Friday, June 6, 2008

School Photo’s and "The Look”

This Year's Photo on the left and last years on the right. What a difference a trick makes!

I remember how excited and nostalgic I would get when I dressed my daugher on the morning of her annual school photo. Yes, I knew that schools photo’s can be funky but I couldn’t’ wait to see how they turned out. I knew that her hair was likely to be a mess by the time the photo’s were taken or her cloths might not look as neat as they did when she left in the morning, but I was still excited to capture that moment in time. I always imagined that like myself, she would look back at those pictures and laugh as she critiqued how terrible they were.

It hasn’t been the same experience with Nicky. Starting at age two the autism “look” had set in. That blank vacant look that captured his shell but not his soul. I remember the first time he came home with pictures in his back pack and an envelope to list which pictures I wanted to buy. It was an easy call “NONE”. They did not look like my kid. This has gone on for years. The pictures have gotten a little better and he slowly looked a bit more present, but he still had the “LOOK”. Last year, the look had mellowed and I could still see it, but the photo was wonderful because it looked like him. I was good. This year the photo came home and I was EXCITED. Wow there was no sign of "The Look". He was smiling, looking into the camera, it was NICKY, captured in a school photo. I immediately asked his aid "What Happened", she smiled a shy smile and said, "Well, what you can't see is that I am behind him and I ticked him". We broke out laughing. All I could think was, however you did it, I'm just glad you did. You helped capture the kid we know and that's the picture of him that his kids will see in their year book, and that's how they will remember him. YES. As the same time I felt so appreciative that she knew it was important, and she made the effort to make his picture special. Another good day :-)

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