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Photographer Jeff Ebert Spotlights Special Kids

Oak Park Photographer Jeff Ebert’s newest show joins the amazing photography of 14 special needs children, "Ebert's Kids with Cameras 2012" with Jeff Ebert’s own “Autism Says 1000 Words” photo essay. This unique exhibit will be on display at the Oak Park Public Library Gallery through June 29.

Ebert Studio has close connections with the special needs world. Ebert thought it would be cool to see how some special needs kids view the world, or, at least, through the lens of a camera. The assignment given to the young artists was to photograph the things that are important in their lives. Jeff Ebert then viewed the hundreds of images submitted by the young photographers and selected images to be displayed in the “Ebert’s Kids With Cameras” portion of the exhibit.

In creating “Autism Says 1000 Words,” Jeff Ebert says:
“I struggled with my son's autism for a long time. My quest for recovery has changed to a search for understanding and acceptance in society. As the rate of autism grows by the month (currently 1 out of 88 children nationwide are affected), I feel it is my mission to do my part in the autism awareness department.

“I decided to use my livelihood, photography, to send a message. I created modern, vibrant, optimistic colored backgrounds to represent the energy of the kids. I wrote in a subtle graffiti-style, a word that would represent autism in a new light…or at least a more positive take than what most of society would consider autism to be. The reactions and expressions of the autistic subjects were ideal for my project: Without any direction at all, they each had in themselves a world of responses prompted by their own visions of the experience. They were alive, energetic, funny, curious and adorable.
“This project opened up my eyes to a new kind of way of photographing children. It has forced me to shoot outside of the box with regards to the lighting and backgrounds and has made me more of an observer than a director behind the camera.”

To see a video of Jeff Ebert’s personal project “Autism Says 1000 Words,” follow this link:

Best known for taking family photographs for generations of Oak Park families, Ebert Studio was founded by Henry Ebert in 1915 in Chicago. Three generations and 97 years later, Jeff Ebert still carries on that same tradition.

Jeff Ebert’s work has appeared in various publications such as Chicago Magazine, "Distinction: The Southern California Lifestyle," "Your Day, Your Way: The Essential Handbook for the 21st Century Bride,", Time Out Chicago, Chicago Reader, and various corporate materials. Jeff’s work has also been honored by Professional Photographers of America and Wedding and Portrait Photographers International.

Jeff Ebert currently owns and operates Ebert Studio and is very active in the Oak Park community. For the first time in Ebert Studio history, the doors of a second studio opened in Hinsdale in 2008. For more information, visit Browse the “Galleries” and read the latest “News and Blog” page.

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