Many of us dabbled in various arts and crafts or had a favorite toy collection as children. Well, this young gentleman takes this phenomenon to a whole new level as Anthony is not only a huge fan of car models, but also an aspiring photographer of miniature photos. The 12-year-old’s hobby and his keen interest in car models led him to launch a Kickstarter where he’s already surpassed his initial goal of $20,000 as the campaign currently has collected $43,467 with 10 days still to go.
“Anthony Schmidt is a 12-year-old boy on the autism spectrum with a passion for collecting and photographing model cars so they look life-sized,” the Kickstarter description introduces Anthony. “From an early age, his passion for cars was evident. He began collecting miniatures, seeking ever more realistic models that accurately capture the beautiful details of their real-life counterparts.”
It wasn’t long before Anthony began snapping photos of his toy cars on his mother’s iPhone, carefully casting them in elaborate settings. “These photos quickly became popular on social media, gaining thousands of followers who’ve been inspired by his ability to find a unique outlet for creative expression despite facing significant challenges,” the campaign page explains.
People liked Anthony’s photos so much, they prompted the boy to open up his own online store where he sells prints of his photographs. He also released a 2020 calendar that you can snag on his page for only $15. But Anthony isn’t stopping there—his next goal is to release a coffee table book. That’s how the Kickstarter campaign was launched and with its tremendous success, it seems like the book is very well on its way to becoming a reality.
Bored Panda reached out to Anthony’s parents for additional commentary and his mother kindly provided new information. “I’m just your typical hard-working mom whose focus is her kids,” she introduced herself. “Anthony is a charming boy who loves collecting diecast cars and taking photos of them outside so they look life-sized.” “He has a little brother, Alex, who is 6 years old, who also loves cars almost as much as he loves his big brother Anthony,” the mother added.
Anthony is not only interested in car models, he also loves snapping impressive pictures of them
“Anthony has autism. For him, that means a lot of things we take for granted are extremely difficult for him. For example, his senses are turned way up—smells, sights, sounds are often too much for him, but it also means he sees details that others don’t notice,” the woman elaborated on her son’s condition. “That’s why he’s able to create these amazing pictures of his miniature cars. It’s truly a window into the way he sees,” she added.
When asked about Anthony’s passion for cars and when it started, his mother said that it all began when the boy was around 6 years old. “The first words he said when he began to speak were the makes and models of cars,” she explained.
Anthony’s parents say that snapping miniature photographs not only broadened the boy’s artistic world, but also opened up his social life. “In photography, he’s found a passion that others have been inspired by,” his Facebook page reveals. The boy’s mother explained that the photos have allowed him to communicate with people and he tends to start conversations with people by showing them his Instagram account, being proud of his passion and work. “This hobby for him has been a way to deal with the daily challenges of autism. He’s extremely calm and happy when he’s either working on the cars, displaying them, or out taking photos,” Anthony’s mom explained.
“He draws inspiration from real life—he enjoys making things look as real as possible. He loves history and also enjoys making things era-specific. If he’s taking photos of an old car he likes to make it look like a step back in time,” the boy’s mother told us. In response to the question about Anthony’s habits and the frequency of the photoshoots, the boy’s mom had this to say:
“He takes photos every single day. He always brings cars with him wherever he goes. Most of the time there is no big set up, he just sees a spot he thinks is special and starts shooting.”
“I first started sharing his photos in July 2019 in our local Woodinville Neighbors Facebook group and he quickly became a local celebrity,” the mother recalled the early days. “I never expected the public would like his photos as much as they do. As a mother, everything your kid does is amazing,” she said. “When he started to gain this huge following I was pleasantly surprised that I’m not the only one who thinks he’s awesome.” The mother reported that the boy now has a following from all around the world.
She also added that the reason they started the Kickstarter campaign was simply because the woman always felt like immortalizing Anthony’s photos in a coffee table book would be great. “I reached out to the dad of a local boy who also has autism and wrote a book, Tyler McNamer,” the mother told Bored Panda. “He explained to me that the best way to start up self publishing a book was to do a Kickstarter to launch the book in presale.” “The Kickstarter is doing very well, better than we hoped. As you can imagine, a lot goes into the designing and the printing of a book, so we are thrilled to see people value the idea of this project as much as we do,” the woman concluded.