This post has been inspired by certain members of the Depression Alliance who have a wonderfully addictive talent for photography. Some people take pictures. Others take pictures that you want to look at over and over again. Is it just my imagination, or does the Depression Alliance have more than their fair share of talented photographers?
From personal experience, I truly understand why someone who is depressed might want to take up photography as a pastime or profession. I take hundreds of pictures, but I am no more than a seasoned snapper in comparison to some DA members I have had the pleasure to come across. So why photography?
By carrying a camera and focussing on your preferred subject matter, whatever that may be, taking photographs motivates you to get out and about. This is something that can be a major hurdle towards recovery for those of us who find making the giant leap over our front door step impossible at times. Wherever you live, there will be fascinating topics to photograph close by if you just spare the time to stop and look.
If you are concentrating on finding subject matter and taking pictures you will be blocking out other thoughts. This in turn gives you welcome relief from the stresses and strains caused by those dark, brooding musings which can trigger anxiety and depression. Hopefully, you will also feel re-energised and relaxed as a result. Taking photographs makes you focus on and enjoy the moment, something which depressives are not great at doing. In other words, photography helps you to “stop to smell the roses” and enjoy the peace and tranquility that being as one with your camera can bring.
Photography also enables you to express yourself and your emotions through an art form. This is important as depression often suffocates the normal channels of communication leading to greater frustration and anger which is more often than not turned inwards. This is not healthy as emotions need to be expressed and expunged so photography is a welcome outlet for many.
Last but not least, if you enjoy taking photographs, and those you share them with also enjoy your pictures, how wonderful does that make you feel? Everyone sees something different in a photo. The picture means and represents something unique for all. So, whatever you think of your picture , the chances are that someone, somewhere will think it is fantastic. What greater accolade can there be than for someone to tell you that your photograph is beautiful?
Members of the DA are able to post their photographs on a private Flickr site created by the photographer John Gass. This ensures that DA members can post more personal work in a protected environment.
Otherwise, I recommend that you take a look at some photograph galleries created by Ian Francis which are published on the BBC Mid-Wales website. Taken over the past few years, they are truly gorgeous and some are just downright brilliant.
Take your inspiration from Ian. Grab a camera and go-you won’t regret it for one minute. Enjoy!