Serving families of children with special needs
through exceptional photography

Photo: Laura Popiel

Children with disabilities and serious illness deserve beautiful portraits just as any other child. Special Kids Photography of America has launched a program to meet that need. Because of unfortunate experiences, many parents of a child with a disability have given up trying to approach a photographer for services. Here is one email from a frustrated parent:

Every time I take my (disabled) son to a professional photography studio, the staff huddles in the corner to see who comes up with the short straw.

Light Up a LIFE! wants to change that scenario. We are reaching out to photographers--urging them to include more children with special needs into their regular clientele. It's time to "give back" to a community that is truly appreciative of a unique service that only photographers can give. In order to participate in Light Up a LIFE! we ask that the first session and resulting digital image or print be donated to the family. After that, adjusted fees, or no fees are up to the photographer. Your memorable images and friendship with the families you serve will help develop a continued relationship that can extend into future birthdays as well as other special events. Families will most likely want to celebrate special occasions and family portraits year after year. 

With that in mind, how about starting with just one session and image to give you an idea of how much enjoyment these sessions provide to both the photographer and to the parents as well as the children. Benefits to parents and children are many. One parent was thrilled to share that her child's self-esteem was markedly improved with the hanging a "proud image" of him. Children love to see portraits of themselves displayed on the walls of their home. 



Here's how it works:

  • Sign up for annual membership in Light Up a LIFE! on our Store page ($20 per year).
  • Complete the Light Up a LIFE! enrollment form and email it back to us.
  • Enrollment in Light Up a LIFE! entitles you to a $100 discount on the Special Kids Photography Accreditation Workshop CD. The training package includes the training workshop, Study Guide, test and photo submission process (retail price is $275).
  • Your membership will be ACTIVATED upon our receipt of your donated image to a family, along with a photo release signed by the parent. Images must be at least 300 dpi for an 8x10 image.
  • ACTIVATION entitles you to receive referrals from parents who are seeking photographic services in your geographic area.
  • ACTIVATION makes you eligible for annual recognition and awards provided by our sponsors.
  • ACTIVATION allows you to use the "I am a Light Up a LIFE! photographer" button on your website and in other marketing materials.
  • The image you create may be used on our Instagram page ( A signed parental release is REQUIRED.

DISCLAIMER: Special Kids Photography of America and/or the Light Up a LIFE! program does not in any way hire or recommend any photographer. Names are simply provided as potential resources to connect parent with photographer. We do not take responsibility for any action or non action by a photographer on the resource list or otherwise proclaiming connection to Special Kids Photography of America or Light Up a LIFE! $10 of the $20 Light Up a LIFE! fee is a voluntary donation to Special Kids Photography of America. Please consult your financial advisor regarding possible tax relief. 





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