People often hear about the negatives of autism, says photographer Crystal McCord, who is autistic, but many people with autism count their creativity as an asset. Due to her condition, McCord struggles with social interactions and has found it difficult to hold a job, she says. “Not being able to work, you know, I was in a really dark place. Then I got into photography, and it has given me that sense of purpose.”
McCord has found minimalist photography to be a natural fit for her sensibilities, and even compiled her works into a book called “Minimalism.” “My brain, because of my autism, I automatically pick up on lines, patterns, and color contrast,” she says. After happening upon the photography of Prakash Ghai on the internet, she knew she wanted to delve into that style of work.
“I just think it would be great to focus on the positive things and how creative a lot of autistics are,” says McCord. Photography can be an especially helpful outlet for people with autism who struggle with verbal communication. “It’s just a great way to express yourself.”
Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.