Human Interest Photographer Shines Spotlight on Kids and Adults with Down Syndrome in 'Believe With Me' Series For the past seven years, Canadian photographer Hilary Gauld-Camilleri has snapped portraits of children and adults with Down syndrome to shift misconceptions and promote visibility. Her most recent project is the "Believe with Me" series, which highlights 46 individuals who are working daily to accomplish their goals. "'Believe with Me' is a powerful call to action and an invitation for other communities to believe alongside these kids and adults," Gauld-Camilleri says. "We all want someone to believe in us, and so do all of them." By Joelle Goldstein Joelle Goldstein Twitter Joelle Goldstein is a TV Staff Editor for PEOPLE Digital. She has been with the brand for five years, beginning her time as a digital news writer, where she covered everything from entertainment news to crime stories and royal tours. Since then, she has worked as a writer-reporter on the Human Interest team and an associate editor on the TV team. In her current role, Joelle oversees all things TV and enjoys being able to say she has to watch The Kardashians, Dancing with the Stars and America's Got Talent for "work". Prior to joining PEOPLE, Joelle was employed at The Hollywood Reporter. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Television-Radio (and an appearance in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four!) People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 4, 2021 04:46 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 16 Maggie, Age 19 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I, as a photographer, really believe that photos hold tremendous power," Gauld-Camilleri tells PEOPLE. "Often times, seeing people in different lights can really open your eyes and inspire you to listen to their story." Here are 15 of those stories, beginning with 19-year-old Maggie. "I will graduate from high school in two years," Maggie says. "My goal is to go to college so I can learn how to run a wedding boutique." 02 of 16 Chase, Age 9 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I love swimming. Every morning, when we talk about our plans, I suggest swimming, even in the winter. I wish we had a pool so I could go swimming every day," Chase says. "Ultimately, I want to be able to dive down really deep so I can see things on the ocean floor." 03 of 16 Russell, Age 28 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I would like to become more of an artist, so I can impress people with how capable I am. If people like my art, I will be very proud," he says. 04 of 16 Victoria, Age 28 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I love music," she says. "I like to sing along to all types of songs. Playing my guitar, singing and dancing with [Nintendo] Wii makes me so happy. My goal is to one day visit Los Angeles and be famous." 05 of 16 Kason, Age 16 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I have been playing hockey since I was 7 and baseball since I was 12. I love being part of a team," he says. "Being part of a team has provided me with some great friendships. I love scoring goals and hitting the long ball. I have been working hard on my victory dances." 06 of 16 Kira, Age 7 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I love to swim!" she says. "I had to take a break from swimming lessons because of COVID, but my dad and grandma used to be a lifeguard, so they have been teaching me how to swim and be safe around the water. I still use a puddle jumper but I am wroking hard to swim alone. I feel so proud and strong when I swim all by myself." 07 of 16 Kolton, Age 5 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "Kolton is a beautiful, loving child who has an absolute passion for life. Whether its riding his ATV or bicycle or going for a swim, he is always ready for the next adventure," his family says. "He is caring and heartfelt and always thinking of others and their needs. We are so excited to watch him grow and can't wait for what's next." 08 of 16 Simon, Age 14 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I love the water. It's taken 14 years to dive in and swim under water," he says. "I want to learn to swim so that I can go scuba diving. I started a 'Save the Sharks' club. I want to help keep our oceans clean." 09 of 16 Kali, Age 33 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I love to watch movies and NASCAR, as well as do jigsaw puzzles. My favorite NASCAR driver is Chase Elliott, number 9," she says. "I also like to perform and dance. I really want to get back to some of my volunteer jobs once the pandemic is over. I really miss seeing my friends." 10 of 16 Jamie, Age 3 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "Jamie is starting junior kindergarten this fall," his family says. "He is looking forward to making new friends at school and learning new routines and topics. Communication has always been difficult for Jamie, as he is mostly non-verbal but he excels with American Sign Language and gestures. We're excited to see how his verbal speech develops as he continues to grow in this next phase of his life." 11 of 16 Ashlan, Age 14 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I love to kayak and really enjoy being on the water. I love the freedom I have, now that I can go on my own," she says. "I started off a little slow, but now try and catch me. Maybe one day you'll see my name at the Olympics. By then, I should be able to lift the kayak out of the water by myself." 12 of 16 Zachary, Age 1 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "Zach is driven to improve his mobility and strength. He admires his older brother so much and it's clear he would love to engage in more active play with him," his family says. "Zach is working hard in physiotherapy sessions to build the strength to crawl and pull up to standing. He looks forward to learning how to walk so he can chase his brother and dog around." 13 of 16 Dadyar, Age 13 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "Dadyar loves dancing and music. He requests songs in the car, at home and at weddings," his family says. "He thinks anytime is the perfect time for a dance party and he is working hard to sing along with the lyrics to his favorite song." 14 of 16 Wysdom, Age 12 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "My goal is to be a chef and YouTube star," he says. "My dream is to go to L.A. I want to be different and unique." 15 of 16 Samantha, Age 16 Hilary Gauld Camilleri "I love to learn, so I would like to be a teacher of kids with special needs," she says. "The teachers I have had have taught me to be kind and respectful to everyone." 16 of 16 A Call to Action Reflecting on her photo series, Gauld-Camilleri tells PEOPLE that she hopes others walk away with a passion to learn more. "I hope people will continue to challenge those misconceptions that surround those with Down syndrome," she says. "I really believe that projects like this keep us aware, keep us learning and really challenge our thoughts and perceptions on people and things that are different from us." Gauld-Camilleri's full "Believe with Me" series can be found here.