When I am behind the camera, it feels as if I am watching the world from a glass room. I feel separated, nothing can hurt me. I experience the moment differently than if my camera was not there. It’s a different connection. Sometimes this is good thing, however it can also be bad.
Last Saturday CityChurch was working at Laura Dester Shelter, just one of the organizations partnered with LoveTulsa. The shelter is a short-term emergency care facility for use while child welfare specialists conduct investigations into alleged abuse and neglect and to hold children while staff look for suitable foster care placements for those coming into state custody. We cook out, have inflatables, face painting, crafts, and just have with the kids. When I arrived, it was in full swing, however I was quite distracted. I had an engagement shoot that evening I was worrying more about. I took the pictures and was about to leave when this little boy came up to me. He did not say a word and instead of posing in front of the camera as most kids did, he came beside me. He grabbed my camera while it was still around my neck and looked inside. He would “snap” a few, only using the wrong button. I would watch his finger and take a photo in sync with his movement. Then he smiled and ran off, never saying a word. This little boy was autistic. He returned several times. Though he never said anything, I knew how much he enjoyed it.
He made me be apart of the day. These kids come from horrible situations and finding so much joy in something so simple. Something I do daily and have started to take it for granted. Laura Dester is incredible place and I am so glad to have to chance to be a part of it, even if just for an afternoon.