Personal Photography

Photography for mental health

I’m part of a few photography groups and the most common questions I see are:

    • What kind of camera should I get?
    • What kind of lens should I buy for xyz?
    • What editing program should I use?

While these are important questions, I love the more interesting questions like what’s someone’s motivation for getting into photography? Why do they take pictures? What makes them want to take that particular picture? What do they think of their own photo?

I wanted to get a more interesting conversation going and decided to ask the group how photography has impacted their lives. While I got some sarcastic responses (“I’m more broke!”),  I saw lots of really interesting answers which I’d love to explore more at a later time. But one of the common responses I saw that stuck out for me were the folks who said photography has helped them with their anxiety, depression, etc.

I later came across these two TedTalks by Ryan Pfluger and Bryce Evans where they talk about how got into photography and how it became therapeutic for them in dealing with their own mental health.

While anxiety, depression, suicide, etc., is not something I personally struggle with, reading the responses in the forum and watching the videos made me sad in knowing how much others struggle with mental health all the time. But it also showed me how powerful art and being creative with a camera can be for people. It can change a person’s perspective on life and the world around them. Taking a picture may not seem like a big deal, but for some, it can save their lives.

I hope you find their stories inspiring too!