At the end of 2012 lovely Adelaide Mum Fiona and her gorgeous looking son BJ won a free portrait session, following a survey I was conducting. We met at Brighton Beach early on in the day before it got too crowded – good thing too, as it was such a gorgeous beach day and there would be many more people arriving to enjoy the summer sun.
What made this session a little different is that BJ has some challenging behaviours, and his Mum explained that he didn’t úsually warm to people he hadn’t met before, and really hated the camera!
But I wasn’t phased – as an Autism mum I have plenty of experience with managing challenging behaviours in children. I wanted us to get to know each other first, so I was careful to keep the camera out of sight initially, so he could get used to me, the new person, and relax. This approach worked really well, and once he stopped kicking sand and shouting, he couldn’t stop smiling. In fact, I found him to be a really fun and affectionate kid and with his long blonde hair, he reminded me of a surfer dude!
I took photos in the background while he raced around in and out of the waves, made sandcastles, patted some dogs passing by with their owners, and jumped on Mum’s back for a horsey rise. It was a fun day, and I was so inspired by Fiona and the way she lovingly cared for her boy.
Afterward she said
Thank you Deb! You were amazing! So many people would have judged and not given us the time needed to get such a happy shot! Your understanding and acceptance made this a fun experience for all of us!