Two photographers, a father and his daughter with Down syndrome

To read on The Mighty website:

Dad’s ‘Photo Duel’ With Daughter With Down Syndrome Has Wonderful Outcome

By Melissa McGlensey Jan 19, 2016


After Sebastian Luczywo, from Jelenia Gora, Poland, saw pictures his daughter, Kaja, took on a school trip in September, he was surprised and inspired. Despite having a digital camera at her disposal, 17-year-old Kaja, who has Down syndrome, had only taken five photos on the whole trip.

“I was astonished by the respect with which my daughter approached the art of photography,” Luczywo told The Mighty in an email. “Each of the frames described only my daughter’s most important memories from the trip: a picture (taken on the bus) of the fleeing fields, a picture of the sea together with the mainland, a photo of the sea itself, a picture of a cloud in the shape of an angel (Kaja told me that she saw her guardian angel in the clouds), and a photo of an ice cream in a wafer. Each of these frames was deliberate and showed something that was specific and important for Kaja.”

Luczywo said these five photos were a “revelation” and inspired him to see more of his daughter’s perspective through the lens.

“I wanted to get to know Kaja’s way of looking,” he told The Mighty.

Photo on top of Kaja, photo on bottom of her father.
Courtesy of Sebastian Luczywo

Over the last four months and five different sessions, the pair took pictures in town, in a forest, in the mountains, on rocks, in the morning sun and at sunset. At each site, they chose the subject together, but then Kaja would photograph first, as Luczywo didn’t want her to be influenced at all by his shot. They set both of their cameras to automatic.

A church steeple from two angles.
Courtesy of Sebastian Luczywo

For Kaja it was a fun adventure, but for Luczywo, who has been a professional photographer for the last five years, it was the new perspective he’d been searching for in his work. He felt he had fallen into a pattern with his photography, but through Kaja he found a fascinating new way to look at things.

Machinery from two different angles.
Courtesy of Sebastian Luczywo

Luczywo also wanted the project to bring awareness to the creative abilities of all people, disabled or otherwise.

“The main idea behind this photographic duel was to show and prove that everybody has creative potential,”  Luczywo told The Mighty via Facebook message. “Often we tend to judge people with disabilities as if they were inferior, not understanding that their sensitivity to the world’s beauty very often surpasses our own. Sometimes it is harder for them to express themselves because of their disability and here we should help and encourage them, rather than limit. That is what I am trying to do for my daughter.”

See more photos from their duel below: 

Bricks and rubble from two different angles.
Courtesy of Sebastian Luczywo
Two photos of a pond with the photographers reflected in it.
Courtesy of Sebastian Luczywo
Photos of photographers in the woods from two different angles.


See much more.

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