When I was asked to photograph Erica and Leo for a Spectrum Inspired session, I originally thought I would be documenting them in their home. I expected a typical documentary style session, just following them around doing their thing. When I spoke with Erica for the first time, she explained that her and Leo had already had many photos taken at home and she wanted to do something different. The idea of a photo session in a hemp field was something that was meaningful to her, as she is an advocate for the use of medical cannabis as a tool for helping her son, Leo, who has autism. To be honest, I had no idea that there were even legal hemp fields in Pennsylvania and I was pretty excited to photograph them in this unique setting.
I was introduced to Erica through Spectrum Inspired, and I learned that not only is she a mom to Leo, and his sister, Scarlett, but she is the President of Autism Advisors and the Leader of the PA chapter of MAMMA (Mothers Advocating For Medical Marijuana for Autism https://www.mammausa.org ). I learned a little bit more about her by watching her on Viceland's "Weediquette", in an episode that describes her experience as a medical cannabis advocate and mom. She is amazing, her son is amazing, and she truly is a warrior mama.
I hope these photos portray the special relationship she has with her son, and how medical marijuana has changed their lives. Please check out the above resources to learn more about their story, the use of medical marijuana for autism, and keep an eye out for Spectrum Inspired's Fall edition which will include a feature on these two beautiful people!
If you are interested in a Spectrum Inspired session, find out more by visiting https://spectruminspired.org to apply.