Trying to get the perfect family photo can be stressful, especially if you have young children. All the planning in the world can’t always prevent toilet accidents, temper tantrums or a child’s stubborn streak. Well, spare a though for mums such as Christie Green, who has four children all with special needs. She has made it her mission to get everyone in the picture.
Noticing the gaps in her family’s photo albums and recalling all the times she attempted to have family photos or individual photos of her children taken but walked away disappointed and stressed, Christie says a different approach by the photographer could have made all the difference.
It was then the busy single mum and disability worker from Sydney decided to draw on her passion for photography.
“So many families I come across, who have children with additional needs, find it too difficult to get photos taken because it can be so stressful, but everyone deserves these precious keepsakes,” Christie says.
Routine is key but still every day is unpredictable for Christie, whose four children face many challenges.
Her eldest Tristan, 14, has been diagnosed with moderate autism, ADHD, anxiety disorder and severe depression. Tyrone, 11, is severely autistic, has a global mental delay, ADHD, sleep apnoea, asthma and behavioural deficit disorder. Carlito, 10, has moderate autism, severe ADHD, OCD and allergies. Then there’s Scarlett Rose, 6, who has learning difficulties, including delayed comprehension and speech, as well as severe asthma.
What started as an idea by Christie to hold an exhibition to raise awareness of those families living with disabilities transformed into a photography business after she realised she was offering what so many commercial photographers were not – real understanding and compassion.
“There is a real stigma attached to mainstream photography and people with a disability don’t feel valuable enough to have something like that done,” she says
“Especially their carers who don’t see it as a necessity to have keepsakes done like that.
“I can understand because taking my four children to get their photos done is daunting, I got it done when they were younger and that was bad enough.”
Using her personal experience as the full-time carer for her four children, as well as her professional qualifications and experience working in the disability sector for seven years, she has started Rose Bubbles Photography, specialising in disability photography.
“The feedback I am getting is really positive, some can’t believe how well I interact with their children when I’m meeting them for the first time, and I believe I make the carers and parents feel comfortable because they can relate to me and they don’t feel judged,” she says.
Christie, who holds diplomas in disability and case management, has a passion for photography that developed at high school and a fire in her belly to advocate for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
She is also studying full-time at university to become a high school art teacher.
Christie plans to exhibit her photos later this year and is also working on a documentary about the process.
Her advice to anyone who sees any parent with a child who appears to be acting out, for whatever reason, is to give them a supportive smile.
“Have a bit of compassion, don’t stare, even just a simple smile instead of a look of disapproval or judgement can make all the difference,” she says.
Christie was finally able to get this photo with all her children together with the help of her friend and fellow photographer Elvia Butt at Bottle Brush Photography.
At Babyology we are obsessed with beautiful photos and have been fortunate to tell the story behind so many breathtaking images from incredible birth photos to the sweetest moments captured by our readers with their littles one.