Any parent can tell you that getting kids to sit still for a photoshoot can feel like herding cats.
When your child happens to have autism, you might find that getting good pictures for the family album is even more challenging. Samantha Bishop, a photographer and mother in Georgia, knows all too well how hard it can be to capture the perfect moment on film. Her son Levi has autism, and he finds eye contact and smiling on command difficult. When it came time for Levi’s annual photoshoot with his cousin and best friend, Lola, Samantha came up with an ingenious way to help him relax and enjoy himself.
Samantha told us that posing for Levi is “just uncomfortable and he doesn’t usually enjoy it.” Since Levi and Lola both adore “Jurassic Park,” Samantha decided to let her little boy slip into something a little bit more comfortable.
Enter the T-Rex costume.
Samantha took Lola and Levi out into a beautiful field and let them do what they do best: be adorable. The pictures, while perhaps unorthodox, are absolutely gorgeous! It’s so sweet when you know the backstory, too; just another way a hardworking mom finds a way to make her son more comfortable while still having fun.
The kids really seemed to get into their roles, with Lola being the intrepid explorer and Levi channeling his inner dinosaur. The pictures really speak for themselves. What fun!
As the setting sun cast a glorious warm glow across the field, the kids romped around like they were right at home. Levi seems so comfortable inside his bulky costume that it’s hard to believe this is a child who doesn’t like having his picture taken!
In spite of how unusual this photo concept may be, in the end, the pictures ended up being the perfect expression for the boy’s personality. “This is him in his element. There are no forced smiles, no bribery, no pretend happiness. This is the goofy, hilarious, kindhearted boy I was given,” Samantha says.
“The point of the photos was to embrace their close relationship, and celebrate him just as he is,” Samantha explained. “He loves to dress up and 9/10 times he is in some sort of costume. When he is not, he is usually wearing a suit and tie.”
Well done, Samantha! This is a wonderful idea that could be implemented for lots of kids who just don’t care for being photographed. This family will no doubt cherish these images for many generations to come, and we’re sure glad we got to enjoy them on the internet, too.
Please share this story to celebrate the differences that make life a lot more fun.