Faces of Autism Project
Featuring children with autism spectrum disorder, this unique personal project by Tera Photography, seeks to demystify autism, create acceptance, showcase inner beauty and ultimately celebrate the magic of each child through compelling portraits. Using the words of each child's parents, the accompanying stories will be ones of uplifting inspiration and hope. Tell Your Story! Apply to be a part of this unique project!
Tera describes the project in her own words...
"I'd love to give you a bit of history about how this project came to be and where I'd like to see it going. Back when my youngest son was attending his therapy center, I'd see other children with ASD on a daily basis. And not only was my son making tremendous progress, I noticed the other children and how remarkable they were doing too. I noticed the small victories, little steps of progress and the delightful spirits of those children. As a photographer, I was itching to get my camera on these children. People needed to know about how amazing they were! I felt their stories needed to be told.
But I needed a reason! Otherwise I'm just a weird mom who wants to photograph children I don't know. Ha! So I came up with a calendar as a vehicle to do exactly that - what that little voice in my head was compelling me to do. And so, for 3 years the Faces of Autism calendar project was a labor of love and gained a small following.
I had partnered with a local small nonprofit and they helped with the model recruitment, the photo sessions, and the sales of the calendar. All the profits went into their funds to help local families. It was a great project! But last year, for reasons business and personal, I gave up doing the calendar.
It made me sad! But I knew it was the right thing. Because I needed to step back and regroup. A calendar is limited by space and time. I wanted it to grow. I see a bigger vision here. And while driving along one day, I had an epiphany, Faces of Autism, Stories of Hope needs to be a book. It was a divine whisper accompanied by a clear sign. One of those things I couldn't ignore. Since that day, I've been making strides to make this project come to life.
My intention is to tell the stories of children with autism through my photographs and parents words. To start, the photos and stories will be showcased here. Then it will evolve into a book. And who knows where that journey will take me! Right now this is a personal project and not associated with a specific charity. However, when the time comes, I'd like to see part of the proceeds of any book sales to go back into the autism community.
I'm very grateful to all for the support through words of encouragement and also with the families who have volunteered already. So very grateful!"