Slice of Life: Photographer wants people to see him for who he really is

Kyle McKay is a high school graduate who also went through Ohio State University's TOPS program for people with disabilities. He's making a name for himself in the world of photography. (WSYX/WTTE)

If a picture really is worth a thousand words, then the pictures taken by Kyle McKay speak volumes; about nature, animals, and people.

Especially people with Down Syndrome. That's something Kyle happens to know a little something about.

Kyle is 29. He's a high school graduate who also went through Ohio State University's TOPS program for people with disabilities. He's making a name for himself in the world of photography.

"He's so good. He really is very talented," said Kari Jones, President and CEO of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio. She first met Kyle in 2014 when she interviewed for the job. Kyle served on the 12-member board doing the interview. He walked her to her car when it was over.

"I say, 'how do you think I did?' And he said, 'lean in. I'm votin' for ya.'"

Since then, she has watched Kyle take what began as a passion for photography and turn it into a photography business.

When asked what it's like to get paid for taking pictures, Kyle responded: "It's kind of great, actually."

He's been hired to photograph a lot of local events where he takes candid shots. But he also uses his charm and a friendly smile to find other subjects. It's something we witnessed when we followed him around Goodale Park. He went up to people walking their dogs and asked if he could take pictures of them. He also photographed the geese swimming in the fountain.

His portfolio is full of hundreds of pictures.

He learned about photography through the Dublin Arts Council. He was paired with a mentor, professional photographer Keo Khim who gave him advice on how to take photos.

Some of his work has won awards. One shot of his dog Coco won Honorable Mention at Richard Bailey's International My Perspective Photography Contest.

Now Kyle's been asked to give a speech at a national conference later this month where he will show his work, and speak out on behalf of others just like him.

"It's gonna be amazing! And I know I'm gonna do great," he said.

Kyle has a loving family. A girlfriend. And now, seemingly a career.

"I think people sometimes can see the Down Syndrome first, " said Kari Jones. "But honestly, having Down Syndrome is the least interesting thing about him. No offense to Kyle but he's got so many other great talents and abilities and I think that's what's important for people in our community, to see him for who he is."

Kyle couldn't agree more.

"I'm a photographer. And I want people to know who I really am."

Click here if you'd like to hire Kyle to photograph an event for you.


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