A Father’s Striking Photos of His Autistic Son


In the vein of Naoki Hagoshida’s The Reason I Jump (and David Mitchell’s Guardian essay), photographer Timothy Archibald created a breathtaking series of portraits of his autistic son Elijah.

Archibald originally started taking the photos “so he could show them to behavioral specialists,” but they “became a bonding experience between father and son, and allowed them to create their own visual language to communicate with each other.”

Featuring Elijah curled up in a plastic bin or lying on his back on the lawn, the photos evoke a sort of otherworldly childhood, or the pleasant, fascinated confusion a parent can feel watching a child.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →