Colorful Kids Captured: A Look Behind the Scenes of Inclusive Photoshoots

Hello everyone! I’m Daniela, an intern at Colorful Kids Models with a passion for inclusion and innovation. Diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, I’ve always understood the importance of celebrating diversity and creating opportunities for everyone to shine. Colorful Kids Models’ mission deeply resonated with me, and when the chance to write this blog arose, it felt like a chance to contribute to something truly special. This blog is a glimpse into their world, and I hope as you read it, you’ll feel the same spark of inspiration that filled me while writing it.


Ever wonder what a photo shoot looks like when the models are brimming with personality and defy traditional expectations? Today, we will hear from Miki Uchiki, the CEO of Colorful Kids Models, offering us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their vibrant photoshoots. Let’s jump right into the interview and discover how these shoots empower children with intellectual disabilities and create lasting memories for all involved!


Can you describe the typical environment for a Colorful Kids Models photoshoot? Is it in a studio, on location, or a combination?

It really depends on the client’s needs! We can do shoots in studios or on location. For example, recently we worked with a clothing brand and used the second floor of a building in Roppongi. Another time, we rented a house in Tokyo with a beautiful garden. The variety of locations lets the models play freely, indoors or outdoors. The most important thing is that the environment fits the kind of pictures the client wants.

How do you ensure a relaxed and positive atmosphere during a photo shoot for the children?

Thank you for asking. This is very important. Unlike regular modelling, where there are specific poses and smiles, we focus on letting the children be themselves. There are no rules! We don’t demand they smile, stop playing, or act a certain way. Some kids play, smile, cry, or scream, and that’s perfectly okay. We celebrate their unique personalities. It’s a shift in the modelling industry, where diversity and authenticity are valued more. To create this positive environment, we sometimes use bubbles or balloons, choose a comfortable studio, or just let the children play freely.

Can you walk us through the typical photoshoot team composition, or who is usually present on the set?

Typically, it’s the client, the photographer, parents of models and me. My role is to make sure the environment is positive and supportive for the models. I might clap, jump, laugh, and cheer them on throughout the shoot. Parents and the photographer also contribute to this positive atmosphere. Right now, we don’t have stylists or makeup artists on set, but I hope to include them in the future.

What kind of accessibility considerations do you make before a photoshoot to ensure the children’s comfort and safety? Some of the models have some physical limitations, or others sensory issues. How do you ensure that everything’s go smoothly?

It’s hard to predict exactly how each child will respond to the environment. The most important thing is for everyone involved to be relaxed and accepting. Communication is key too. There was a situation where a lack of communication with a photographer led to a challenging shoot for a model with a mild disability. It highlights the importance of explaining a child’s specific needs beforehand.

Do you have any involvement in selecting the models who are best suited for a particular role or location?

Yes, I play a key role in selecting the models. Clients typically specify their preferences regarding the number of models, gender, and sometimes age. Occasionally, if a client has a strong preference for a specific model, we try to accommodate that request. However, the final decision ultimately rests with me. Since I know the strengths and personalities of each child, I prioritize selecting the model who will have the best possible experience and ensure a successful shoot for everyone involved.

You mentioned a miscommunication. Do you usually talk to the photographer or the client about the disabilities of the children before the shoot?

I usually talk to the client, who then hires the photographer. Since I don’t always know who the photographer will be beforehand, it can be challenging. Ideally, there should be a pre-shoot meeting to explain the models’ disabilities and discuss expectations. However, it’s a balancing act. We want to be inclusive, but we also don’t want the photographers to feel like they constantly need to cater to the models’ needs. It’s about creating a collaborative environment where everyone communicates openly and works together.

I understand. Since you often work with new photographers, is it difficult for them to understand your approach, which is different from traditional modelling?

Yes, exactly. Many photographers are new to working with Colorful Kids Models. I try to explain that our style is different,but not necessarily inferior or superior to traditional modelling. It can lead to communication gaps if they’re not used to working with models with disabilities.

Do clients or photographers usually ask questions about the children’s disabilities before the shoot?

Surprisingly, no. In Japan, there’s a cultural sensitivity around discussing disabilities. People might feel it’s rude to ask. We actually encourage open communication and welcome questions to ensure a smooth shoot for everyone.

You mentioned a cultural sensitivity around disabilities. Can you elaborate on that?

This sensitivity likely stems from Japan’s history. Before or even after World War II, people with disabilities were sometimes viewed as spectacles. Performers with disabilities might sing or dance without limbs, and audiences would pay to see them. This historical context might contribute to the current discomfort surrounding discussions of disability. Perhaps society feels it’s better not to acknowledge disabilities altogether, which can lead to misunderstandings and missed opportunities for inclusivity.

Can you describe the feeling you get by being involved in these photoshoots? I’ve heard from the parents that it’s incredibly rewarding.

There are many heartwarming moments! For example, we had a model with a severe disability who received a modelling offer. Both his parents and I were worried he wouldn’t enjoy the photoshoot, fearing he might cry. However, he surprised everyone by laughing, smiling, and having a wonderful time! It was a learning experience for all of us, showing that these children often have more potential than we might expect.

The most impactful moments for me are seeing the parents’ faces during the shoot. They beam with pride as their children participate. For many families, this might be the first time their child has had a professional photoshoot, creating a cherished memory. Knowing that Colorful Kids Models provides these positive experiences and showcases the talents and personalities of children with disabilities is incredibly rewarding. Seeing the children’s happy faces and the parents’ emotional responses creates some of my most cherished memories.


Miki Uchiki, CEO of Colorful Kids Models, embodies the joy of finding the right career. Witnessing the genuine smiles and self-expression of the children during photoshoots is a clear testament to that. Her own emotional response, a welling of tears when discussing the feelings of parents and kids, speaks volumes about the impact this work has. This conversation with Miki was truly inspiring. Thank you, Miki, for sharing your passion and for the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of Colorful Kids Models. I hope you, the reader, enjoyed this glimpse into their work as much as I did.

Check Daniela’s other articles:

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get 1 billion fans of people living with disabilities

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