Northborough photographer receives ‘Special Kids’ accreditation; gives back to community

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By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

Algonquin Regional High School senior student Julia Cobb is photographed by Susan Ogar.
Algonquin Regional High School senior student Julia Cobb

Northborough – Photographer Susan Ogar has loved taking photos since she was seven years old. Her focus has always been to capture the true spirit of those she photographs. She recently completed training and obtained accreditation with Special Kids Photography of America (SKPA). Unique methods, communication skills and sensitivity are needed when photographing children with special needs, disabilities and serious illnesses. The accreditation training focuses on techniques to ensure a successful photography session with less stress and frustration throughout the interaction.

Susan Ogar Photography started 14 years ago and has grown over the years. Ogar is proud of her continued training. Her passion for photographing children and families of all abilities is reflected in her work.

The Padula Family: Parents Jim and Jessica with daughters Bella and Violet
The Padula Family: Parents Jim and Jessica with daughters Bella and Violet

Her journey and focus on photographing families and children with special needs began in 2014. Her Mother’s Project was inspired by a friend, whose son passed away on his 11th birthday with Batten Disease. The project paid tribute to all mothers and was a reminder for moms to get in the picture with their children. 

In a blog post, Ogar said as mothers “we do everything we can for our children, whether they are Olympians or children with special needs.” 

 

Compassionate approach creates joyful experience 

Her compassionate approach increases the child’s comfort level as individual needs are considered. Communication about physical and emotional limitations and expectations, sensory issues, sound or sight sensitivities, or fears are part of this process.

Ronen Gladstone posing in the grass
Ronen Gladstone posing in the grass

 “When my clients are at ease and experiencing joy, they are comfortable enough to be themselves,” Ogar said. “I don’t want anyone to feel stress of what their kid is going to do and not get pictures taken.”

Creating a memory of a child at that age and point in time is important.

“Kids are never going to be that little again,” she said. “The most cherished portraits are the ones that most perfectly capture the essence, spirit and love of the people involved.”

Ogar said that she has benefited from the interactions with families. She has the “satisfaction of knowing that it might be harder to take these photos, but parents are more appreciative to have them.”

 

Giving back with contributions to nonprofits 

She has taken photos that have been submitted to the nonprofit Changing the Face of Beauty, which is committed to equal representation of people with disabilities in advertising. 

The Perron girls: Leah, Morgan, and Jillian
The Perron girls: Leah, Morgan, and Jillian

She is generous with her talents, and regularly supports local school raffle events and takes photographs at nonprofit events. She is committed to choosing charities each year to support by donating a portion of her session fees. A few that are close to her heart are Northborough Education Foundation, Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton, and the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation

More information on SKPA can be found at www.specialkidsphotography.com

Photographer Susan Ogar
Photographer Susan Ogar

Contact Ogar at 508-277-6140 or email [email protected].

Photos/Susan Ogar

 

 

 

 

 

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