Typically, when I hear “Event Photography,” I picture a fancy gala with gowns and champagne glasses, and I shy away. That being said, invite me to photograph a casual special event any day!
It’s like I was destined to highlight and celebrate individuals with disabilities and their families, with the wonderful variety of professional roles I have held in the special needs community. I ran the inclusion program at a day camp and planned programming for kids and adults. I’ve organized playgroups, social groups, Friday night services and dinner, and holiday celebrations in the Jewish community. I’ve worked in special education, and I’ve volunteered at a children’s rehab hospital. And, I spent almost four years as a milieu counselor on a children’s behavioral unit.
Since I became a mom, though, “work” has centered around caring for my medically complex son.
Like many special needs and medical moms, I often feel isolated. My friends and family are wonderful, and supportive, but they cannot always relate to my life.
Thankfully, though, I have found my place in the disability community. My fabulous son has introduced me to a wonderful posse of special needs parents, teachers, therapists, and caregivers. They “get” me, and I “get” them. I don’t feel so alone in my world.
But it’s not just about the people directly involved with my son.
I have been fortunate to get to know and connect nicely with community leaders and program directors in and around Massachusetts. And, I also feel a connection with the individuals they serve, whom I have been lucky enough to photograph. I really missed being around those amazing people who, in truth, just need extra support to live their best lives. Hanging out with so many funny, smart, creative, friendly people makes my heart full!
And I am making new friends at these special events!
As the photographer for particular organizations, I get to know the members, and they get to know me too. We are excited to see each other at their special events, and we greet each other like old friends. When someone remembers my name- oh that’s the best!
Like the Director of Yachad said at their Spring Banquet: “Marcie, these are your people!”
Confidentiality is Number One
As much as I would love to, I am not always at liberty to share the images I capture. State guardianship and/or family comfort level sometimes prohibits me from posting images publicly. I ask for permission to release images from every individual, family, and service provider before I do so. I make a point of it. And if the answer is No, then I respect that. Period. As long as I have provided them with images that they love, I’ve been successful.
I want to photograph your special event!
Do you have a casual special event coming up? I can be there to capture the happiness and excitement and all-around joy in everyone’s faces.
To share those images with them, their staff, and their families- that is a privilege. And for me to simply see, and capture, everybody having so much fun- that is a priceless gift.