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Working With A Disabled Photographer

As a disabled member of the creative community, it has been in my awareness that many disabled people are kept out of the creative industry. It has been wonderful to see brands, films, best sellers books lists etc including more and more diverse talent over the past few years but I often wonder if people are seeking out diversity behind the scenes too.

Through the past year, as I've grown back into photography, I've noticed that my practices as a creative and business-person have changed a lot in terms of the demands placed on me and how I have to manage them. It is my feeling that many people may not know what to expect when working with a disabled photographer, and sometimes may not hold as much patience and understanding as they could do.


So, to tackle any barriers, and to help people out a little bit, I've decided to compile a list of things that you might need to know.




What might you need to be aware of?


  1. Accessibility

Disability comes in many forms. Some photographers out there may have mobility aids like wheelchairs, walking sticks or canes, crutches, walkers and guide dogs. I, in many situations, use a walking stick, especially when I'm out on location. It is extremely

important to consider accessibility when enquiring with a disabled photographer. Are you hiring them for a wedding - will there be enough room between tables for a wheelchair, will there be ramps? Have you got a particular studio in mind - is there a lift if it is a few floors up? If you're on location, have you considered the terrain?


For your photographer to capture the best photos of you and the day, accessibility is crucial.


2. Time & Dates


Something that applies to me in particular is that I need time to plan and process and prepare. Some days, I can be unpredictably unwell which can hinder my creative process and the amount of planning I can put into the shoot. I will often not take on projects or clients with a short timeframe between initial contact and shoot date. This is not to be inconvenient, this is so I can plan to make your shoot perfect in every way. Last minute weddings or photoshoots are a no go for me and may also be for other photographers. Please don't be angry if we suggest a later date than you put forwards or refer you to someone else, we want to give you the best experience we possibly can, and short-time frames don't make this possible.


3. Clear communication


Something that myself and I can imagine other disabled photographers appreciate is clear communication, and this could be for varying reasons. For some, complex information can be easily confused and can be difficult to understand. It is important that you make your needs clear, this includes: what you want the photoshoot to look like (do you have a moodboard or inspiration photos?), where do you want it to be, when do you want it to be, is there a particular or special reason for the shoot?


For me, clear and straight forward information decreases the time I need to process the information. Sometimes a lot of detail or complex information can cause me to become overwhelmed quickly and I can't retain the information. While this doesn't necessarily affect the outcome of the shoot, it can make my life generally a lot easier from the get go.


4. Patience


Sometimes, there will be days when I'm unable to respond properly or promptly. Sometimes on a shoot I may need to have a quick sit down or have something to eat. This is because, sometimes, in order to be my best self, I need to rest more than most. Being on my feet can ware me out a lot on some days, and replying to lots of people or organising multiple shoots can exhaust my brain. This might be where patience and understanding comes in a little more. Some of us have to function differently and there is nothing wrong with that, however it needs to be in your awareness that for us to work and be our best selves, we may also have to rest more, or work at different hours/less hours, on certain days of the week, or build in snack breaks into a photoshoot (who doesn't love a snack break though!).


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It is in my opinion that you should look for diversity among photographers. There are hundreds of able-bodied, neurotypical, white, cis-gendered men in the photography industry, but just as many talented people of colour, LGBTQIA, disabled people working within the industry too. We're all here to work to bring you both amazing photos and a great experience.


Would you like to work with me? (Because I'd love to work with you!)

Feel free to head over to the contact page and fill in the contact info or reach out to me through my email or social medias. <3

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