The Blessing of Hyperfocus: How Autism Helped Me Become a Better Photographer

[Caption: Stanley Leary is teaching in SOP1 in Kona, Hawaii. Photo by: Dennis Fahringer]

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects individuals in different ways. One of the symptoms of autism is having a hyperfocused or hyperfixation on a particular topic or activity. As an autistic person, my hyperfocus has been a blessing in my photography career.

When I first discovered my passion for photography, I became hyperfocused on learning everything I could about the craft. I spent countless hours researching and studying different techniques, equipment, and styles. My hyperfixation allowed me to become highly knowledgeable about photography and helped me to develop a unique style that sets me apart from other photographers.

But my hyperfocus doesn’t just benefit me. It also helps me to take care of my clients. When working with a client, my hyperfocus allows me to be fully present at the moment and focused on capturing the perfect shot. As a result, I can tune out distractions and connect with my clients, which helps me capture their true essence in my photographs.

My hyperfocus also helps me to be incredibly detail-oriented. I notice small details that others might miss, which allows me to create stunning and unique photographs. Whether it’s the way the light hits a subject’s face or their clothes flow in the wind, I’m always looking for ways to capture the moment’s beauty.

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Of course, some challenges come with my hyperfocus as well. For example, breaking away from my work and focusing on other tasks can be difficult, and I sometimes struggle with transitioning between different projects or activities. But overall, I’ve found that my hyperfocus has been a blessing in my life and my career.

If you’re an autistic person, it’s essential to embrace your hyperfocus and use it to your advantage. Whether it’s photography, writing, music, or any other activity, your hyperfixation can be a powerful tool for success. Just remember to take breaks when you need to and find ways to manage your hyperfocus so it doesn’t become overwhelming.

In conclusion, my hyperfocus has been a blessing in my photography career. It allows me to connect with my clients and create stunning photographs that capture the moment’s beauty. As an autistic person, I encourage others to embrace their hyperfixations and use them to their advantage while finding ways to manage them effectively.

Celebrating Neurodivergent Creativity: Notable Figures with Autism/Asperger’s in the Creative Arts

Many famous individuals who have succeeded in the creative arts have also been diagnosed with Autism or Asperger’s. They have used their unique neurodivergent perspectives to produce groundbreaking work in their respective fields. Some of the most notable creatives with Autism/Asperger’s include:

  1. Temple Grandin – an animal behavior expert, professor, and inventor who has written extensively about her experiences as an autistic person.
  2. Tim Burton – a film director, producer, and screenwriter known for his dark and quirky style. Burton has spoken publicly about his diagnosis of Asperger’s and how it has influenced his work.
  3. Daryl Hannah – is an actress known for her roles in films such as “Blade Runner” and “Splash.” Hannah has spoken about her struggles with autism and how acting has helped her to cope with social anxiety.
  4. Satoshi Tajiri, the Pokémon franchise’s creator, has publicly stated that his passion for insects and video games stems from his autism.
  5. Susan Boyle – a singer who gained worldwide attention for her appearance on “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009. Boyle has spoken publicly about her Asperger’s diagnosis and how it has impacted her life and career.
  6. Anthony Hopkins – an actor known for his roles in films such as “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Hannibal.” Hopkins has spoken about his diagnosis of Asperger’s and how he believes it has helped him to become a better actor.
  7. Courtney Love – a musician, actress, and visual artist known for her work as the frontwoman of the band Hole. Love has spoken about her struggles with mental illness and her diagnosis of Asperger’s.
  8. James Durbin – a singer-songwriter who gained national attention as a contestant on “American Idol” in 2011. Durbin has spoken about his Asperger’s diagnosis and how he believes it has given him an advantage in the music industry.
  9. Dan Aykroyd – a comedian, actor, and screenwriter best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and “Ghostbusters.” Aykroyd has spoken about his diagnosis of Asperger’s and how it has influenced his humor.

As an autistic person in the creative arts, I am proud to be in good company with these amazing individuals. I believe that our unique perspectives and ways of thinking have contributed to the richness and diversity of the arts. We should celebrate our differences and embrace the many ways autism can be a gift, not just a challenge.