March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day. What is Down Syndrome? Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes, people with Down syndrome have a third copy of the 21st chromosome. Which is why 3/21 is recognized as World Down Syndrome Day. This past Saturday was the third annual “I EXTRA Love You” portrait exhibit. This portrait project is a labor of love between myself and dear friend, Daniela Roeder. Daniela’s younger brother, Alex has Down Syndrome. This year it was important to both Daniela and I to showcase the special relationship/bond between siblings. Daniela, being very close to her brother and an advocate for him and all individuals with Down Syndrome really wanted to show the love that is there. Myself as the photographer was always so interested in watching the dynamic between siblings when they would come into the studio for the actual “I EXTRA Love You” portrait day. The sibling always seemed to stand in the shadow of the one with Down Syndrome. So it was really exciting when Daniela and I met to discuss this year’s event and we both wanted to add a new feature and photograph the sibling groups together.
On Saturday, 55 gorgeous individual portraits were on display at Gallery 2014, as well as 19 sibling portraits, as a part of Downtown Hollywood’s Art Walk celebrating World Down Syndrome Day.
To see the entire “I EXTRA Love You” 2017 portrait collection click here.