Thompson & Homonnay celebrate the beauty of difference and dignity


For Ashley Thompson and Ana Homonnay, creating these lovely, loving portraits for the Autism Society of America was a huge honor. It was also a dream job—a perfect fit for the way they work and the work they believe in most: shattering prejudice and celebrating human potential.

Ash and Ana have collaborated on countless projects that honor neurodiversity, personal dignity, and the affirmation of self-identity for organizations like the Stanford Autism program, the Homeless Prenatal Program, and South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking among many others.

Their process begins with taking the time to create a safe space before they shoot a single frame—a space where the subject feels completely in control of how they express their personality, and where Ashley, Ana and their crew feel totally at ease and able to connect. For this shoot, involving family members was the key that opened up that sacred space. Ash and Ana were deeply moved by the way the family members supported and connected with their kids or siblings. This big-production studio shoot didn’t just run smoothly and safely—it ended up being an experience that will stay with them forever. As for me, every time I look at these images, they make me smile. I hope they help you start the new year on a note of hope and happiness, too.