Mom Takes Touching Photos of Her Son with Autism as He Experiences the World

kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family

Minnesota-based mom of two and photographer Kate Miller-Wilson emotionally explores the ins and outs of living with autism. With her 10-year-old son Eian as her muse, she captures captivating portraits that reveal the day-to-day reality that life on the spectrum entails.

Rendered either in soft color or in stark black and white, Miller-Wilson's photographs offer a dreamy yet raw look at her son's condition. In her autism photo series, she documents the poetic and unique way that Eian, a “beautiful, hilarious, challenging, and charming person,” experiences the world. Whether he's gazing out a glowing window, exploring the outdoors, or sitting with his eyes closed, there is a quiet calmness to his demeanor and a striking stillness in the photos.

Some of the photographs are candid, while many others—particularly those that feature Eian on the other side of some sort of barrier—are pre-planned. In addition to the interesting aesthetic that the obstructing ice, glass, and plants provide, Miller-Wilson strategically stages these photos for another reason. “Interestingly, it’s easier for him to make eye contact with my camera in shots like that,” she told The Huffington Post.

The photographer knows that, as with any condition, everyone views, faces, and experiences autism differently. She hopes, however, that her photos inspire people to consider the emotions and energy that autism involves. “There’s a saying in the autism community: ‘If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,’” she said. “In the case of other parents and kids on the spectrum, each person will experience my images in his or her own way. No matter how that is, I hope my work resonates as genuine and just emotionally accessible.”

See Kate Miller-Wilson's striking autism photo series below.

kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family photographykate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family kate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family portraitskate miller-wilson autism photo series son mom family photographyKate Miller-Wilson: WebsiteFlickr

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Kate Miller-Wilson.

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.

Want to become a My Modern Met Member?

Find out how by becoming a Patron. Check out the exclusive rewards, here.

Sponsored Content