Ashley Hilgarth is a photographer currently studying documentary photography at New England School of Photography in Boston. Hilgarth has spent a year photographing her younger autistic sister as a way for the siblings to grow closer, as well as showing how her sister views the world and the challenges she faces.
“What drew me to photographing my sister is that she is autistic and with so many different spectrums of autism, I wanted to show her story. My sister was a little confused when I started photographing her, she didn’t know why I had picked her as my subject. As I have been photographing her for a year now, she slowly started to open up to me as I am now more part of her life than ever before. We grew closer together. She started to realize that I’m not always there for her in Maine and that photography is my life. She is not like most kids her age. We have a ten year gap between us so it’s common that she looks up to me.
She inspires me as I inspire her. Her daily life can be hard to get by sometimes but with how our family is so loving, she’s never alone.”