On a perfect fall afternoon I met up with my good friend Joey to take his Senior Pictures. I knew I wanted to do something different from my other senior shoots, as I usually go to the beach. With Joey I wanted a more urban feel, so I found the perfect spot in Shelton, CT. It had both a nature feel with the peak foliage but also had lots of old abandoned buildings and cool brick. Not to mention train tracks! We had a lot of fun taking these and I think it shows in the pictures.

There were so many cool and unique spots to find that the possibilities were endless.

We lucked out because the Connecticut foliage was in peak color and made the background of these images look fake!

Every photo shoot is special to me in different ways. This one was special to me because I got to photograph one of my friends in a very cool environment. We got to try out ideas and ended up with some super cool pictures. In the end he and his family loved the images, and knowing they are happy and love them is the best part of my job.

I read about a photographer who wanted a beautiful picture of her own family but

that was a struggle since her son was Autistic and would not stand for a traditionally

posed picture. So she adapted. She followed her son around all day and captured

moments that demonstrate the love her family shares. She realized that not every

family wants a traditional family portrait, nor can every family take one. This led her to

tailor her business to meet the need of every family.

That inspired me to meet the need of every family.

I had this opportunity with the Ventling family. They married ten years ago at Harkness

State Park in Waterford, Connecticut. Now, ten years and three children later, they

wanted to recreate some of their wedding pictures and take some family portraits. They

have an active toddler, a five year old daughter, and a son on the autism spectrum.

They did not want a traditional posed portrait but rather wanted pictures that captured

their family’s personality and playful love. They let me follow along and snap picture

after picture after picture.

We recreated their wedding photos.

We played.

We captured a beautiful family portrait, several in fact.

Our afternoon was about more than taking pictures. We created memories. We

remembered the bond of love that created this family. We celebrated that bond and the

life that sprang forth from it.

Their photo gallery is a testimony to their love. I am beyond grateful to have had shared

in this experience with them.

This spring one of my professors put me in touch with ASRC (Autism Services and Resources Connecticut) to photograph their annual autism walk in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Even thought it was a dreary, chilly day the spirits of the families and teams that attended warmed my heart. I’ve never seen such an outpouring of love and support for children. Much time and planning along with a huge dose of creativity went into the team costumes, tee shirts and wagons.

The walk began on the grounds of Choate Rosemary Hall School and wound through downtown Wallingford.

Along the way there were groups and activities to cheer on the walkers.

This walk taught me that no matter what we go through in life, the walk is easier when we walk together.

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© 2020 by Grace Snajder 

Coastal Connecticut and all of the New England region