A BUDDING photographer with autism has been given the opportunity to be one of the VIP staff at a famous food festival.

For Jordan Shults, 19 - or J Shu as he prefers to be known - discovering photography was something of a stroke of luck when he needed to choose an extra subject while studying at Colchester Academy.

It soon became clear Jordan had a gift for taking photos.

With the support of his mum Vanessa, he will be taking pictures as part of the press team during Jimmy’s Festival, at Jimmy’s Farm in Ipswich, on Sunday.

It means he will have the chance to photograph singers Matt Cardle and KT Tunstall.

She said: “By chance I called up Jimmy’s Farm to get tickets, and I don’t know how I did it but I asked about photographers.

“Being autistic it’s not very easy to get anywhere, but this is one of the ways into the system.

“He’s so excited as we have VIP passes.”

Jordan and his mum make up two members of the ‘J Shu Crew’, with Vanessa’s auntie Patti making up the third.

Mrs Shults, of Longridge, Colchester, said: “It’s taken me a lot of doors to knock on - Jordan is a quiet, unassuming young man but how can someone who is 6ft 5ins be invisible in society?

“He’s really charming and I’m very proud of him.”

The family took a tour of the farm to get a feel of where Jordan will be working on Sunday His mum said: “We really are hoping this is something that spurs him to do other things, it may come to nothing but it’s exciting.”

Jordan has had a statement of educational needs since he was in Year Six, which sets out his learning difficulties and details how to help him.

But thanks to the support, and his talent, he has already had one of his pictures displayed in the Firstsite gallery as part of the Andy Warhol: Artist Rooms exhibition.

He has just finished studying AS levels in photography and maths along with GCSEs in media and English at the Colne Community School and College, in Brightlingsea.

It is now hoped he will take on a course in media and gaming at Colchester Institute.

Mum Vanessa added: “We thought that was the end for education as he couldn’t do a degree - people have certain educational needs.

“The sort of one-to-one support he needs, you don’t get that.”

But Jordan is proof autism is no barrier.