Wheelchair no hindrance to nature photographer

Barbara Hootman
  • Wheelchair photographer doesn’t let handicap stop him
  • Photographer doesn’t let wheelchair stop him from getting great nature shots
  • Handicapped photographer doesn’t let wheelchair hinder him getting good shots.
  • Nature photographer shoots from the vantage point of a wheelchair giving him a different perspective

Carving a niche in nature photography, Eddie Wacaser can be found sitting quietly in his motorized wheelchair waiting for just the right moment. And then, with the press of a finger, he has his shot.

“I can do most anything anyone else can,” the Black Mountain resident said. “Sometimes I do it differently. I have been in a wheelchair my whole life — 52 years. I maneuver it like others move their body, getting into position. The wheelchair is not an obstacle. (It) gives me a different perspective than a standing photographer.”

Wacaser was born with arthrogryposis, a disease with no known cure that attacked his knee and elbow joints but not his mind and spirit. He photographs nature almost daily.

“I don’t set a shot up. I shoot what God has in mind at the moment,” he said. “Being in a wheelchair, I probably take more time than others. I sat for two hours waiting for just the right moment at a hummingbird feeder. I sat for three hours to get another hummingbird in action. I take time to get just the right position. You can’t rush nature.”

Wacaser has never had a lesson in photography. He shoots with a Fuji S-Series digital camera and like most photographers wants better equipment.

“I wanted to learn photography, and it has all been trial and error,” he said. “One of main goals is to get my photographs in a gallery where the public can see them.”

Wacaser does not believe in letting his physical limitations stop him from doing what he wants.

“I believe that whatever God gives you, you have to work with it,” he said. “He gave me my disability. I have to learn and continue to work with it. There is really nothing I can’t do. I have been married to my wife Crystal for 29 years, and she has been a wonderful support system, always encouraging me in whatever I do.”

Wacaser is also an ordained Baptist minister. He finds his ability with a camera works well with the young members of his church. He directs the youth Sunday School at Buckeye Baptist Church and also does the audio-visual work. Recently he shot pictures of the kids in action at vacation Bible school.

Wacaser is available to photograph special events for the public. Contact him at 669-6079 or e-mail him at eddiewacase@ att.net. Or contact him on Facebook, where he posts new pictures frequently.