Social Anxiety: Using Photography to Socialize

A little aside that is not golf.

Ben has the co morbid social anxiety disorder associated with ADHD.  Like me, the thought of socially working a crown of people can be very overwhelming

But then came my fiancé’s brothers wedding. Although I am not a wedding photographer, I was asked to take photos of the wedding.

The part of taking photos of the wedding itself and the post wedding photos were easy since for me and Ben. I asked Ben to be my assistant with my backup camera.

During his summer visits, Ben loved taking photos of the Phillies during their GCL Rookie league games. Without stopping he could take photos for about an hour and a half and no one could come to the conclusion that this child was ADHD.

So asking Ben to be my assistant was not a problem for Ben.

Ben, with camera is the star of the wedding.

When it came time to take photos of the reception I passed the baton to Ben. With help, he was walking around taking photographs of couples, tables and other groups throughout the reception.

Ben would take a photo and then show it to the group. If it was not quite right, he would take one or two more until he got it right. So there was not pressure in getting it right the first time. Then the people in that group would praise him and tell him how awesome he was. Ben would then go onto the next group and thus the next reward of praise.

So Ben spent about an hour working the room with camera in hand and did a terrific job. People fell in love with Ben and told me what an amazing kid he was.

The reality was that though photography, Ben was able to socially engage a large group. The task of taking photo’s not only broke that group into smaller pieces but allow Ben an entry point into engaging the subsets of the crowd, something which his anxious head would have otherwise been unable to do.