THERAPEUTIC photography

I was given my first camera around the age of 7 and have used photography as a means to exploring my connection to my surroundings ever since. Photography in some way is very often my starting point when working on a new project and is a key part of my creative process whatever media I end up working in. When my husband died suddenly 7 years ago, I turned to my old friend photography to help me work through the tsunami of emotions I was going through and to gradually acquaint myself with this changed world I found myself in. The camera allowed me to create images that expressed what I was feeling in a way that no words could. A year or so later I discovered that this way I had of using photography to help me understand more about myself and my relationship to the world around me, something I have been doing pretty much all of my life, and which to some extent informs my artistic practice, this practice had a name; Therapeutic Photography.

So what exactly is Therapeutic Photography? Put simply, it is the use of photography as a tool for self-exploration and greater self-knowledge in order to generate change and wellbeing. It is an activity you carry out on yourself, or perhaps in a guided group situation with a trained practitioner, but it is not therapy and is not therapist led. Activities include not only taking photographs but also working with images in different ways.

A related practice, and one that in recent years appears to be growing in popularity, is Mindful Photography. This practice puts its emphasis on the act of taking a photograph as a means to slowing down and really noticing and connecting with our immediate surroundings, and uses mindfulness techniques and connections with nature where possible to further enhance that. Several studies have shown that this practice can help improve wellbeing and mental health.

In both cases, there is no need for any photographic knowledge other than being able to operate a camera, which can just be a mobile phone. I offer workshops that incorporate aspects from both these practices, more information coming soon!