(This will be like a million years in the future if I do it, plus there are ethical issues so it might not be possible, but I just thought it was a really good idea so I wanted to share.)
I used to really like to take pictures without flash in dim environments, so that I could do things like make myself have two faces (my ghost pictures). I also liked taking pictures of myself stimming because it looked like I was flying or disappearing. I don’t have much skill but you don’t need it.
I would really like to take pictures of people with developmental disabilities stimming, especially blurry pictures so that the images come off as kind of beautiful and otherworldly. Stimming is always portrayed in a really clinical medicalized context and it’s usually treated as “abnormal” if not outright bad (and it’s usually treated as bad). There are no images of people stimming that portray the people as beautiful. I’d like to take beautiful pictures of stimming for the same reason that people have to take beautiful pictures of queer people, fat people, people with physical disabilities, etc. Mainstream images don’t reflect the actual personalities and feelings of people who are different.
I am really concerned about how to do this though because I don’t want to do the project unless I can include pictures of people who have a range of abilities. People with severe disabilities are the people who are the most vulnerable to being treated horribly for stimming. They are also What Passing People Are Afraid Of when we feel instinctively ashamed about stimming when we’re growing up. Disability is stigmatized and kept out of sight so that people who aren’t obviously disabled are terrified of people who are, and of things that make us look like them. Leaving “those people” out would be hypocritical, and a big loss since some of them are great stimmers.
It would be really easy to take these kinds of pictures of people with more severe disabilities but I guess I’m concerned about making sure the person understands and agrees with the idea of the project and what the project is etc. Lots of people just take pictures of nonverbal people and use them for stuff without asking and I don’t want to do that obviously. I also don't know whether it’s ethical for me to try to recruit people I’m staff for or have been staff for in the past.
I’m not interested in taking pictures that are accurate, I’m interested in taking pictures that make the subject look attractive and cool. I’d like the people in the pictures to pick out the stimming pictures of them that they like the best.