We at beijingkids did not just want to write about special needs kids in Beijing. We had a vision to make pictures of these children, simply showing us their hobby or living out their wildest dreams. We spent a long Sunday at Dave’s magical photo studio to make these visions come true. The coordination of this day was a long and challenging journey, but we couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome. You might think that these kids are the lucky ones to be photographed by one of the best photographers in the city, but we walked away feeling even more lucky. We got to spend beautiful one-on-one time with the six kids that make these pictures shine, and we were inspired by their loving and energetic parents. These families are the ones that gifted us with something we had never anticipated; a window into the lives of these fearless children who are constantly pushing themselves to overcome their unique challenges. Though we are different, we are also the same.
Along with being a big brother to his loving sister, Dian (14) attends Xinyuan Xili Primary School in Beijing. He was one of the most patient models we have ever worked with. Without speaking, we could see he adores and loves his mother, drawing comfort from her touch. Dian is a lover of literature and reads anything he can get his hands on. No magazine or book is safe with him around. His parents are also passionate about reading so this a hobby that’s shared by the entire family. Dian has autism and loves to draw and play basketball; so for his photo spread, we had him relaxing under a tree with two of his favorite things, books and a basketball.
David (7) is a first-year student at Olive International School in Beijing. David is a lover of Chinese poems, playing cards, horseback riding, swimming, and bicycling. David can’t walk on his own but that does not stop him from going around with a smile on his face, and his energy and eagerness to learn are tangible. He was a natural during the photoshoot, and we watched with amazement as he rode off without using training wheels for the first time. David was born prematurely and has cerebral palsy. After the photoshoot, he continued with homework reading English, and we were amazed by his knowledge, and willingness to keep studying even on a Sunday.
Photo: Dave’s Studio
This article appeared on p46-51 of beijingkids March 2018 issue.