It takes a gifted photographer to create beautiful, meaningful portraits of people with autism. As the mother of a child with autism, I know it can be difficult to reach beyond the exterior that everyone sees and pull out the true inner beauty of someone who tends to have differences in how they express themselves.
Communication between a photographer and a person with autism can be a challenge as well. It is even more important that the child feels comfortable with the photographer, and understands what is being asked of him. An average photographer may not know how to get the best portraits of someone with autism.
When I met Charles Cotugno, I saw that he was not an average photographer. He possesses a unique understanding and knack that allows him to connect with autistic individuals, as well as those with other special needs, to capture their true essence, giving their families a priceless gift of a beautiful, professional portrait.
He started a nonprofit organization called Stories of Autism that collects and exhibits photos of people with autism around the world. He also works with corporations, photographing and highlighting companies that hire and include workers with autism and other disabilities.
His websites, CotugnoPhoto and StoriesofAutism both have information on Charles and his projects. He also does general photography, such as families and senior portraits, and check out his blog for valuable tips on photography and autism and more.