I was very happy and honored to participate in the Stories of Autism project for 2017.  I photographed 4 awesome individuals.   You can read their stories at www.storiesofautism.com but I would like to tell you my stories of meeting these great people.  

Jake:  Jake is an amazing tap dancer!  He has won many competitions and just loves to do it for the fun of it.  I had the pleasure to meet his mom and sister and can tell you he has a great supportive family.  His sister dances as well and was right there by his side.  At one point, I stopped photographing him just to watch him dance.  It was so fluid and smooth… He blew me away!  

Sophie: She was another awesome dancer!  She was such a happy little girl.   It was so nice to see her make her way around the room and smiling.   At one point she walked by the mirrors and smiled at herself and I just kept shooting frames of her cute face.  I was inspired to learn the dance studio where Sophie and Jake have their lessons dedicates one night during the week to special needs kids.   What a great thing to do!  

Ben:  I have known Ben for a while now.  I have photographed him at his preschool for a few years.  The day of the shoot he tired me out and it was great!  I met him and his mom at a local park and all Ben wanted to do was walk very quickly around the park.  His mom and I talked as we tried to keep up with him and joked about being tired out.  I learned that this was everyday for her and yet she is so happy and content.  She loves him and would walk it 20 times if he wanted.  

Nicky: What a happy guy!  I met Nicky and his Grandmother at his favorite restaurant.   He was a pretty popular guy there.  Everyone enjoyed seeing him.  Nicky loves to draw and spent all his time drawing great little pictures for his favorite waitress.   It was a sweet moment when he gave his drawings to her.   He would tell me what he was drawing and always held them up for me to take a photo of them.  I wish everyone, including me, could be as happy as he is.  

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