I always try to use my photography skills to give back whenever I can. As an active member of my community, I make a constant effort to participate in charity-related photography projects throughout the year. It is so important to me to use my photography to support local organizations and help them get their messages out.
One particular organization that is near and dear to my heart is the Autism Behavior Consulting Group. Amy, Chrissy, Kelly and the rest of the wonderful team over at the ABC Group do a such a great job creating a nurturing and supportive community for the families of Hawaii with Autistic children.
Each year, we celebrate those families by hosting a free photo event for the children of the ABC Group and their siblings. You never really know how these sessions are going to go, but I must say this was by far one of my favorite sessions yet. So many amazing hilarious children, full of energy and contagious spirit that just makes you want to play all day with them.
It is an honor to get to offer these families the gift of photography and capture a moment in their child’s life that they can always treasure.
Here is a collection of some of the best from our 5th Annual Hugs + Kisses Day.
“Autism Behavior Consulting Group (ABC Group) is a consortium of talented board certified behavior analysts and behavior technicians who provide Applied Behavior Analytic (ABC) services to kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. We have about 20 Behavior Technicians, and 7 Behavior Analysts, including 2 BCaBAs (Assistants) and 1 Doctoral Level BCBA on our team. Basically, we teach kids with ASD how to talk, learn from their environment and learn from other kids. We specialize in the little guys (ages 2-6) and use Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior as our framework for teaching language.
About 5 years ago, Tracy and I met and discussed that we both wanted to give back to our community here on Oahu. We partnered up and started the Kisses and Hugs Photoshoot, where we set up a date every winter to photograph kids with ASD. The parents of kids with ASD may have a hard time getting great photos of their kids, due to difficulties with waiting in line, sitting still, or being in an environment that is unpredictable, such as a studio with lots of lights and people. So Tracy makes it easy for parents and kids to get great photos! She makes it fun, brings fun props and knows how to use the kid’s motivation and energy to get the best smiles out of them! She takes AMAZING photos and her photography illustrates the individuality of each kid!
We thought this photoshoot would be a great way to give back to families who are affected by autism and to give them an alternative setting where they did not have to worry about their child’s behavior on the day of the photoshoot. We wanted them to relax, and let it happen so that the child’s personality would be captured in their photos!
Tracy is a detail-oriented professional. She is always prepared, professional, and fun! She makes it easy for parents to feel at ease with letting her take their kids, as she herself is a “kid-magnet”! The kids love her, and the way she works with kids comes naturally! She is silly, fun, motivating, and knows how to get the kids to perform! ” – Amy Smith Wiech Ph.D. Founder and CEO of the Autism Behavior Consulting Group (ABC Group)