A few weeks ago I was called on to shoot production stills for an independent feature film, Jack of the Red Hearts, shooting in New York. Even though I was only there a handful of days, I bonded with some of the crew and also a couple of the actors.
One of those actors was young Taylor Richardson, who plays Glory, the autistic daughter of Famke Janssen and Scott Cohen. If you're a Broadway fan you may have seen her during her one and a half year run as Annie. On set, Taylor was the shining light. Always happy and super polite. I got to know her when the producers asked me to get some concept shots of her separate of her scenes.
I had already done some research on autism because I wanted to figure out how an autistic child visually sees the physical world. I wanted to capture some production stills that represented Glory's point of view. During my research I found Carly Fleischman's amazing short film:
Unfortunately, I didn't get to realize the photographs I wanted to take from Glory's point of view, but I did get to play with Taylor. My challenge in shooting her in character but outside of the scripted scenes was to capture Glory where the viewer might get a glimpse inside her head (not literally, of course). And I also wanted Taylor to be a conceptual collaborator during the shoot.
After doing the general 'on the swing' and 'in the tree' photos, Taylor started rolling around in the grass. Thanks to her choice, I came up with this idea, and captured the glimpse I was looking for.