Professional photographer Hillary Gauld-Camilleri of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, has launched a campaign to change the misconceptions of people living with Down Syndrome. The campaign and photo series is titled “Believe With Me” and compiles the photos of children with Down Syndrome used with permission from family photoshoots over the past seven years.
Gauld-Camilleri became involved in Down syndrome advocacy through her friend, Kate, whose son has Down syndrome. Subsequently, Gauld-Camilleri joined a local support group and became involved with the local chapter of the Down Syndrome Society.
During one chapter meeting, Gauld-Camilleri realized she could help when the group was trying to put together a fundraiser featuring a calendar with pictures of children in the community.
“They had always put out a yearly calendar with their members,” she explained, “and they were looking for a photographer to take over the project.” Her friend reached out to her, and Gauld-Camilleri was happy to accept.
“I just felt that [myself and] we as a community probably had some opportunity to learn from this group of people,” she said. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to use the skills I had and put that together with this amazing group of people.”
Gauld-Camiller hopes her photos will inspire people to want to know more about Down syndrome and abandon preconceived notions about the condition.
“I hope people will continue to challenge those misconceptions that surround those with ,” she told a local news outlet. “I really believe that projects like this keep us aware, keep us learning and really challenge our thoughts and perceptions on people and things that are different from us.”To view the complete album of “Believe With Me” photography, please visit https://www.instagram.com/oneforthewall/