Toledo Family Photography. Theodorou Family Portraits. Secor Metropark.
When Jaime contacted me to book her family photo session, she immediately let me know that he son, Teddy, has autism. She explained that he does not typically like to make eye contact and she wondered if we could focus on some candid moments as opposed to a more traditional portrait style. I was so pleased with Jaime’s openness about their needs for their session. I am always happy to accommodate my clients needs. It is so helpful to have a plan and to have expectations set in a way that creates the most successful outcome.
Teddy was truly wonderful to work with. I made sure to ask him if he was comfortable doing a specific pose or action. I encouraged him to interact with his parents. We did some tickles, some kisses, and hugs. Teddy’s favorite thing was probably teasing his dad. And guess what? Teddy decided that he was comfortable enough to look at the camera. What a rewarding experience to create some family portraits in a way that was stress free for them!
Jaime said that she and her husband, Spiros, are passionate about promoting autism awareness and being open about how it is a part of their lives as a family. I want to share a little bit more about them with you through this interview with Jaime.
How long have you two been married? We've been married for 13 1/2 years.
What does Spiros do? Spiros works for the family business Maumee Valley Heating and Air, started by his grandfather and in his family for 54years. He's been there 17 years now.
What does Jaime do? Jaime is an Autism Aide at Capable Kids. Finding a passion and Joy in guiding other children with autism.
Names/age of your son? Teddy is 6 years old and severely autistic.
How would you describe his personality? He has a very serious personality. Avid reader and has a very sweet demeanor.
What do you love to do together as a family? We love to be together as a family. Enjoying meals together, traveling, participating in school events, boy scout activities, reading, running errands, exploring our city and getting Starbucks are some of our favorite things to do together.
Tell me about how autism has affected your life as a family? An autism diagnosis left us feeling isolated and discouraged in the beginning. It was overwhelming to educate ourselves, our family and friends.
Tell me about a hardship you three have overcome together in regards to autism. We have suffered financial hardship due to the sheer cost of therapies, doctor visits, specialist visits etc. And that's with pretty decent insurance. We have to be extremely careful with our budget and are constantly re-evaluating what to spend on home repairs, eating out or traveling vs never ending medical bills. When we decided an ABA autism experience was going to be the best option for teddy we went in to a pretty substantial amount of credit card debt to make ends meet.
Tell me a moment when you felt blessed/rewarded in regards to autism. I felt hugely rewarded with autism when teddy finally said the word "mom" at almost 3 years old. I had waited what felt like an eternity. Now he can speak quite well. I've also felt rewarded with helping fellow autism mom's who are just starting their journey. Helping them with some of the 1st steps or answering questions they might have.
What were your expectations and previous experiences in regards to family photos? So sadly I had almost zero expectations when it came to family photos. We have a thousand pics where Teddy is not looking at the camera or the photographer would try to pose him. Any professional photos we've done in the past weren't a positive interaction since his infancy.
Why did you choose to work with a professional? I just wanted something that wasn't a selfie and that we could hang on our gallery wall.
Jaime’s response to the images we took together. Thank you so much! They're great pictures and waaaay cuter than I expected. So excited!
As always, I hope you enjoy these images and I hope you were positively impacted by this family’s story.
All photos taken at Secor Metropark.
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