taking pictures of autistic child | chagrin falls, ohio family photographer

Looking back at this family photo session in Chagrin Falls, Ohio puts a big smile on my face. The moment I walked in this families house, I felt so much warmth and love which instantly put me at ease and eager to get started.

Christine reached out to me in the fall to schedule a family session. She was a bit worried about moving forward mostly because her son has autism. She told me all she wants is "one good family picture". If some one reading is not too familiar with autism-it is characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors and many instances difficulty making eye contact. I approached this family as I would every other family. We simply had a good time and captured real, authentic and full of love images. I can say we have way more than "one good family picture"! 

Although I am no expert. but I'd like to share what worked for me when I took pictures of a boy who has autism and hope to ease some worry and apprehension to other photographers.

  • Don't make it a big deal! Use your camera a lot, show him/her pictures if they want, let them touch the camera, be friendly but not pushy and go with the flow! 
  • Sing! If the child responds well to music, everyone sing. It takes the tension away and makes the session more fun!
  • Photograph them doing something they love! John loved playing with the leaves, the mulch and being on the playground set. I was able to capture some great photos of him doing what he loves!
  • Explain what you're doing. Even though they are not looking at you, they are listening! Ease their fears by telling them what's happening.
  • Be patient. Every child is beautiful and has an amazing story to tell.
  • Consider the environment. The mom thought staying in their yard was the best idea and she was right. It's familiar and everyone felt more comfortable.

I was truly honored to photograph this wonderful family and I hope to capture more beautiful memories for them in the future. Thank you again for entrusting me as your family photographer. 

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CONTACT ME to book your lifestyle family photography session! 

Agnes Szlapka Studios is based in Cleveland Height, Ohio. Agnes Szlapka is a fine art and lifestyle photographer capturing artistic and emotionally moving photographs. Specializing in family photography, maternity photography, kids photography and lifestyle newborn photography

family of four-winter pictures on a snowy day | cleveland, ohio lifestyle portrait photographer

In Cleveland you can bet that snow can fall as early as mid-Ocotber but not this year! This was the first snow of the year in mid-November. Family pictures look great against the snowy backdrop. The beautiful simple white color makes everyone stand out and look ahhhmazing! I love it plus its a natural reflector which photographers love! The only catch is you have to be brave enough to stand a little chill. So far, we've been having a unusually warm winter so no worries there! 

This adorable family was such a pleasure to meet. Kelly found me on Facebook via a friend. I love to hear peoples stories of how they came across my work. I couldn't get enough of the cute big brother and little sister, they were so sweet to each other and full of happy giggles. I personally love the first image the most. It's the most authentic and true to this family-so joyful and full of love. I think we captured some beautiful photos which I'm sure will be treasured for a lifetime. It was so nice to meet you guys and hope to do this again! 

Follow along on social media as well! FacebookInstagram and Pinterest

CONTACT ME to book your lifestyle family photography session! 

Agnes Szlapka Studios is based in Cleveland Height, Ohio. Agnes Szlapka is a fine art and lifestyle photographer capturing artistic and emotionally moving photographs. Specializing in family photography, maternity photography, kids photography and lifestyle newborn photography

big brother and little sister-sibling cuteness | cleveland heights, ohio family photographer

The Heights meaning Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights and University Heights is full of charming parks for beautiful family photography! I met this family back in November on a gorgeous sunny day! They are no strangers to me because this is the third time I photographed them and this time with a sweet addition of a little sister! Big brother couldn't have been more handsome and loving! He spoiled his sister with hugs, kisses and so many smiles!! Instead of just the parents and kids at the session, even grandpa joined us for a few lovely captures! I always love when grandparents come because these photos are extra special and such wonderful memories for a lifetime! I know these parents are overflowing with gratitude and love for this cute bunch and I'm sure their house is always full of giggles and lots of laughter! So much joy to watch this family grow! Thank you again for entrusting as your family photographer! 

Follow along on social media as well! FacebookInstagram and Pinterest

CONTACT ME to book your lifestyle family photography session! 

Agnes Szlapka Studios is based in Cleveland Height, Ohio. Agnes Szlapka is a fine art and lifestyle photographer capturing artistic and emotionally moving photographs. Specializing in family photography, maternity photography, kids photography and lifestyle newborn photography

family of five fall photos-two sisters and a brother | cleveland, ohio lifestyle portrait photographer

I am missing these beautiful sunny days in Cleveland so I dug up a family photo session I forgot to post from the fall with lots of sunshine! This wonderful happy family of five was so great to meet in Shaker Heights Parks! Can you believe the dresses these girls are wearing are hand-made by their mom?! I am still in awe of her talent and attention to detail! There is so much a photographer needs to keep on eye on when capturing family. The larger they are the harder it is especially with younger kids in families. Lifestyle photography makes this experience different. Perfect is boring! Sometimes if you worry too much about perfection, you miss the real authentic moments. This year as I reflect upon my photography in 2016, I want to take it to another level. To let go of expectations and shoot what feels right. I wonder where it will take me, but I believe it will be worth it! 

Thank you guys for the wonderful opportunity! It was such an honor.

Follow along on social media as well! FacebookInstagram and Pinterest

CONTACT ME to book your lifestyle family photography session! 

Agnes Szlapka Studios is based in Cleveland Height, Ohio. Agnes Szlapka is a fine art and lifestyle photographer capturing artistic and emotionally moving photographs. Specializing in family photography, maternity photography, kids photography and lifestyle newborn photography

family of three-one year old boy | cleveland, ohio kids lifestyle photographer

As a family photographer, my number one goal is to create portraits that I believe have beautiful light but also that show real and genuine emotion and connection. Cleveland has so many options for great locations to capture family photography. This session took place towards the end of the day and we were loosing light quickly but what we had left, was amazing! It makes me feel so happy to hear my clients love their family portraits. When I shared a sneak peek with this mom, the first thing she said to me was "Where were you all my life" I giggled and wrote back "Luckily, the most important part of your life just started". This made me sooooo happy! 

This shoot almost didn't happen because I was too full to take them on but a last minute cancellation popped up and I wrote to Julie and asked her if she wants to take the spot. Her husband got pulled out of a Cleveland Browns game that day! He was not too upset because the Browns don't have that many winning games these days. I think what we did instead, was so much more fun and memorable!! It was a pleasure to meet you three and thank you guys for the wonderful opportunity!! Hope to do this again! 

Follow along on social media as well! FacebookInstagram and Pinterest

CONTACT ME to book your family photography session! 

Agnes Szlapka Studios is based in Cleveland Height, Ohio. Agnes Szlapka is a fine art and lifestyle photographer capturing artistic and emotionally moving photographs. Specializing in family photography, maternity photography, kids photography and lifestyle newborn photography