Danielle Hark Speaks on Fighting Mental Illness with Photography

All photographs taken from The Broken Light Collective. Used with permission.

Photographers shoot for all sorts of reasons; some for money or as a hobby for others. For Danielle Hark, however, photography meant much more in her fight against her crushing depression. At one point in her life Danielle found herself curled up on the floor due to a panic attack brought on by her agoraphobic depression. The episode paralyzed her, leaving her unable to breathe in between fits of crying. It went on until she pulled out her phone and began taking photos.

“My tears stopped, my breathing slowed, and I became more regulated and present,” Danielle recalled. “That was a profound moment for me.”

At that moment Danielle says she began to realize the therapeutic power photography had to help regulate her mood. “It is a means of expressing my inner self, and my various thoughts, feelings and emotions, and it also gets me out of my head and into the present moment,” she explained.

“When I am mindfully photographing, it’s just me, the lens, and the infinite potential subjects before me,” she said. “I use photography as a tool that I can pull out during difficult times, no matter where I am.” Read on for the full story and more images.

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