Photography as Therapy

Rediscover. Explore. Connect

Have you ever driven or walked from one place to another on autopilot, with little to no recollection of the journey?

When familiar territory becomes so familiar that you could navigate with your eyes closed, it’s probably time for a change of scenery.  But the truth is, you don’t need to get away in order to be in a more interesting space.

‘We do not see the world as it is, we see it as we are” anon

Next time you’re off to work, or school, or running errands, lift your head up, take those earphones out, walk a little slower, look a little closer.  Imagine how the place might appear to a tourist, or a visiting alien!

What do you see?

I use my camera like a butterfly net, to collect fleeting moments that grab my attention.  Don’t worry about fancy gear, resolution, composition or producing award-winning images. The camera on your phone is perfect. Just take a moment to stop, look, point, shoot, think, feel, repeat. 

Notice how what you’re looking at affects you. Do the images trigger any memories, thoughts, feelings? And does your mood affect the way you see?

Once we  become aware of how our environment affects us, we can learn to better manage our reactions to it. We can interact with the world in a healthier way, on our own terms. Focusing on the things we enjoy draws our attention away from those we find stressful or unpleasant. Conversely, if we focus on the negatives, we lose sight of the positives.

We may not be able to change the world, but we can certainly alter our perception of it.

Think in terms of social media:  the more we “Like” certain types of posts, the more we see them in our news feed. Eventually, they will crowd out the posts we either just aren’t interested in or actively dislike. We can shape our real world user experience in much the same way as we do our online environment.

Taking pictures is a great way to feel more in tune with your environment. It can also be a fun and meaningful way to share and connect with others.

Going on photography walks, whether by yourself, with a friend or as part of a group can be very therapeutic.  Working with an Arts Therapist is a great way to process your observations and explore a little deeper.

“A man cannot not step into the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man’ Herakleitos c. 535–475 BC