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Photographer creates magical shoots for kids who have special needs, free of charge

The photos are part of an effort to unite families of children with special needs while also educating other photographers.

Nicole and Scott Endersby know how difficult orchestrating a family photo shoot can be.

As the owners of Endersby Photography and parents to three young boys, they’re experts on capturing the perfect portrait while juggling energetic kids.

But their expertise goes far beyond the lens.

Two of their children have high functioning autism. Autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.

“There are so many different variations [of autism]. There are no two alike,” said Nicole. 

While her children are thriving now, Nicole admits their “autism journey” wasn’t easy. She and her husband often felt completely alone.

Additionally, finding custom treatment was neither simple nor inexpensive. She realized that the financial burden often won’t allow other families like theirs to have beloved traditions, like a photo shoot.

“It’s not easy to call a photographer when [families] have to spend money on all the appointments,” said Nicole. 

That’s why their photography studio, Endersby Photography, is providing children with special needs a magical photo shoot, free of charge.

From the Marvel Universe to Hogwarts, each child selects a character or magical world they feel would empower them for their photo shoot. Every shoot is completely different, as every child is unique. 

As a father of children with special needs, Scott understands how a photo shoot may be overwhelming.

“We totally get it. Whatever time families need he gives it. [My husband] knows that surroundings with autism will make them a little nervous so we let them come into [the studio] and look around. We give them time to be comfortable,” said Nicole.

It takes Scott around two weeks to edit the photo, making the magic come to life. The result is meaningful for both children and families.

Nicole and Scott hope the photo shoots will help unite families of children with special needs while also educating other photographers.

“We hope more photographers will see this and want to know more about autism and see these families are going through a different path,” said Nicole. “These kids when you see the photos, you’re seeing a superhero, you’re seeing their favorite character and you’re seeing their genuine personality come out.”