In 2016, I took a weekend in November and dedicated it to capturing family photos of families with children who have special needs. I photographed 12 families, and 17 children with special needs and it was honestly one of the highlights of my year. I took that weekend because I feel that every family deserves to have family photos and families who have special needs children are no exception. I know there are photographers out there who refuse to work with those kids and as someone with an education degree and someone who loves all kids, I felt called to make sure that every family gets the family photos they deserve. Knowing that a special needs child can sometimes create a financial burden, I decided to make this happen for free. And after my weekend in 2016, I decided it was going to be something I did every year. Unfortunately 2017 booked up extremely quickly and I wasn't able to dedicate a weekend, so I knew I had to make it happen this year. So I planned ahead and had the pleasure of photographing 9 families, and 12 special needs children.
Since every family deserves photos, they also deserve the full Messy experience which includes their own personal blog post. These families are just as important to me as my paying clients, so everyone meet the amazing Hooker Family. This is actually my third time capturing this family and for that I am super thankful. This family is seriously awesome. You may remember them because their first round of photos both Wes and Bri cried, which resulted in those photos ending up on a Christmas card with the term joy right across the front of the card. I saved that card and it is seriously one of my favorite Christmas cards I ever received. Last time I photographed them Wes decided he was not a fan of me or my camera and ran away or put his hands up every time I went to take a picture. But this time we got lucky. When the Hooker family arrived both Wes and Bri came up and gave me a big hug, both smiling ear to ear. Now the goal was to get the shot where they were smiling ear to ear and I am so happy to say that I did! Wes was a ham the whole entire time, and Bri gave me a few good minutes, and then some hilarious pouting faces, which I had to document because they were so dang cute. I even took the time to show Wes how to work my camera because he wanted to take a photo of Bri. Seriously it was adorable, and of course his mom snapped a few cell phone pictures, which totally ended up as my background. Seriously love this family and the joy they bring me. I can not wait to photograph this bunch again!