San Antonio Special Needs Inclusive Photographer

A beautiful teenage girl with Down syndrome poses for the camera. Image by San Antonio special needs photographer Cassey Golden.

Photography is a powerful and important tool for documenting a family’s story. It allows us to capture a season of time and freeze memories and sweet moments. How often have you tried to recall a moment and realize that all you really remember is what happened right around the picture? Of course, this happens with any pictures from any source. Your phone, an old disposable film camera, a basic point-and-shoot…all of those pictures are special and important. But I hope every family gets the chance to have beautifully-lit, high quality professional pictures done many times throughout the years. If you have a loved one with a disability, this may feel out of reach…but it’s NOT! You just need the right person. A San Antonio special needs inclusive photographer. 

San Antonio Special Needs Inclusive Photography

For many families who have a member with extra needs and different abilities, the thought of hiring a photographer for professional pictures just seems out of reach. Will this photographer have any experience working with different abilities? Does she know how to pose someone with really low tone, medical equipment, or limb difference? Will he understand that some kids are sensory seekers and some are sensory avoiders and know how to adapt to engage your loved one appropriately? Does she know how to engage with a kid who is non-verbal or just really hard to understand? Will this big investment produce final images that show your loved one in the best light and let their personalities shine through?

San Antonio special needs inclusive photographer Cassey Golden holds her preemie identical twin boys during their extended NICU stay. Photo taken by her husband, Andrew Golden.

I’m a special need’s mom myself, to the sweetest identical twins with Down syndrome. That’s us above, during our 80-day NICU stay. The odds of having identical twins with Down syndrome is actually one in a million, so we feel extra lucky to be blessed with these guys!

A tiny baby with Down syndrome peacefully rests with his head on his folded arms. He wears oxygen tubing and stickers on his face. Image taken by San Antonio special needs photographer Cassey Golden.Identical twin boys with Down syndrome sit side by side and have huge smiles for the camera on their first birthday. Picture taken by their mom, San Antonio inclusive photographer Cassey Golden.

We’ve been through a long NICU journey, NG tubes, oxygen, cranial helmets, thickened liquids and significant developmental delays. These days Asher and Jude are doing really well medically and delays are our biggest concern. And while that list of medical interventions would have totally freaked me out if I’d known it was all coming, now I know that those are all really minor things and we adapted to each one as it came to us. However, some of you deal with much greater challenges and reliance on equipment.

A teen girl with Down syndrome wears a springy yellow dress and swishes her skirt around while laughing. Image taken by San Antonio disability photographer Cassey Golden.

Down Syndrome Association Calendar Photographer

Our family is a part of the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas. We are so grateful for the support, community, and fun that they provide. We’re so lucky to have this resource here! I’ve also had the chance to volunteer my time and talent to their calendar fundraiser for the 2022 calendar and will again for the 2023 calendar. If you’ve seen this year’s calendar, I have multiple images in there and even took the picture of beautiful Annemarie on the cover! I loved my time spent with each of these families, and I was honored to get to provide each one with lovely images that captured the beauty and personality of each sweet subject.

A young woman with Down syndrome looks stunning in a floral skirt and a bright red top amongst a wall of red flowers. Image by San Antonio inclusive photographer Cassey Golden.Side-by-side photos of a family hugging and laughing during family pictures with San Antonio special needs inclusive photographer Cassey Golden.

Inclusive Photography Certification

While I am a mama to kids with disabilities and am comfortable in this world, I know that my boys are still really young and there’s a lot we haven’t dealt with yet. And of course disabilities come in so many different forms, many of which I haven’t personally experienced. So I was so thrilled to come across a fantastic photography course from The Capable Community. I actually even got to be a beta tester for the course and give feedback on it’s development. It was such an honor!

I highly recommend this course to ALL photographers to be ready to competently serve all clients. It helped me learn more about posing, language, and interacting with kids with all kinds of needs. I’m very proud to hold a certification in inclusive photography from The Capable Community. They also have a map of inclusive photographers. So go there if you aren’t local to me and want to find a Capable Community photographer for your family.


Side-by-side images of an adorable toddler girl in a purple dress. In one she sits among purple flowers that match her perfectly. Portraits by San Antonio special needs photographer Cassey Golden.A young boy with Downy syndrome is dressed to the nines and laughing during photos with San Antonio special needs photographer Cassey Golden.

San Antonio Special Needs Photography

Are you ready to book a photo session to capture the love and joy in your family? Do you want to work with a photographer who isn’t intimidated by any extra needs or challenges your family may bring to the table? Someone who will spend lots of time communicating with you and preparing you for what to expect? If so, reach out today and I’d love to chat more to see if we might be a good fit. Let’s make this investment count and be sure you end up with stunning heirloom portraits that reflect who you are and remind you of the beauty of this season for the rest of your life.


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