About six months ago Emma discovered the camera feature on my iphone. Since then she’s taken hundreds of photographs, many are of the floor and curtains, which I’ve deleted, as well as self-portraits with weird lighting. But my favorites – the pictures of her surroundings as she is running, dancing, jumping give the photographs a surreal, slightly hallucinogenic, ethereal quality to them.
Our living room as viewed by Emma
Emma – Self Portrait
I could go on about her “artistic vision,” what they seem to represent, how they appear to reflect her interior life etc. But I don’t know how accurate any of my ideas really are and for Emma any thoughts I have on her photographic endeavors are meaningless. She just likes to take photographs. Interestingly, she has begun to take fewer photos of herself and her surroundings and more photos of the people who are around her at home – us. Our much-coddled cat, Merlin remains sadly out of the loop however, as she has yet to photograph him. Even so, I cannot help but feel this is positive as it indicates a growing awareness and interest in others.
When Emma was a toddler she had piles of photographs she would carry around with her. If one went missing she knew within seconds and would become increasingly agitated until she was utterly inconsolable. The only remedy was to recover the missing photograph. If we couldn’t find it, her upset often went on for several hours. The missing photograph seemed to represent so much more to her than we could understand. Although I have come to view her disconsolation as more of an obsessive-compulsion than the shattering of her world, but to her it is probably the same thing.
As Emma’s interest in being behind the camera increases, her desire to look at piles of photographs has lessened. Which is something else I see as a positive change.
Even though Em didn’t take this photograph of Merlin – one day she might – and it’s important for him to feel included. Notice the distended claw piercing the fabric on our couch. Richard is inwardly cringing as he views this photograph.
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism go to: EmmasHopeBook.com