Photography as therapy

Close-up detail of old red door as part of an Excitations Photo Adventures workshop entitle Photography as Therapy.

Can we use photography as therapy?

If you’d asked me that question ten years ago, I would have thought you had lost your marbles. Honestly photography as therapy, how crazy is that? I now know that photography as a hobby is helping many people cope with day to day life. In the last two years, I’ve seen people with physical disabilities, suffering depression and fighting loneliness all turn to photography.

A little me time.

Often it can be all that is needed for a mum to find some me time. Something as simple as taking my camera for a walk is good enough to get away from daily chores. More importantly though. The act of getting away from the mundane day-to-day tasks and stirring the grey matter into life is always helpful. You see the physical action of lifting a camera to your eye, blocks out the rest of the world. At the same time giving the photographer time to contemplate the meaning of life.

Caution should be exercised though, as photography can become addictive. Just joking, or maybe not, the desire to show the world your vision can take hold.Close-up detail of old red door as part of an Excitations Photo Adventures workshop entitle Photography as Therapy.

Simple self-assigned projects such close -up details of old doors. Takes some time, requires the photographer to track down new entries to photograph and can be completed with the most basic equipment.

The artist is lurking within all of us.

The exciting thing about all this is many of us don’t believe we are creative. Many of us are but haven’t had the opportunity to develop our artistic talents. For some, this is due to a lack of opportunities, for others, it could be reduced manual dexterity. That was my reason for turning to photography at an early age. I could imagine artistic concepts but just couldn’t translate my vision onto paper.

For example, I understood perspective. But couldn’t sketch or paint while retaining a sense of perspective.Yellow rose still life image created in studio by Excitations POhoto Adventures, workshops and tours, Australia.

Maybe creating still-life floral arrangements and photographing them is your thing. Subjects are easy to locate, and possibilities are art are endless.

A new way of seeing the world.

The world viewed through a camera lens is a much different place to the one in which we live. For starters, we are trying to capture a three-dimensional subject and render it to a two-dimensional media. Some will argue the above statement is incorrect. I’m not going to disagree. You see there are a good number of photographers who suggest that our world is four-dimensional. Height, width, depth and time being the four dimensions.

Without boring you the concept of time being a dimension in photography has merit. A photograph is indeed a snapshot of time. The exact moment has not existed in the past and will not live again. So I guess at the very least we all do our little bit toward capturing tiny slices of life.

Isn’t photography expensive?

The answer to that is yes and no. Photography can be as expensive as you want to make it or cost little more than some of your time. You see most of us carry a perfectly good camera around with us all the time. If you don’t wish to part with your hard-earned dollars, try using your phone as a creative outlet.
If the photography bug bites, there is still no reason why you can’t get hold of a great camera without paying the earth for it.
That story is for another article.
Excitations conduct some Beginners Guides to Photography workshops to help get you started. Click here for details.
There is also a short overview YouTube video of our beginner’s courses HERE,