A Branding Session With Riverside School

I’ve told my photography students numerous times that I’m dyslexic. But the truth is, I was never “officially” diagnosed. Ask my husband, though, and he’ll confirm it without a doubt. It’s hard to describe, but there’s this disconnect between thinking the word “left” and using my left hand, or turning left. It’s a challenge when navigating, trust me. 


In grade school, I was put in a remedial reading class—which I worked to get out of as fast as possible—and I still think a “b” sometimes looks like a “d” and I’m pretty sure a “p” and “q” are the same letter, just from a different vantage point. Oh, and the first time I tried to fly a drone… it was ugly. 


It turns out I’m in good company: just Google “famous people with dyslexia” and you’ll be surprised by the names you find, in every industry, from the arts to technology and the sciences.


Did you know that over 10% of the population is dyslexic? Dyslexics are thought to be creative, intelligent and great entrepreneurs—not to mention creative problem solvers.


So when Hal Waller, Head of School, at Riverside School, reached out to me to do a branding session, he proposed “shooting the verb” of “learning”—it resonated with me. My academic branding shoots are some of my favorites: they’re a great collaboration/partnership/symbiosis between my teaching experience and my photography skills. As with any branding shoot, we start with a goal and dig deep.


Besides being a school for students with dyslexia, I needed to understand what set Riverside apart. It turns out, Riverside’s students are a lot like other students; curious, bright, and creative. It’s just that the brain of a dyslexic processes letters, words and characters differently. Dyslexia is a neurobiological problem with an educational solution—a solution at which Riverside excels.


Although Riverside’s mission looks the same from the outside—to educate students—the pulse of what the school does is very different. Riverside is one-of-a-kind: it’s the only school IN THE COUNTRY that offers one-on-one Orton-Gillingham instruction to each of its students. Impressive. 


And because Riverside teachers know how dyslexic students need to be taught, the students at Riverside thrive and achieve their highest academic potential. Knowing the challenges dyslexic students tackle daily and the goal of “capturing the verb of learning” was a sweet success for me—and for the students of Riverside. 


Enjoy a few shots from the session with the amazing Riverside School…