Me , Autism and photography
With it being Autism Awareness Day , I thought I’d share some insight about my own experiences as a photographer who is also on the autism spectrum. The image I’ve chosen to lead this with is of our local Green’s Mill in Nottingham being lit up in blue to celebrate World Autism Awareness day from back in 2014.
On special interests..
With Asperger’s and autism – we tend to have very focused and convergent interests and tend to pursue the depth of an topic or area of interest more – especially if we can find ways to tie in other interests to it.
What’s really helped sustain my interest for the craft and the medium of photography is being able to understand it from different point of views – with it appealing from both an artistic and scientific way. From understanding how to tell stories , to understanding the physics and mathematical models which underpin how digital photography works , having studied those subjects as an undergraduate.
Seeing the pieces which make up a whole detail…
Being on the autism spectrum , the way we perceive sensory information differs from a more neurotypical outlook in the sense that we tend to see the small details before seeing the whole picture – as opposed to seeing the whole picture first and then breaking things down into smaller details.
The small details really matter in terms of photography – approach really helps me spot compositions and patterns visually and , with experience be able to work out and arrange things . In terms of the candid photography I do it also means being incredibly switched on to fleeting moments.
Photography is something which can be done as a solitary pursuit too – a pure dialog between me and the world unfolding – with me being able to ask questions and dig deeper.
On different perspectives , and selling my work
From an autistic perspective it can be quite unintuitive for us to step out of our own thoughts , and feelings and consider those from an outside perspective – and be able to step and consider things from an other view.
This kind of thing comes into sharp focus when I’m trying to market and sell the services I offer as a photographer – with my clients interested in the outcomes of the work I offer – as opposed to my own view of the creative processes which drive that outcome. I’ve written another article where I go into more detail on this – as part of a talk I was due to deliver to photography students at Nottingham College.
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