take lighting for instance. Natural lighting is recommended for children with certain disorders, because some lighting conditions could trigger a seizure or cause a child to be frightened by a bright flash. When photographers realize this, they can avoid an unfortunate incident as well as the possible need to reschedule the photo shoot.

In other cases, some children may be sensitive to touch; others react adversely to subtle ambient sounds that may emanate from an air conditioning vent or squeaking door. “One of the main keys to success,” says Karen Dórame, SKPA’s Executive Director, “is effective communication between the photographer, the parent and to whatever extent possible, the child. The all-important pre-session interview with the photographer and parent helps everyone get a clearer idea of what to expect and the type of approach needed to work with the child.”

Jennifer A Butler, has completed the SKPA Accreditation Clinic and is now combining this new skill base with previous photographic experience to provide solid skills and compassionate service to families with disabled or seriously ill children.

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www.jenniferbutlerphotography.com                                          (541) 761-4014