Photography through the lens of Aspergers Syndrome...
Oct 27, 2010
I am new to the site and new to photography, if not art itself.
I am bringing this topic up because I wanted to get it out and discuss the ramifications of it, and what it means to me, as one.
I am an Aspergers Syndrome type, as I have explained in some detail in my profile. This essentially means I am Autistic, although I do not suffer the full range of serious hindrances that typical Autistics have. Aspergers is a sub-set of Autism, where the speech capacity of the brain is not inhibited, and indeed is sometimes augmented. I do have many of the traits common to all Aspergers people, and Autistics as well, although my traits are not so nearly severe as are many true Autistics. Many of these people cannot speak, although this in no way has any true relation to their intelligence or IQ. Indeed, I am starting to believe Aspergers Syndrome can throw off the standard IQ tests and make it unreliable, so that the results are inaccurate or even just vague. Still, it must be stated that AS does not always have a noticeable effect on a person's intelligence, although occasionally it has the odd side-effect of greatly amplifying it.
Another reason I am bringing up this sensitive, personal issue is because I do not wish to hide my true nature if I am to attempt getting into this pursuit. More bluntly, I don't really want models misinterpreting me, as may happen (although I am not overly worried, however). I just think it's best that any potential model of mine not only know *who* I am, but *what* I am as well. Largely though, I'm just fairly shy and not one to speak unless I have something useful to say. I do blend in well enough in general society, but I am somewhat standoffish and quiet in nature. Indeed, this is why I think I may be an ideal photographer, because at heart, I am an observer, often with little interest in interaction.
Also I must bring up another topic common to many Aspergers and Autistics : that of sensory issues. First, my hearing is quite sensitive, to the point that loud noises can really bother me. It's not that they frighten me, of course, but that they can be physically distressing if not outright painful to me. Bells (ie, like that at Trade Joes!), buzzers, and high pitched noises can hurt my ears.
The hearing issue isn't too much of a problem and I don't see how it would be of importance with working with models, as long as they aren't yelling at me.
However, I do have another sensory issue, that relates to touch. Certain kinds of physical touch can be very distressing for me, if not exactly painful in the usual sense. Mostly this refers to light touches, and being touched without permission. I absolutely hate being touched without asking. And I physically can't stand being brushed lightly, or gentle touch. It tends to set off my nerves and makes me recoil physically.
I do know that the photographer-touching-the-model is a bit of a "grenade" topic (ie, it can explode in your face!) but I think the sensory aspect brings a new twist to this, when the model-touching-the-photographer is a bigger worry!
Honestly I dread the thought of a model touching me absentmindedly, especially with her nails. It could actually be pretty weird and ruin the flow of a photoshoot.
Also I am ticklish, and that might be related. It's just too easy to tickle me and it's very unpleasant if I am tickled. Hell, I have to watch out for this as with my odd neurological issues it can even set off my asthma!
Yes, it's usually a professionalism issue, but for me it would be a purely pragmatic one. Also because I dislike being touched myself, I do not touch
others without explicit permission and even then I am rather reluctant to do so.
As such I really don't fit the would-be GWC stereotypes, or have any inclination
to touch models, really. I guess this might just make me an ideal photographer, but I have to see if this is the case, and where it goes.
Anyway, I would like feedback, thoughts, and opinions on the matters at hand here. I do not mind questions about AS. Feel free to ask anything of me you will, as long as it's polite, of course. For those who wish to ask me more direct questions in email, do feel free to do so, as well.
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