spe·cial /ˈspeSHəl/: portrait giveaway {palm beach county}

spe·cial /ˈspeSHəl/ Adjective: Better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual; designed for a particular purpose or occasion.

13 years ago my family’s life was changed because of special. No one could have prepared our family for the challenges special would entail, but I think we all can agree that special = perfect. You see, my brother was born with one extra chromosome. He has Down Syndrome. While some may look at him as a disability – a label, we look at him as Noah – our video game loving, baseball playing, Special Olympics winning, hilarious brother Noah. He is a gem in our family, and I truly cannot imagine life without him. Likewise, I couldn’t imagine Noah any other way. He is perfect to us. (Well, as perfect as a human being can be. Let’s be honest…he is a boy’s boy! He will play tricks on his sisters, make goofy noises while out at restaurants, and doesn’t always like to do his homework. He’s human!)

I want to celebrate all of the special in our lives with a portrait giveaway to 3 families who have a little extra special in their lives.

Contest rules:

– “Like” Completely Captivating Photography’s facebook page.

– Tell your story (or nominate a friend/family member) via comments below or on facebook. Be sure to include why you would like to win a portrait session from Completely Captivating Photography.

– Spread the word through e-mail, facebook, twitter, or other social networking.

**Nominees must have a family member with special needs.**

What’s included? ($200 value)

– 1 hour photo session at a location of your choice in Palm Beach County

– 1 11×14 retouched print

Contest ends Wednesday March 5, and winners will be announced by Friday March 7.

  • Lourdes Valdes - As soon as I read the word Special, my son Marc Anthony comes to my mind. My son is 12 and has downsyndrome. He is the light of my life he has taught me to see this harsh world with love trough him. He doesn’t speak, but his heart and love are much more than words to me daily. I would love to win a photo shoot with my son because he loves taking pictures, and to celebrate and honor him for the imense love he gives me daily. I am thankful to have him,and so honored to be his mother. He is my angel on this earth who keeps me grounded.Thank you for your time and consideration for this contest. I hope that you can meet my wonderful son Marc Anthony.ReplyCancel

  • Laila Seagle - On a June day 26 years ago my head was spinning with questions when the doctor announced that our new baby boy was born with Down Syndrome. Would he walk? Would he talk? What would his medical needs be? Then they brought me my baby an when I looked into his face, I knew right then and there that none of those questions mattered. As the years passed I never knew that one person could give so much love and happiness to others. He was the youngest of my four children and his siblings were some of his best teachers. From his older brother he learned everything about sport. His oldest sister was his mentor. She helped him with homework and anything related to book learning. His youngest sister was his best friend and taught him to be a happy, playful child and sometimes lead him down mischievous paths.
    Today, Bryan walks, talks, runs, bowls, dances, reads, writes very well, does his own laundry and other various household chores and has a beautiful girlfriend. He has the birthday of everyone he knows memorized. But what Bryan does best, is to give us so much unconditional love.
    He is without a doubt a young man that makes all who know him feel pride in knowing him.ReplyCancel

  • Gail Bohm - Great idea….ReplyCancel

  • Theresa Daguman-Concepcion - The Joy of our lives our son Jon Brian “Jonjon” was born into our family 5 years ago and was diagnosed with an extra-chromosome just a week after his birth. It was at a time that we were just adjusting to our new family construction, as i had remarried and my two daughters from my previous marriage had decided to come live with us from Japan. Jonjon was the one who brought us all together, uniting us to overcome the challenges a family faces with a special needs child. He has taught us so much about life and how to appreciate things that we take for granted. Jonjon has made our family special because he has taught us to love unconditionally.ReplyCancel

  • Daniela Chea - When I was pregnant with my son Andrew we did not know he had Down syndrome. After he was born we were very insecure about his future. He is now 12 years old and full of life. There are still many challenges ahead but I also have made many amazing friends through Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization that will hold my hand along the way. My child is a blessing and I feel very lucky to be his mom. He is my sunshine and my best friend. He is the most caring and amazing person I have known, he will
    give you unconditional love expecting nothing in return. The challenges are nothing compare with the rewards I have received from having him in my life. I am a very lucky person and if you get to know him one day you will know why!ReplyCancel

  • Beatriz Torres - I have a 3 yr old daughter named henely she is my everything. I have to boys and when I found out that I was having a girl I was soooo happy I didn’t find out anything until she came in to this world that she would have DS. What makes her more unique she has Mosaic Down syndrome. God only gives special babies to special mommies and I’m so glad he picked me. She’s my family joy our princess that’s y Iove to be a winner.ReplyCancel

  • ellie - Two years ago my daughter was born with Down Syndrome. The way the news was delivery to me was like if my life had end. My husband wasn’t there and the doctor didn’t even know my name.
    After the shocking information and an unknowing feeling, I asked the nurse to bring me my daughter and having her in my arms, I believed that I would be fine and she was the shine of our lives.
    She is a very loved girl. Something about her that bring peoples atention to everywhere we go. She is so happy that makes me forget about some struggles in life.
    She loves camera since she was few months and my friends even ask if she poses.
    I would like to win the portrait session because I want to take that picture to a modeling agency and list my daugther. I want people realize that a person with Down Syndrome can have a normal life.
    We almost don’t see models with Down Syndrome and I believe if some companies get more interesting to them, exposing their beauty, abilities and kidness will bring interesting to those how know nothing about those special kids.ReplyCancel

  • comcapphoto - These stories are just so beautiful!
    Thank you all for sharing. Session winners will be announced March 7. :)ReplyCancel

  • Cindy Glover - My son Dylan doesn’t talk, but he communicates so much joy with his smile, his facial expressions, his dance moves and his love of animals. Dylan is 5 and has Down Syndrome. From the moment he was born, he has charmed and captivated us. When I’m stressed out, he is the Zen master. When I’m too serious, he’s a clown. When I’m sad, his chubby little arms wrap around my neck and he plants a wet, sloppy kiss on my nose.
    Dylan is our little angel and our little monster. He has a twinkle of mischief, but also an abundance of innocence and love. He has taught us patience and gratitude. His big sister adores him and, for reasons I will never fully understand, so do our pets.
    Our Golden Retriever, Ginny, has been Dylan’s loyal protector since he was born. She allows him to lie down on top of her, pull her ears, take her toys and use her like a pillow. Our male cat, Marley, allows Dylan to carry him around the house. Marley could easily avoid being picked up — Dylan is not that fast — but he allows himself to be captured and toted around in a thoroughly undignified way. The animals seem to sense that there is a special magic about Dylan. So do the kids at daycare.
    Dylan is in daycare with typical 2-year-olds and the other children adore him. The little boys proudly bring me Dylan’s shoes (which he never keeps on) and the little girls always run, grab his hand and tell him when I have arrived. On Dylan’s second week there, one little girl in particular hugged him repeatedly and said “I love my Dylan.” The teacher wrote me a note and took a picture, both of which I treasure.
    Every day when we get home, Dylan visits the flowers in our front yard before entering the house. He goes to two or three different spots, tenderly touching different varieties, sometimes knocking a bloom or two loose, but never grabbing them roughly. I honestly think our flowers are bigger and healthier since he began this ritual about a year ago.
    I have taken my kids to the portrait studio at the mall several times, but it’s always stressful and the photographers there haven’t really been able to capture his “Dylan-ness.” I can’t tell you how much it would mean to me to have a more natural and relaxed photo session outdoors or on his own turf.
    Thank you so much for having this contest!ReplyCancel

  • Janet Kysia - Ali was born 23 years ago with Down Syndrome. We didn’t know what a privedge it was to have such a special family addition added to our family. It came to my attention when we brought Ali to church and introduced him to the congregation. Afterwards the adults we all saying they were sorry and if there was anything they could do, but one woman came up to us and said that her young son had asked what does Down Syndrome mean, and after she explained, he said “Wow Mr and Mrs Kysia must be loved by God to have him put such a special child in their care”! Our family has been blessed by Ali as well as anyone he comes in contact with, he makes everyone smile. God truely uses children with Down Syndrome to teach the world love and joy. Ali would be perfect for a photo session, I often thought he should be a model, and he is a ham!ReplyCancel

  • Mara Salichs - I have 3 beautiful kids. Two older boys and a little girl with Down Syndrome.
    Ana Belen love to dance any type of music specially ballet . She is 7 but because she also has Celiac disease she has the size of a 4 year old. She is very independent and help me very much doing chores in the house. She enjoy reading , playing games in her iPad and love to keep her room clean and everything on order. That amaze me! Her empathy for the people that sorounds her is unbelievable .ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Gottsagen - Zachary and Erika recently got engaged. They have dated over 8 years and have built a beautiful relationship. Both of them are dancers and perform duets together. Our families would love a beautiful portrait of this dynamic duo to announce their engagement. A portrait to capture the twinkle in their eyes, the sparkle of their personalities, and the joy they find with each other would warm our hearts. Both Zachary and Erika are in their late twenties, value their family and friends, love their dogs, and happen to have Down syndrome.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn Murray - What an amazing way to celebrate! We would love to be your winners but can’t wait to see the photos even if we don’t win–just reading all these beautiful stories makes me happy! :)

    Ok, a little about us: We have three children ranging from 15 down to our youngest, Mariana, who will turn 5 on May 1. Mari was adopted from Colombia in 2009 when she was 17 months old and she has Down syndrome. The last photos we have of all five of us together were taken in October 2009 just weeks after we came home. It was difficult to get good shots because she had so little body control and positioning was rough. Flash forward to today 3.5 years later and all three kids have grown so much…especially Mari. We see every day how far they have come and I would love to have a new set of family photos to show off…but it will probably be difficult to get good shots this time too because Mari NEVER STOPS. :)ReplyCancel

  • Eileen Rose - I am the proud Aunt of a special girl, Sami. When she came into our lives, our paths took a turn for the better. Imagining how she would change my families lives is nothing compared to how she would change my sisters life (her mom). From out of nowhere…a true mommy emerged. She learned all she needed to learn about down syndrome, and set out to provide everything for that little girl. Ten years and 2 more children later…she has been documenting every breathe in the life of Sami on film. Picture after picture, album upon album…but one thing is always missing in the pictures, The Mommy….I know how much she would like to sit in front of the lens instead of behind the lens trying to get 3 little ones to say cheese at the same time, or not cry at the same time or just be all together in one single picture. So please invite Roni and her daughter Sami, along with the rest of her crew to be the focus of your camera.ReplyCancel

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