My name is Joe James and I'm Autistic. I was diagnosed 5 years ago when I was 32. Life was always hard because I didn't fit in and I didn't know why. But recently people have started to accept me but I still feel down sometimes. In the Autumn of 2018 I got into photography. It became my “special interest” and I bought my camera in September. I did this because I had slipped into a depression due to my anxiety. It helped me focus on doing something positive and take my mind off the negative. Along with mindfulness and the love and support of my amazing wife and beautiful children I was able to come out of the tunnel into the light. My photos are a continues help to me, they make me happy throughout the whole process and keeps the anxiety at bay (most days). Many people told me my pictures where great but I didn't really believe it myself. I was encouraged to put them on social media by my daughter. This year, I put them on Facebook and the response was brilliant. I decided to tell everyone I was Autistic from the beginning to be proud of it. The heart warming response I got was phenomenal. I was overwhelmed by all the love from people I didn't know and their messages of how my photos had moved them. I started talking about my Autism and writing poetry to go with my photos. Then I was encouraged to make my own page “Joe James Autistic Photography”. Every one loved it. Now I'm getting all sorts of offers to help spread “Autism awareness”. I will even be giving talks at schools to help the next generation understand. There are many people who do this, I'm just using my photos to help as much as I can. I have a display at Amberly Working Museum on the 25th, 26th and 27th of May 2019 with 20% of the profits going to the museum and I'm also displaying at Horsham Museum from the 18th July till 29th of August with the profits going to local Autism groups. I will also be attempting my own 3-Peaks challenge over 6 days in July ‘19 for Autism awareness and will be producing a calender of my work for Christmas for Autism charities.