Monday, August 17, 2009

The Beauty of Polly (Chester County Children's Photographer)

This is Polly. Polly is profoundly Autistic and I had the pleasure of meeting her and capturing her beauty while on my visit to Morgantown.

Polly is the daughter of my friend Richelle who I had not seen in over 15 years. Though she was struggling with some yet undiagnosed pain in her hips on that day, she still blessed us with her sweetness. Polly may not speak in words, but believe me, she speaks.

Richelle told me that Polly is her little angel. In her words, "Polly's autism has been a big struggle, but she has also brought me more joy than the average parent will ever experience with the hurdles she has had to overcome." What a blessing it was for me to get to see the special and loving bond they share, if only for a brief time.

A heavy thunderstorm had just passed on the afternoon of the session. Polly enjoyed moving her hand through the puddled water and playing in the wet sand of the sandbox.

We thought she would enjoy swinging in one of the hammock swings, but it was short lived because it aggravated her hip pain. She did manage to give me a little bit of a smile though in the very beginning.

And amazingly, that wasn't the only smile of the day. She was thoroughly enjoying sitting on the bench, tossing pebbles into the air.

She also really enjoyed the continuous clicking of my shutter. I think Polly may have a little supermodel in her!

She got to have a few pictures taken with her friend. Believe it or not, they are the same age!

I was thoroughly looking forward to this session because Richelle desired to have good pictures of Polly, but since she won't pose or sit still for a camera, traditional sessions never worked. That is a challenge I would take on any day.

Autism is a cause that is close to my heart. When I was still teaching I worked with a couple of students with Autism, and they forever changed me. It was tough work, but the accomplishments, milestones and triumphs were oh so sweet. I will never forget the subtle ways one of the boys would let me know that he appreciated my efforts to help him.

I hope Polly has touched your heart today. She certainly touched mine!

A little information about Autism in case you were unaware:

* 1 in every 150 children are diagnosed with Autism. That makes it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.

* Autism is 4 times more likely to strike boys

* Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others

* There are several forms of Autism

If you would like to learn more, please visit the Autism Speaks page by clicking here.

If you would like to get involved in supporting the cause to raise awareness, support and research funding for Autism you can make a donation here or you can plan to participate in a walk.

If you live in the Philadelphia area there is a walk coming up at Citizens Bank Park at the end of September. More information can be found here.

If you are in the West Virginia area, they have a walk in Wheeling in May and you can find more information here.

Thank you Richelle for sharing Polly with me! I was honored to get to photograph her. I hope you will cherish her beauty in this little preview.


Tyne said...

Gorgeous Pictures Susan, thanks for sharing. Hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

Susan, You are amazing!!! You have done such an outstanding job capturing Polly's beauty! I absolutely love these pictures! Brought tears to my eyes...

Anonymous said...

Susan, I don't know if you remember me, but I am Richelle's youngest sister, Sarah. I love the pictures and want to thank you for taking the time to give Richelle great pictures to treasure.
Sarah Bolinger

Trina said...

These pictures are so beautiful and touching. I am a friend of Richelle's. How blessed she is to have you take these wonderful photographs that capture the bond she has with her beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing them! - Trina Means