Sunday, 9 December 2012

Healing and Wellness in Nature Photography

Jan Phillips wrote, in God is at Eye Level, that "We heal ourselves in the act of photographing by being fully present to the moment at hand. When we stand on the edge of that which is, we are released from the yoke of what has been, detached from the fear of what might be. There is only the moment, the light, the matter of vision. All is peace in the eternal now". I feel this when I am photographing nature. My worries slip away, my heart beat regulates, and I feel calm. How does getting out into nature and photographing make you feel? I mentioned this in a previous post and I encourage you again to give it a try.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Self-portrait photo diary

Like written diaries, where we document events of the day, our thoughts, challenges or vent our emotions, etc, and this being a therapeutic activity, self-portraits can be a sort of diary with therapeutic benefits. Christina Nunez, who wrote the article "The self-portrait, a powerful tool for self-therapy", in the March 2009  European Journal of Psychotherapy and  Counselling, suggests that creating an image of yourself can be like using a "punching bag".  You can take photos of yourself when you cry, dance, when you are angry, and this allows you to release your emotions and vent into the camera and express yourself. Jason Harris took a self-portrait every day for 12 years, even through his battle with cancer. Check out his video here. You may also like this short clip of a girl who took a self-portrait each day over a 5 year period and then created a time lapse video. I also created this self-portrait for a photo assignment titled "This is soooo not me". It was an interesting process; when thinking about what I am not, it lead me to think about what I am at this time in my life and all that this means.

Anyway, here is the link for the journal article I mentioned and I hope you check out the links above.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The healing power of photography

I recently came across an article about an amazing photographer, Kirsty Mitchell, who used photography to help her deal with the grief she felt after losing her mother. Time and time again we hear about artists, whether photographers, painters, or musicians to name a few, who draw from their emotions and experiences to create amazing work.  Photography certainly has the power to heal. Check out this link.
Wonderland by Kirsty Mitchell: heart-breakingly beautiful photographic series in memory of an extrao

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Holding out Hope in Dark Times

Everyone goes through difficult dark times in their life at some point in time and when it happens it can be a real challenge to remain positive and hopeful. My photography instructor instructed our group to capture hope in a photograph for a friend who has been diagnosed with breast cancer During this assignment I found myself reflecting upon personal experiences where I found and held onto hope. Here are a couple of the images I made. I challenge you to take some time to think about this word - Hope - and what it means to you. How have you survived difficult times in the past? Is there a special person, or people, in your life that you focus on? Does your faith bring you a hopeful feeling? Or is it something totally different that helps you to maintain hopefulness? You might do some brainstorming in a journal and then think about how you would capture hope in a photograph. I hope this exercise reminds you of all that you hope for, to draw upon for strength, through the more difficult life challenges.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Photos tell the story of your life

I spent the morning looking through some of my photos from the past year. These photos tell a story about my life during that time - some of the people in my life and the activities and events I engaged in. Reviewing these photos helped me to reflect on what is important to me, what I enjoyed about the past year, and what I want to change or what I want more of in my future. This is the time of year when many of us think about new beginnings and setting goals to help us be successful meeting our new years resolutions.  Try looking through your own photos from the past year. What do these images tell you about your life story from 2011 and what is the story that you want to create for yourself in 2012?  Not only is this a great activity - using photos to reflect on your life and creating goals, but you might also want to create a collage of photos from the past year and a storyboard or visionboard (a collage of images, words, phrases) to represent the life you want to create for yourself in the new year. The creative process is a therapeutic one and you can print out your storyboard and hang it up to remind yourself about your goals. Enjoy!