Friday, April 29, 2016

Photography is Self-Therapy.

“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us”.                                 Ralph Hattersley

Have you ever been in a funk? I have… too many times.
We all go through “down-times” when nothing can seem to make us happy.
Though these times are a normal part of life, sometimes it is not as simple as “get over it”.

If you are full of despair or feel worthless, if you are hopeless or you are low in energy, this is the “depressed pattern”.

 Depression is defined as follows:  a state of feeling sad; a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way.

And hopefully, we are speaking about sadness, not a serious medical condition.

There are many advices how to help yourself when you are in a funk, but “be grateful and meditate” tips didn’t do much for me.

Three years ago I bought my first DSLR camera and found the thing that worked for me.

There are a lot of reasons to love photography.

But one thing people never think about: we can use photography as a form of self-therapy.

 When you are depressed, photography could become your salvation.
Photography will help you to find out and appreciate the beauty of our world. Photography will lower your stress.

You could help yourself out the funk you are in, seeking out more joy and creativity in your life.
And photography can become the magical cure for depression.

But there’s one thing you have to know. 

In this age of digital photography it is so tempting to just “point and shoot” and do not think about what we are actually capturing.
There’s a risk that images are taken, that a subject is an object and that sometimes other people perceive photography as aggression.

 We need to change the way we look at the process, so that images are received, a subject is a co-creator and photography is an act of respect and acceptance.
When you slow down, you become more mindful and you receive stronger images.

“Concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.”
                                           Thomas Merton

 4 tips for mindful photography:

1. Before you take some photographs, give yourself time to become calm and to focus on your subject.
2. Don’t worry about your gear. What matters is your feelings and your vision.
3. When you are frustrated, just take a breath (literally – do a two minute breathing exercise).
4. Quiet your inner critic. Be gentle with yourself.

“You just have to live and life will give you pictures”.   Henri Cartier-Bresson

Are you feeling disappointed? Hurt? Depressed? Hopeless?
Start your personal journey as a photographer.
You will find your own road for creativity and improve your life.

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