GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Travel and nature had been the focus of Christine Gribble's photography until she found a new subject, one that really put her life in focus.
"It's a very underserved population," said Gribble, who runs Gribble Photography. She has found her niche in photographing special needs children. "Some of the children with autism have sensitivities to light or temperature, so you may not be able to photograph in certain situations. You might not be able to use flash. They may have sensitivities to that. You just have to be able to adapt."
And that's exactly what Christine did, even taking it one step further when she received her accreditation by Special Kids Photography of America.
"We try to have a lot of fun and make something that would normally be a very big challenge for them a lot more typical," said Gribble.
In fact, it just seems like playtime to five year old Gabriel Purdy who has Down Syndrome.
While he and his sister run through the yard, Christine stands in the background, snapping photos. "I'm an observer. I like to see and watch what's going on."
And her patience pays off, with precious photos of happy children. "The appreciation that I get from these parents is just overwhelmingly phenomenal," said Gribble.
For mom Susan Smith, it's an opportunity to get professional photos of her young son Dane, who has cerebral palsy. "It's wonderful because quite often he doesn't have the patience for me and he'll be better for somebody else. He's a little more sensitive to strangers and cameras and everything going on," said Smith.
But for a moment, Christine helps these children forget their fears and when the photo shoot is over, she gets the best reward of all. "The kids give you hugs and high fives. I love it."
And it all began with a simple photograph.