How I Use Photography As Therapy

Therapy through self expression in photography

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Photography has changed so much over the years. Nowadays everyone is a ‘photographer’ of sorts. With camera’s being widely available on mobile phones there is no end to the selfies we see everywhere. For me photography is more than snap shots and selfies. It has become a sort of therapy for me in as much as I use it to explore how I’m feeling and where I’m at.

It’s not always been this way. I started out not really knowing what my style was or ‘my thing’. I would take photos of everything and anything I felt drawn too. Although I did like most of the images I produced, once I’d seen them I was over them. I was done and moving on to the next thing. They didn’t inspire the feeling I was looking for and I would rarely look at them again.

I knew about Art Therapy and how people can express themselves through painting or drawing how they were feeling if they didn’t have the words to express it. Although I’m not a painter and can’t draw to safe my life, I always felt drawn to it. Not that I don’t have the words, I just felt that the images were more powerful and lasting and somehow got whatever I was carrying in my mind out of me. I also use writing in this way.

I started to explore through self portraits but couldn’t quite get what I was aiming for. Then things got more exciting the more inspired I felt. As I progressed I realised I wanted to explore deeper than just taking literal photos of myself, I wanted to express something more than was possible previously. This is when I found ‘my thing’. Abstract Photography or photo art.  

I feel like this says who I am, it allows me to tell stories and it also opens up endless possibilities for new creations. I can revisit them. I feel inspired by them, and I feel happy to share them without fear of being judged or thinking I did something wrong. I knew it could also be helpful for other people to express themselves in this way.

Using my photography in this way has led to many things. I’ve been asked to contribute images for an Oracle Card deck around the theme of Motherhood. I’ve explored mental health with other people through abstract imagery that took us deeper into their psyche as they felt safer to explore knowing that the images would be anonymous and not necessarily obvious.  

My meditation practise has inspired new insights that I want to explore and I have ideas swimming around constantly, and I feel excited to create more.  I’ve been approached to create an album cover and been encouraged to submit ideas for local County Council initiatives. All this from exploring and expressing through my creativity!

For me, anyone can take a selfie or a snap of their night out or food etc, but not everyone can make an image that creates an emotion, a reaction, a sense of more than the eye can see. Depth. Meaning. Healing. Possibilities and opportunities.

I feel that the prospects are endless and I feel confident to share my work with others and to talk about my process and offer the same to anyone else who wants to explore in this way.

Giving new depth to photos can be healing and self exploratory

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