Photographer works with special needs children

CHICAGO Some fear they won't work well with their child. But, with the right photographer, those fears can be overcome.

Capturing a child's precious smile goes a long way. Mark Brown, a Chicago children's photographer, is one of the few who has special skills to work with children with disabilities.

Five-year-old Owen and his 3-year-old brother William are having fun. William was born with cerebral palsy.

"For him it's resulted in both cognitive disability and physical disability," said their mom.

Watching her boys being photographed has mom Joanna beaming.

"Mark spends an amazing amount of time with his clients," Joanna said. "It can be particularly important with children with special needs."

Mark has been a professional photographer for 15 years, the last seven years photographing children.

"When I'm photographing a child or family I want to get an expression that is truly the essence of that child, capturing their personality, their spirit. Because, in 20 years from now, this is all we're going to have," Mark said.

It takes more time and patience working with children with disabilities

"Sometimes we spend more time getting to know the child and getting to know the family than actually in the session itself, because we want to make that child and family feel special," said Mark.

There is an association called Special Kids Photography of America where Mark is a member.

"You have to submit photos that show you have photographed children with special needs. You also have to take an exam, you have to understand the gamut of special needs," Mark said.

"Mark's patience and the amount of time that he's willing to spend on getting perfect pictures makes him really different than other photographers," said Joanna.

Mark also photographs babies and pets.

For more information on Mark Brown photography and Special Kids Photography of America, visit their web sites:,

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