Special Kids Photography Charity: After being involved with Now I Lay me Down to Sleep Organization for a few years, I found that this charity was wearing me down! I decided to take a break for a while and possibly get my photography skills involved with a different, more upbeat charity. I happened upon Special Kids Photography of America (SPKA) and it CLICKED! I ADORE kids! Any and all kids! I feel like I have a special gift for patience and the ability to communicated with them on a different level. This helps them to feel comfortable with me and their surroundings. Therefore; it seemed like this charity was a perfect fit for me and my photography studio. Thankfully, SKPA requires an accreditation process for any of its photographers. I love that the organization doesn’t just take your money and let any photographer “have at it” so to speak. SKPA requires the photographer to take a workshop, two exams, get written letters form parents with a Special Needs child AND submit images for review and approval BEFORE they will list you as an approved photographer. As of now, there is only one photographer accredited in all of Ohio and they are WAY north!
LONG story short….. I will be looking for several Special Needs Children as models to photograph (with or without their families). If you are reading this and have or know of anyone with a child (any age) that would fit this criteria, please send this info on to them and ask them to call or email me! I have included som info below on the foundation. Stay tuned for SKPA images in the future. Thanks so much for your support!
Special Kids Photography of America (SKPA) began operation in 2000. The concept of training photographers to obtain beautiful images of children with special needs was conceived by Heidi Lewis, who experienced resistance and frustration when attempting to obtain a studio portrait of her one-year-old son, Taylor, born with a severe connective tissue disorder. Although she was eventually successful in convincing the photographer to take the picture, “studio stories” from other mothers with similar children made her acutely aware of the need for education and training of professional photographers from a parent’s point of view.
Through generous sponsorship of Pacific Life Foundation and hosting by Epson America, Inc, the first pilot “Discovery Workshop” was debuted the next year at Epson headquarters in Long Beach, CA. Professional photographers, as well as care providers of special children were invited to attend and offer input in order to establish further goals and direction for the organization.
At the same time, the book, Photographing Children with Special Needs, researched and written by SKPA’s co-founder, Karen Dórame, was published by Amherst Media. This valuable resource is used to educate photographers in achieving heart-warming images of children with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and a number of other well-known conditions.
In addition to workshops for photographers, much of SKPA’s attention is directed toward policy change in areas where special children might achieve increased visibility and positive acceptance in society. SKPA theorizes that if people can get used to beholding lovely images of children who have disabilities, they will not be so inclined to turn away when they see these beautiful children in person.