How I use Photography as Therapy
A few years ago I would have never said that I would be working with the concept of photo therapy. The first steps towards this end were taken in 2013, when I was in my final year at university. For my final project, I had to find something I was passionate enough about that I could focus on all year without losing interest.
In the end, I chose to photograph women. Women who were connected to their inner self, with nature and to the present moment of their lives. I started with six women I knew, capturing them in photos that reflected them truthfully.
In order to cultivate the right atmosphere for women to connect with their true selves, I knew there had to be no pressure, no set up time, no studio. I photographed them in a location of their choice. I asked all the women to think about where they go to recharge, a special place or an activity they enjoy doing very much. I created the space for them to spend time with themselves, express themselves and recharge, and I found the women absolutely shined.
So how did it become photo therapy? Since the success of the women project, I have opened up and photographed everyone: men, couples, mothers,daughters, sons. Photo therapy can have such a positive impact. We all need so little really; just the time to be still, reconnect, recharge. Many people I have photographed have expressed that having their photo taken with this intention and in this created space is a therapeutic experience. It is also therapeutic for me as photographer; I feel honoured that people trust me and invite me into their personal space, to capture them in a beautiful moment.
I want this kind of non-standard photoshoot to be available for as many people as possible. It is not just the experience of the photoshoot itself, but the evidence of how effortlessly beautiful people are when they are in a place they love, feeling connected or in the flow of an activity they hold dear. The photo serves as a tangible reminder that we all need to make space for ourselves, especially when things aren't going according to plan in our lives. Being able to see yourself in a moment of harmony and authenticity is comforting in moments that we feel unbalanced.
We improvise and go with the flow, sometimes we walk and chat before getting into that space of stillness; every time it is different.Photo therapy is for everyone – a great present to yourself, one that is very worth giving. I am just your humble guide.