A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to be become a Spectrum Inspired photographer. You definitely need to check out this organization and the amazing work they are doing for families on the spectrum. As photographers and storytellers, the opportunity to share the stories of families living on the autism spectrum is truly their passion and one that is near and dear to my heart, so it was a no-brainer deciding to apply as a photographer. I was so happy when I was accepted as a Las Vegas Spectrum Inspired Photographer into their program serving in my area.

If you are a photographer and would like more information on becoming a Spectrum Inspired photographer, please don’t hesitate to apply, there is a huge need and I promise you that you will be changed for the better!

If you are a family with one or more children on the autism spectrum, please apply! It is such a great opportunity to share your story with so many families around the world. It often times feels so lonely navigating life on the spectrum, and just sharing your story and your life can change the lives and views of so many. It is a great opportunity to educate the world on what living life on the autism spectrum looks like and how we as a community can help and understand it a bit better.

I was so happy to see Katie’s application in my inbox early fall. It truly was fate that we were connected through the program. As we talked, we realized that Katie had gone to school with my oldest daughter Erika! We set a date that worked for Katie and her family late fall and were sure to communicate during the weeks and months leading up to their session, which was such a great opportunity to hear about each of their boys’ personalities and to plan a location that would suit them all.

The Dentlers have four boys, and three of them on the spectrum. Two of the three are mostly non-verbal and having a little bit about each of their personalities ahead of time was such a tremendous help in preparing me for what to expect. We decided on an outdoor location as she felt it would hold their interest much better.

Here are some of my favorites from our session together.

Of course, getting eye contact from everyone was just not very easy, but you know what? This is life for them, and life authentically to me is what sings to my heart.

Titan the second oldest is mostly non-verbal but is such a sweetheart. He really wanted nothing to do with me or my camera, that is until I had someone else in front of it! It was so sweet and tender, as soon as I wasn’t paying attention to him, he would slowly wander over and into my frame. He was so observant.

Initially I started with just documenting this family loving on each other. It always brings out so much personality and affection, and really helps everyone feel more at ease. Gaige is non-verbal but the sweetest guy.

Baine is the only son of theirs not on the spectrum. He had such a deep wisdom about him and was so patient and caring of his big brothers.

Brody is the oldest and was verbal. He was so sweet and stayed engaged the majority of the time, especially if we were talking anything to do with animals!

One of my favorite things to do during family sessions is to be sure to document the parents alone. They are the core of the family, they are the glue, and they are often times my favorite images! Marriage and parenting are hard and not for the faint of heart. Celebrating it is so important!

Ask my families, they will tell you that I will do just about anything to draw out personality. I pretty much act like a total goofball the entire session when there are kids involved, I believe they can each be reached and drawn out somehow, it just needs some figuring out. Once we started singing ‘Baby Shark’, Gaige just came to life. It was so cute!

And Brody. How awesome are these? I just merely asked him to tell me about his favorite animals. There is the possum, and of course the king cobra!

Thank you so much Dentler family for trusting me with documenting you, and Spectrum Inspired for all you do for so many families!

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