Photography as a Form of Personal Therapy

Many of us have found ourselves in photography as a way of coping with the tough times. Why? It’s a distraction and helps us get time to process some of the more difficult things in life. Like all forms of art though, it takes concentration, dedication to a craft, and most importantly can serve as a way for you to creatively express your feelings.

Afterall, photography is an art form; and art is a way of expressing oneself.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Milvus review portrait extras (6 of 6)ISO 4001-500 sec at f - 2.2

So how do you use it as therapy? One way that I did it was to write down feelings I had. They don’t need to be cohesive sentences, just jot down ideas and think clearly. The thought process is part of how you’ll learn to channel what you’re feeling. When you get these words down, start word associations to link these feelings or ideas to tangible things in the real world.

Then go photograph these things: and don’t put limits on yourself. When you put limits on yourself you limit how the message is conveyed and interpreted. It’s not good for your art as art is expressive and free. Doing this is best when you’re still fresh in these rough times: it’s a way to channel the negative energy that you’re experiencing and turn it into something positive not only for your art, but for you.

Does this sound crazy to you? Lots of photographers do it. Many found themselves in photography as a therapy or a way to express themselves. The Phoblographer features many surreal photographers and they always feel like it’s the best way for them to express themselves.

It’s not only the end result that’s important though: for many photographers it’s about the process. The process of shooting film and forcing your mind to pay attention to all the important aspects of an image will also help translate this energy.

All of this comes with a creative vision: and the free word association helps you build one. A pinhole photographer can get into a fight with a family member, go out and shoot, and while trying to concentrate hard on capturing a scene that they’ve got in their head, also get involved with the process to express themselves creatively by creating the scene.



Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.