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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Shoot Mod4#18 – Behind the Mask – Nikki


I have photographed Nikki several times after she applied for a fairy shoot casting over a year ago. Over this time, mutual trust and good friendship have developed. Nikki even trusted me with a shoot for my body part project, even though she does not normally shoot implied nude with photographers.

So I was really surprised to learn of Nikki’s mask and the things she has written on it. Nikki has always appeared to me to be confident in both herself and her appearance. So to read that she has autism and suffers from body confidence issues made me realise how strong and effective her mask is.

Autism is something that as a teacher I have been exposed to many times. My nephew has also got autism. I was very surprised to learn that Nikki also has it.

“Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.”

– (, 2017)

Nikki appears to interact and communicate with ease. It is remarkable how powerful and strong her mask is.

As a child, Nikki did not seem to have as many friends as other people. It never bothered her. It is only in adulthood that she has learned she has the condition. She finds it hard to trust people and often misinterprets what people say, taking the literal meaning without picking up on the nuances of language.

Listening to Nikki speak about her experiences with autism has made me realise that many of the things I do and the way I react to things could potentially be down to some form of autism (something my mother has thought for years). A point for further exploration at a later point.

Nikki is one of the nicest and kindest people I know. She works really hard to make sure that everyone is taken care of and included. Every day she takes herself out of her comfort zone to interact and communicate with people. Her positive and happy outlook on life is contagious when you are with her. A joy to be around, I thank Nikki for her participation and look forward to photographing her again many times in the future.

To find resources to help deal with autism please visit the National Autistic Society website.

To help fund additional help and services, click DONATE.

REFERENCES (2017). What is autism? – NAS. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2017].

#BehindtheMask #november2017 #TheMasksWeWear

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