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17th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Sofie with her mother Barbara, Germany 2017

I got to know Sofie, 19 jars old girl with Down Syndrom, in the autumn of 2017. She’d just finished school and spent almost every day on the family estate in Eilensted (Germany). Visiting Sofie and her family for over a year, I experienced their everyday lives; sharing at that time the highs and lows of her first steps into love. Every time, I learn something more. She feels the same things as we do, but, I find, sometimes more intensely. I’ve seen her happy as well as terribly sad. The feelings of the people she is close to and loves are important to her, as is how they relate to her. But she also finds joy in simple things and is free from social pressure. She doesn’t seem to think at all about what others think of her. She is able to separate herself from the day-to- day.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2017
Date Uploaded: 11.2019
Photo Location: Eilenstedt, Germany
Copyright: © Snezhana von Buedingen