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Photographer Looks at the World of His Autistic Son

Timothy Archibald is a photographer in San Francisco. We’ve previously featured one of his humorous works: chickens dressed as famous historical figures.

But he’s got another project that’s more serious. Mr. Archibald’s son, Eli, has autism. He looks at the world differently than most other people. Mr. Archibald decided to try to capture images that would expose this inner world.

He calls the project “Echolilia.” You can see photos from it here. It was a collaborative project. Mr. Archibald decided that the only way to get inside the mind of his son was to let him co-direct the shoots. In an interview, Mr. Archibald explains how it helped him learn more about Eli:

But more functionally, when I saw the images we could create together—with his input, that’s when it got exciting. It didn’t look like my photographs…it looked better and more fascinating and had this “shock of the new”. And me, being the greedy photographer, wanted more of them. Who wouldn’t want fascinating photographs?

But…that said, what did we learn? I think it was an internal change…something you can’t really quantify, but you know it when you feel it and use it in your day-to-day living. On the most superficial level, we created a shared visual vocabulary. But deeper than that, I think we learned what made each other tick.

Content warning: artistic nudity.

-via Larissa


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The best photo series I have seen in quite a while. A true collaboration. The art shows both personalities yet also has something more.
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