Everyone is beautiful, no matter whom they were born as. This is the central idea that British photographer Nicole Louise Perkins wants to share with the world with her amazing ‘Down With Disney’ campaign that celebrates children who have Down Syndrome.
During a series of fabulous photo shoots, Perkins took pictures of kids dressed as various characters from Disney movies: from ‘The Little Mermaid’ to ‘The Lion King’ and more. In an interview with Bored Panda, Perkins explained what the inspiration for the project was, why it was important, and what it means.
“I created ‘Down With Disney’ because last year I began my awareness/celebration campaigns. I had done a Down Syndrome awareness campaign ‘Down Right Beautiful’ and it got a lot of interest.”
“It was full of information that would hopefully help new parents. As my following on social media grew with parents of children with Down Syndrome, I wanted to do something for them again this year which is where ‘Down With Disney’ came from. I absolutely love Disney and I know I am not alone, so I thought this would be perfect.”
Scroll down for the rest of Bored Panda’s interview with Perkins, including her advice for other photographers, as well as details of what drives her passion for her profession.
The photographer wants to raise awareness about Down Syndrome, as well as show that beauty can be found everywhere.
According to Perkins, the ‘Down With Disney’ campaign wasn’t without its challenges. Some of them were financial. “The greatest challenge was knowing when to stop. I could have gone on forever with these photo shoots but the props and everything is just so expensive.”
“Well worth it though to see the joy my images have brought to everyone,” she said that she doesn’t regret the expenses one bit. She’s also pleasantly surprised by the reaction that people have had to her project. “The reaction has been amazing I never imagined I would go viral! It’s been a crazy few months but absolutely amazing at the same time.”
“I couldn’t be happier,” she said.
Perkins told Bored Panda that she has loved photography ever since she was little. But her path to becoming a professional photographer was long, winding, and helped her merge two different passions.
“I’ve always loved photography, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to get a job straight away after college if I studied it, so I did childcare instead.”
“My last placement at college was in a special needs school. It seriously changed my life, I still work there to this day due to falling in love with people who have special needs,” she explained. “I taught myself photography on the side and started up my own business with that. When I was happy with where I was photography-wise, I thought I would put my two loves in life together.”
Her advice to other photographers who might be too shy to show their work publicly or to do projects that go outside the box was simple: “I would say go for it.”
“I spent a very long time trying to be like everyone else getting those newborn poses right, but then I realized that it just wasn’t the style I wanted to do. So I stopped and done them my way instead.”
“I have always wanted to put my love for photography with my love for people with special needs and the day I did that was when I realized this is what I am best at,” Perkins noted. “Show off your work: people will either like it or they won’t, it doesn’t matter as long as you have been true to yourself.”