Sensory Sessions

Mar 25, 2024

At Ivory Tree Portraits we offer Sensory Sessions all year long, but for one week only this April we’re partnering with the Eagles Autism Foundation to donate the session fee and 10% to this amazing charity.

At Ivory Tree we have a kid-led philosophy for all of our sessions. It means we empower little ones and follow their lead. We implemented a kid-led philosophy because it gives kids the space to relax, gain confidence and be themselves. It also takes the pressure off of mom and dad because you know what to expect and that you can trust the team.

A kid-led philosophy means creating an environment that encourages play, self-expression, and individuality! This method believes that kids learn best when they are deeply engaged and have a stake in their own learning process…

– Ivory Tree Portraits Philosophy

Because this is our philosophy on how we engage with all kids in all sessions, it’s natural that our philosophy works for kids with special needs.  

Mom advocating for her autistic son

We know how hard family portraits are. We know all the things that go into preparing for a session. But we also understand how that multiples when having to consider a change in schedule, doing something new/ different, added stimulation. This is why we created our sensory session.

We work with families in advance to determine what works best for each individual. For some they want to take a few minutes and check out the studio, for some they’d like music playing or no music at all, some want to show us how they take apart cell phones, some want to check out the camera and lights or take their own photo first, or talk about a special show. The point, is that we prepare and our goal is first and foremost to make the experience easy. But since you’re coming to us, you already know you’ll get amazing images and have those memories forever.

sibling bond

We had Annette’s amazing family into the studio and here are some of her thoughts:

Annette got involved with the Eagles Autism Foundation three years ago after meeting another mom who shared some pictures of the event. Immediately, Annette was all in as an amazing way to support her non-verbal autistic son, Jeffery.  Annette loves working with the foundation and planning events because of all they do for the community. Like most moms of kids with special needs, Annette finds she spends most of her time advocating for services Jeffery needs. With everything the Eagles Autism Foundation does for the community, I hope advocating for Jeffery becomes a little easier.

Autistic Child Looking Out of the window

We’d given up on family photos and had not gotten them in years. It’s not easy with Jeffery, it can be very stressful for him. But our session was amazing. The studio had this certain calmness to it. Our photographer was absolutely the most patient person. She made it so easy for us and let Jeffery go at his own pace.

– Annette, Jeffery’s Mom


April 15th-20th Ivory Tree Portraits will host sensory sessions for $75, this includes the session fee and 1 digital image. This donation along with 10% of any additionally purchased images will be donated to the Eagles Autism Foundation.  Details can be found here.

Each year we select a few charities that are near and dear to us at Ivory Tree and host charitable events. Typically, these events are a one day event, quick sessions allowing for more folks to participate. But we’re doing our sensory sessions a little different, so that each family gets all the time they need, so we are hosting our Sensory Sessions for a full week!


The Eagles Autism Foundation is dedicated to raising funds for innovative research and care programs. By providing the necessary resources to doctors and scientists at leading institutions, we will be able to assist those currently affected by autism as well as future generations. Our event aims to inspire and engage the community, so together, we can provide much-needed support to make a lasting impact in the field of autism.

Championed by Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles Autism Foundation sets out to fund innovative research, drive scientific breakthroughs, and provide critical resources to create a major shift from awareness to action through the signature fundraising event, the Eagles Autism Challenge. One hundred percent of participant-raised funds from the team’s signature charity event are invested into the autism research and care community, with more than $25 million raised in its six years. Discover more here.

About the Author

Lara Aman Mattey

Founder I Owner I Ivory Tree

Lara is the coolest person alive, according to her husband, Nick, & two little ladies, Caitie & Lorelai. But she thinks her time is limited on that statement as they continue to grow older. Lara comes from a large family, with whom she is still very close with & you’ll often see shared through the blog and on social media. She went to Penn State (We Are…) where she met Nick.

Ivory Tree's very own photographer, Marcy shot her newborn photography sessions & Lara was hooked! Lara is not a photographer, super weird, we know. But lives for the experience, creative direction, and meeting all the cool folks who come through the Ivory Tree Portraits studio!

In addition to studio awards, Lara was also recognized at a Women of Influence on the Main Line in 2023.

Follow along as she shares studio antics, personal antidotes, & fun stuff going on in the community.

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