camera being held to the side of a wheelchair

Capture Ability

"Capturing Dreams Beyond Barriers: Empowering Photographers of All Abilities!"

Trish Jackson holding camer with foot

Perseverance of Trish Jackson

January 08, 2024

In our remarkably diverse and densely populated global community, we have the privilege of encountering numerous exceptionally talented individuals across various artistic domains like singing, acting, painting, photography, and more. What binds these diverse talents together is their shared identity as artists—a universal truth that deeply resonates with Trish Jackson, a resident of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Despite confronting daily physical challenges as a thalidomide survivor, Trish tenaciously pursues her passions, emerging as a proficient photographer, skilled pencil artist, and accomplished painter—a living testament to both resilience and artistic excellence.

Trish's foray into the realm of photography commenced at the age of 14, inspired by her brother's enrollment in a university photography course. While accompanying him with his camera one day, she became captivated by the art form. Operating the camera with her feet, she embarked on a remarkable exploration of the world of photography.

A few years ago, Trish took part in a photography competition hosted by a local radio station, where participants submitted their captured moments. Impressively, Trish emerged victorious, and her winning photograph became the face of local tourism. This experience undeniably marked a significant milestone, showcasing her exceptional talent in photography. I connected with Trish on social media many years ago, and our friendship has endured. Over the years, I've had the pleasure of witnessing a plethora of her works, ranging from photos to pencil drawings and paintings. I even possess one of her drawings—an intricate portrayal of an elephant, a testament to the dedication and hours she invests in her craft.

She has come a long way since capturing that very first picture with a camera. Nowadays, she dedicates a significant amount of her time to painting. In 2020, she became a member of the Mouth & Foot Painting Artists (MFPA), a renowned international organization that facilitates the sale of artwork produced by mouth and foot painting artists associated with the organization.

I have seen a lot of her painting on social media as well I have many of her calendar with paintings, drawings and photos as well. You will find below links to her work and the Mouth & Foot Painting Artists (MFPA).

Footsie Photo Website


Emily Quattrocchi looking through her camera

Continuing A Passion

Aug 29, 2023

Living with a disability, we have challenges, some more than others. What we do in accommodating ourselves is the question. Do we live with them, or do we try to conquer them?

We should not worry about what we lost, but how we deal with what we have left. In life we have goals, aspirations, and dreams, and we should not let our disability stop us from accomplishing them.

This is especially true for Emily Quattrocchi, a young lady from a small town called Euroa, Australia. As a child, Emily always had an artistic mind. At an incredibly early age, she would be playing with her parent’s camera, taking pictures, and making videos, just for fun. Later, when she was about 16 years old, she got her first camera. It was a second-hand camera that she received from a relative. At that point in her life, she realized she wanted to work in the creative field.

After taking a camera class in University for her Graphic Design Major, she knew then that she was interested in photography and changed her Major to Film. Weeks after, she finished her studies with a Bachelor of Media and Communication.

When Emily was on her way to work in July 2018, she was in a serious car accident. She sustained a spinal cord T4 injury, a broken left clavicle and left ribs, a fractured C1 and a minor brain injury that affected her memory. She spent about seven months in the hospital and was unable to attend her University Graduation Ceremonies until the following year.

Before Emily’s accident, she was a cheerleader in University, something that she was enthusiastic about. After being discharged from the hospital, she thought that her cheerleading days were over until she came across a video online of a person cheerleading from a wheelchair. It's called "ParaCheer". Emily contacted her cheerleading coach and told him what she had viewed online. He helped her get back into something she was very enthusiastic about.

Filmmaking is another huge passion of hers. Emily loves the art of telling a story through a camera. While in the hospital, Emily started thinking about how she was going to be able to film from a wheelchair and what kind of challenges she would need to overcome. Before leaving the hospital, Emily wanted to do something for one of her favorite nurses in appreciation for the care she gave. She decided to get other patients and nursing staff involved in making a little video to say "Thank You". Making this video helped Emily realize that she could get back into film making, one of the things she loved to do.

When you spend time in a hospital because of life altering changes, you start to think about things. For Emily, she thought her life had limitations, but realized she really had no limits, because there is always a way. It may be a little different, or it may take longer, but there is a way to achieve any goal or dream she chooses.

When Emily was in the hospital, her family would film her constantly despite her telling them to stop. They would continue filming anyway and would always tell her, "You're going to put it in a documentary one day."

She would always tell them, "No, she would not." But, they were right! Emily did end up creating a documentary and she is grateful that they did film her because her film creation got into a film festival in Lorne, Italy, and in America. It was always a dream of Emily's, to get a film into a film festival and this was an amazing feeling for Emily. To see her film on the big screen, to see people and hear people laughing, and enjoying it; this was an incredible feeling for her.

She has an amazing life; she loves her life! One way that she has been showing the world this is through her YouTube vlog, but that is not where it ends. In February 2023, Emily started at the University of Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. She is taking her Masters of Film and Television.

So, why did I decide to write this story? It is quite simple. This story is full of dreams, passions, determination and positivity. In the wake of a recent disability, the path to realizing one's dreams might appear fraught with challenges previously unimagined. Yet, it is precisely in these moments of adversity that the human spirit reveals its extraordinary resilience. The dreamer, undeterred by physical limitations, embarks on a journey of adaptation and innovation. Each setback becomes an opportunity to reshape the dream's contours, to infuse it with new found determination. The disability, once perceived as an obstacle, transforms into a catalyst for creative solutions. With unwavering courage, the dreamer forges ahead, crafting an inspiring narrative of tenacity, reminding the world that a resolute heart knows no bounds, and that dreams are not bound by the constraints of circumstance.

Image of David Katz holding a camera

Hardly anyone Knew

May 09, 2022

Have you ever known or met someone, to later find out that they have an Invisible disability, also known as a hidden disability or non-visible disability? You may know someone and never know it. Recently I was researching things on disabilities and accessible technology related to photography when I came across a person who is a world-renowned photographer and has a hidden disability. The more I researched this gentleman, the more interested I got in his success as a photographer.

This is the story of David Katz, a world-renowned photographer, who has taken amazing photos of celebrities, politicians, and royalty. Recently I had the opportunity to do a video conversation with David, so we could talk about his photography career, and something nobody knew.

When he was about three months old. David has Ocular Albinism. Ocular Albinism is an exceedingly rare genetic disorder that reduces the pigmentation in the iris and retina. As well it caused him to have strabismus, Nystagmus, and Astigmatism. For anyone that is an optometrist, will know what these three things are. But for people who do not know. here is a quick rundown on it.

  • Strabismus is an abnormal alignment of the eyes. Preventing the ability to focus with both eyes.
  • Nystagmus is the rapid involuntary movement of the eyes
  • Astigmatism is the imperfection in the curvature of the eye. Causing distorted or blurred vision at all distances

So, I asked David. How far can you see? He said on an eye chart nothing with my right eye, and the top letter with just my left eye. As well, by not being able to judge distance and sensitivity to light. I asked him. No matter how far you can see. Is it blurry? He told me that things are not blurry, but more like out of focus, and that he does recognizes colors.

David now lives in Israel but was born and raised in England. When he was seven years old his father gave him his first camera, a Nikon EM 35mm SLR. Having that camera in front of his face and looking through the viewfinder. Allowed him to be able to see things exactly how he sees them in his mind and produce them through the camera, and he has been clicking ever since. Eventually, he moved up to more advanced cameras. One of them being the Nikon D3s. Lately, as well he has been using mirrorless cameras and they are a much lighter type of camera. He says he plans to faze out his Nikon and stick with the mirrorless camera types.

At the age of about sixteen, he was well on his way with his professional photography career. One of his first jobs was working for a local newspaper. Then by the time he turned nineteen he was working for The Daily Mail. The Daily Mail is a newspaper across Britain and the biggest online newspaper in the world Founded in 1896, it is the United Kingdom's highest-circulated daily newspaper. He worked there from 1986 to 1989.

In his thirty-year photography career. There was something hardly anyone knew other than a couple of close friends. He is legally blind. When he was incredibly young, his parents did not want people to know the full extent of his condition. They feared it would influence the way they act towards David. They wanted David treated as a normal person.

In 2017 he announces to the public that he was legally blind. I asked him, what made him decide to make it public? He said he wanted to help children and their parents to understand that there is No Such Word as Can't and that anything is possible, through his story. These days, he keeps busy with public speaking, mentoring, and helping the visually impaired, and he still takes on photography assignments that are meaningful to him.

As we wrapped up our conversation. I wanted to ask him one more question. If you were to give any advice to a person with a disability that was interested in photography, what would you tell them? His reply was. You do not need a fancy camera; A cellphone would do. Take lots of pictures and see where you need to improve.

My Final Thoughts

When I first heard of David Katz and had a conversation with him. The first thing that went through my mind was, that he is amazing. But then another thought went through my mind. Do other people say this to him? and how does he feel about it. Does it make him feel uncomfortable? Or does this not bother him at all?

The reason I mention this is that. Often when I am in the public and I am doing something, for example. Purchasing something in a store and paying for it or doing up my jacket or whatever the case. Strangers will say to me. That is amazing how you do that, and I feel a little embarrassed. It is not something amazing. It is just the way I do things. How do other people with disabilities feel when this happens to them? I never know what to say other than thank you.

I guess when I say that David Katz is amazing. I am thinking about all the pictures he has taken. I am thinking, what settings did he use for this picture or that picture. I am thinking of photography and nothing else. From talking to him, I know how he does it. I also understand where his parents were coming from when he was small. They wanted David to treated like everyone else, and that is how it should be. Disability or no disability.

"Everyone is capable of something. Let them show it"