Shabby Miss Jenn

Sunday, 25 September 2011

starting out...

3 months ago due to demand i started chris turnbull photography. offering quality and affordable photo sessions for families and of course children. specialising in those that have additional and special needs such a autism spectrum disorders. i thought i might take some time out and reflect on how things are and of course blog about it. 

i can't believe that 3 months have come and gone in what feels like a very short time and we're heading ever closer to christmas. i come at my photography probably very differently to many others in the 'business'. as a mum of 4 teens - 3 of my own kids have autism, they also have other disorders and the 2 youngest are visually impaired with a progressive blind disease that is incurable and basically means they will lose their sight. it's not a question of if but when!!!

believing that we need to document the negative/challenging/difficult along with the positive/inspirational/easier parts of our journey in life is partly how i approach photography. posed or unposed...i prefer the natural look, the natural environment, the unposed look to that of a child or adult for that matter. the other approach i have is that our lives are a journey we are on, documenting that journey both good and bad and everything inbetween is incredibly important...once again part of my approach to what i bring to photography.

it is not only important to me as a person, wife, mum, carer and photographer to give others the same opportunity to document their journey and be part of that in some way but it needs to be with compassion, understanding, acceptance and acknowledgement that whether you have a child or not with additional or special needs, whether or not you have loved ones with additional or special needs and whether or not you are indeed that wonderful person who has additional or special are important, your child is important, your loved one is important and you are all valuable human beings.

my own experiences over the years with different professionals, business people etc etc has been interesting. when asked whether they know or understand autism and they answer delve a little deeper and with a little hope you allow them into your own life giving them all the benefit of the doubt until your appointment or meeting and you realise they know nothing and you have put yourself and your child at risk.

i was determined i would not allow that to come my way again and more importantly i was determined my kids would not have to deal with that kind of attitude as much as possible within this society and culture we live in. i remember all too clearly the times my son would come away from a hairdressers appt after meeting with them and them clearly saying they would be able to look after him because they understood autism and would be able to work with and support him. i also remember the time this happened for the first time and on the way home from the appt my son threw himself out of our moving vehicle because that hairdresser did not get it right, did not understand, did not take into consideration that he had autism. i know, i was there and i knew it would end up in almost did!

time and time again this happened with my kids...time and time again we soon learnt that unless that person had a child on the spectrum themselves...they really didn't could they!

too many times family after family would share their terrible experiences with me with the day to day challenges they faced for some of the most basic things that to the unknown...take us parents, our children and those around us sometimes months to plan, teach, support and help for our child to manage. the act or attitude of one person can make all the difference of whether it can be a success or not. far too many times it is the latter and far too many times the act or attitude or both with one person can bring undone years and years of hard work.

so getting back to the photography side of things...i offer a professional service with a personal touch. i enjoy every part of what i do and every process. it's early days yet and i gave myself 12 months, word of mouth is a great advertising resource and tool and so is facebook and all the social media that it allows. i don't just offer my services to families that have additional and special needs children and loved ones and in fact half of my clients are those that don't have these challenges. 

if you're after a quality yet affordable photo session and live in the bendigo or surrounding areas or a little further out as i am willing to travel, please contact me. you can do so by popping over to my website at or my facebook bus page at chris turnbull photography or email me at

until next we meet...ciao and hugs chris xoxo

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