Special Needs Photo Sessions – May 7th, 2016

This coming Saturday, I will be doing some special needs sessions in studio.  I will be working on two different portrait series –

A Fathers Love

http://afatherslove.co/blog/a-fathers-love-portrait-sessions-may-7-2016/

and…

 

Faces of SPD

http://www.facesofspd.com/blog/faces-of-spd-portrait-sessions-may-7-2016/

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A Fathers Love

Good Morning!
A Fathers Love is an ongoing conservation and celebration of fatherhood in the special needs community.  It was created out of what I saw was a dire need of resources for fathers in this community and an equally dire need for conversation amongst these fathers.  It is imperative for us on this journey to share our stories and experiences with each other as well as extend an arm of support for those who are just starting.
As part of this conversation, I am hosting free portrait sessions for men and their special needs kiddos.  Some will be studio portraits, some will be more documentary styled candids.
This Sunday, I will be hosting sessions in the Philadelphia area.  There is absolutely no cost to participate and each father will receive a complimentary 8×10 from the session.
For more information or to reserve your spots, please just email me and put A Fathers Love in the subject field. Below are links to our Facebook page and website.  Please share this with your friends and family!
Thanks in advance!
Brian Mengini
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Children & Teens on the Spectrum

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Presently, I am working on two different photo pieces for individuals on the autism spectrum.

One, which will likely be more of an ongoing narrative, is for children on the spectrum. This series is a simple portrait series that shows a lighter, more fun side to our amazing kids.  Often times, we see more of the hard numbers of kids affected by autism and some of the harsh realities we in the autism community face.  While not trying to diminish those realities or the importance those messages are with regards to research, funding, etc, at the end of the day, these are our children.  These are our beautiful souls that we fight tirelessly for.  I want to capture and show that beauty for the world to see.  Show them as they are- children; our children, not just a number or a statistic.

The second one is more of a short term project (at least for now) – teens on the spectrum. Teen years can be a scary time for a NT kid.  There are so many things that come into play, depending on the age – transition from elementary school to middle school and all that entails, puberty and the changes your body goes through.  Then you will start to transition into High School which means you have to start thinking and planning for life after school – aka, the real world.  Again, this can be a quite unnerving prospect for anyone to try to navigate.   Throw in, then, an autism spectrum disorder and it can be quite the game changer.

For me, I feel like I am in a race against the clock with my son starting high school next year.  Maybe parents of NT kids feel the same… I don’t know.  Dominic, my oldest, was diagnosed with PDD-NOS back in 1st grade.  So, this is new territory for me.  But, as I got to thinking about all of the changes he has gone through in recent years and the transitions, I wondered how other parents experienced these transitions and how they did getting through them.

So, I want to hear from you.  If you have a teen on the spectrum, I want to hear from you and maybe include your teen in this story!  You can email me at brian @ brianmengini . com

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Special Needs Dads Needed

Some of you may not know that I am working on a project that is about those fathers who champion for our special needs kids.  The project is called “A Father’s Love.”  Every child needs to and deserves to know and feel their fathers love.  Sadly, in my travels and work in advocacy for my son and the community at large, I have heard waaaaay too many stories of dads who don’t “buy” that their child is special needs.  This is an extreme, but in one case, the father had to ask the mom (years later) what the diagnosis was.  This breaks my heart.

When Dominic was diagnosed, for me there was no other option.  I was all in.  The reality is that care for and progress of (just like a NT kiddo) a special needs person requires an all hands on deck mentality.  These diagnoses do effect the entire family and everyone must play a part.

So, I decided to start this project to shed light on those dads who do champion their special needs kids.  Now, this is not so much to give them glory or accolades, etc.  It is more so to 1) show that there are more dads out there who are all in then not 2) have those dads share their stories so as to possibly help the next or new crop of dads just starting on their journey.

Here is a link to the site itself, but I wanted to paste the contents of my most recent posting.  Please do share this info with anyone you know who might be interested. Thanks!!!

http://afatherslove.co/

“In the spring, we will be resuming our portraits of fathers and their special needs kiddos. So, if we have talked or you emailed and haven’t gotten a reply, fret not (and I’m sorry – I suck) – you will be included.

In the meantime, I’m looking for other opportunities to document the bonding between dad and child.  This could occur in any number of settings (sports or other activities).

So, if you have something coming up that I might be able to tag along on and hopefully capture a moment or two between you and your kiddo, please email me. Please keep in mind that bonding doesn’t necessarily have to be a moment of affection.

Hope to hear from some of you!

Brian@brianmengini.com”

 

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Spectrum Kids 

  
A couple years ago, I had a vision to do a different type of portraits for people on the spectrum. As happens quite often, life got in the way of that endeavor. So, I’m going to try to get back on the path again. 

I’m looking to create a lighter portrait series. I think there is plenty of the heavy info out there and our kiddos are much more then grave numbers and stats. They are our babies, and along with the challenges and obstacles we face with them, we see the beauty of their souls. That’s what I’m looking to capture. 

Scheduling will begin immediately. All participants will be required to sign a model release. All participants will receive a complimentary 8×10 print. 

Those interested should email me at brian@brianmengini.com and tell me a little about your kiddo – name age where you live etc. 

Right now, I’m working in Philly, NJ, NYC and Boston

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Vietnam Vets Needed 

  I am working on a photo project about Vietnam Vets and life after the war. I need Vietnam Vets for this project.

This project is very personal to me as my father was an army medic in Nam. I’m most interested in hearing about life after the war, not the conflict itself. 

When I first started this project, I did some portraits in my studio but was not crazy about them. I felt there was a disconnect. That’s the opposite of what I’m looking for. 

So, as I resume my efforts here, I’m looking to do candids as we chat. I will come to you or we can meet at a place of your choosing. I’ll record our chat so I can focus on listening to the stories and grabbing a few images as we go. 

I’m looking to start photographing ASAP. All participants will receive copies of the images.  Images will be displayed online and I’ll look to tour a print exhibit.  

Any questions or to set something up, please email me at Brian@brianmengini.com

Thanks and welcome home, vets!

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Teens on the Spectrum

  
If you have a teen on the spectrum and are interested in working with me on a photo story I’m doing on the topic, please email me at brian@brianmengini.com. 

All participants will receive a free 8×10 print from their session and must be willing to sign a model release. 

Currently, I’m looking for families in the Philly and Boston areas. Scheduling will begin immediately. 

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