The aim of Spectrum was to increase awareness of the struggles and what it is like living on the spectrum and to portray us as normal people and in a positive light and as ‘normal’ as possible because often people consider us to be very ‘weird’. But in reality, we are just like everyone else, our brains just process information differently. Through a series of self-portraits, I capture myself in various situations depicting different struggles of daily life on the spectrum, and the traits I display having Asperger’s (A form of autism—a developmental disorder affecting the ability to effectively socialise and communicate).

Leo is in his third and final year of his Bachelor of Arts (Photography) degree with diverse photographic experience under his belt and no sign of slowing down. Just to name some, Leo has worked as a sport, school portraits, event and fashion photographer with a desire for more experience in further areas. Currently working as an event photographer for a top event photography company, he has soared quickly to one of their lead photographers while also regularly shooting sporting and other events for RMIT. Leo will be travelling to the upcoming UniSport 2022 games held in Perth as the lead photographer after missing out last year due to Covid-19. Capturing over twenty sports in five days, the final album to come will be nothing short of impressive. Working for RMIT Sport for over two years, Spyrou’s work also features frequently on the RMIT Sport and RMIT Big V Basketball social media pages. Leo’s photos have been used to support many RMIT Sport articles accompanying summaries of recent events/games. Leo has mainly been self-taught with a thirst for more knowledge, experience and skills in order to become the best generalist photographer he can be.


Leo Spyrou, Masking, part of the Spectrum series, 2022. — Alec, Leo’s dad writes, ‘It’s hard to understand what he’s feeling or thinking when we don’t think the same way as him.’ Leo experiences burnout after masking in social situations, which is described as a social survival strategy which can include forcing eye contact, stimming (comforting behaviours) such as a jiggling foot, constant smiling to appear he belongs. [Healthline ‘Autism Masking: To Blend or Not to Blend 2021’ “Why do you look mad?”]. Masking becomes tiring and results in Autistic burnout leaving Leo’s face to resort to a deadpan expression, this can lead higher irritability, so Leo spends some time alone to rest.


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Leo Spyrou