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Photos Become a Child's Voice


Published in ChicagoNow, October 22, 2015

October is Photographer Appreciation Month, and before it ends I want to give a shout out to my granddaughter for whom photography has become a key into her mind. She has special needs that greatly limit her expressive language. I know she understands what I tell her and has plenty of thoughts and feelings about life, yet we can only have a limited verbal conversation about them. But she can speak volumes to me though her photos.

What strikes me and continues to amaze me, is the way she makes the everyday things she observes beautiful and unique.

On a recent trip to the Indianapolis zoo, she borrowed my phone to take pictures. While the rest of us saw animals and snapped photos of one another, she saw the fading floral displays along the way, the unique design of the ape house, and the abandoned stroller in front of the carousel.

A recent outing revealed there is beauty in an electrical pole against a pure blue sky.

And the shadows cast on a playground are far more interesting than the photos I was taking of her on s swing.

When we went to pick up her little sister from school, she asked for my phone again. I always say yes. She always says, “Passcode please.” And once again she works her magic.

I love her photos. They allow me to see what she sees. They reflect her sweet soul and her vision of the world. They are her voice.


by Laurie Levy
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