A Picture of a Thousand Abilities

Have you heard of Stephanie Mullowney, founder of PaperDolls Photography? If not, let me introduce you to this amazing mother, advocate, and entrepreneur who strives daily to change society’s views on individuals with special needs. I was introduced to her recently and I am proud to now call her a friend.

The life changing events that would lead to the creation of PaperDolls Photography began in 2014 after Mullowney’s daughter, Hannah Grace, was born with Down syndrome. From the moment that Mullowney laid eyes on her daughter, she knew Hannah Grace had Down syndrome. Mullowney remembers her thoughts as soon as the doctors handed her daughter to her,

“She was ‘fearfully & wonderfully’ made by her Creator and I wouldn’t want her any other way.”


Despite Mullowney’s positivity, she and Hannah Grace have experienced countless difficult situations along their journey. Friends and family questioned Mullowney’s decision to decline invasive pre-natal testing offered to her during her pregnancy when concerns surfaced. Doctors urged Mullowney to consult with an abortion clinic. Worst of all, only five days after Hannah Grace was born, Mullowney’s husband, Hannah Grace’s father, stepped out of their lives indefinitely.

Left with a brand-new baby and a jumble of emotions—confusion, frustration, fear of the unknown—Mullowney clung tightly to her belief that God had a plan for her life and the life of her beautiful baby girl.

Despite her heartache, Mullowney has persevered and offers an inspiring story of hope, courage, and success.

Wanting the world to view Hannah Grace just as she did—as a beautiful, capable, and wonderfully unique child—Mullowney began capturing and sharing as many images of Hannah Grace as possible through social media.

Little did she know that her foray into the field of photography would soon become a business endeavor! It didn’t take long for her photographic abilities to begin catching the attention of others. Today, not even three years since her daughter’s birth, Mullowney specializes in photographing individuals with special needs. She uses her skills and passion to capture their unique stories and emotions through tailor-made photography sessions. Mullowney believes that everyone was created exactly the way God intended them to be.

The motto of Mullowney’s photography company, PaperDolls, is

“Look with your eyes, see with your heart”.

She uses this platform to remove negative labels society has placed upon individuals with special needs by capturing the beauty and uniqueness of every child through her photography. Through her art, Mullowney captures the essence of each individual who she photographs and strives to show their authentic, genuine heart.

Mullowney’s photography and positive message is being recognized across the country and has been gaining attention worldwide. She explains, “I always say that each photograph tells a story. Each story touches a heart. And when a heart is touched, it is changed. And when the heart is changed, so is the mind. That is my goal. These aren’t just pictures I’m taking, these are captured legacies that speak without words.”

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying: ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Mullowney’s photography presents a picture of a thousand abilities and limitless potential.

To learn more, check out her website HERE and be sure to follow her on social media:

Facebook: @paperdollsphotos

Instagram: @thedollcollections

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