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A Tale of Two Pictures

A couple of weeks ago, Anne Belanger of New Westminster, British Columbia, was heartbroken to see her son's second grade class picture. Seven-year-old Miles Ambridge was smiling brightly, sitting in his wheelchair, off to the side of his class. Miles has spinal muscular atrophy, which does not affect his cognitive abilities, but prevents him from walking. The stigma of being different from the other kids was bad enough without being pushed off to the side in a photo that will last forever. Miles' parents asked the photo company to reshoot the picture, and posted the image to the photo company's website, from which it went viral.

Belanger thinks it was Miles’s smile in the photo that struck a chord with so many.

“He’s just so happy,” she said. “And that’s the thing — he’s oblivious to the whole thing but he’s so happy and he wants to fit in.”

Last week, Lifetouch Canada admitted its photographer made a mistake and said it had already retaken the photo.

Lifetouch said it trains its photographers to arrange students differently when working with a child in a wheelchair. In this case, the composition “wasn’t done right,” said territory manager Dean Cochrane.

In the new picture, Miles appears with his group just like any child.

“You can’t pick him out this time,” she said. “For him, to fit in, this is what it should be.”

Miles was never shown the first picture, and is delighted with the second. Link -via Arbroath

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I'd feel kinda singled out if I was the only kid in my class with a face.

Seriously, this makes me wonder who this is catering to: the little boy who lives in that wheelchair, or everybody else who would prefer to ignore the handicapped in our society and pretend that they don't exist. I thought the second picture might actually include the boy, in his chair, more centrally, rather than shoving him off to the side like in the first.
The first was definitely wrong. But is the second one right? I suppose it's nice to have a picture without the chair.
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Looks like 2 of the girls had massive growth spurts in between photo#1 and photo#2.
And the dark-skined boy in the front row with the green-striped shirt didn't show up for photo#2, so he has to keep the first one.
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