Have you ever thought about using photography as a therapeutic tool? The creative process of photography can bring relief from stress, pain, heartbreak, and other negative experiences we need healing from, and can be a valuable tool for self-healing, inner peace and personal growth.
I personally felt the healing power of photography in my past, and this is the story about how I got started with photography. Back in 2009, I spontaneously bought a DSLR camera. But the truth was it collected dust in my closet the first couple of months. It wasn’t until I experienced a loss of a loved one that I started taking photos.
The person I lost was my mother-in-law and we were extremely close. She was like my mother and my best friend. I was hit by an overwhelming grief that made it impossible for me to go to work for a while, so I took some time off. And it was during this grieving process that I picked up the camera.
The camera quickly became a healing tool. The act of taking photos transported me to a better place. In those moments, I felt relief from my pain – a pause from crying, hurting, anxiety, and missing the person I’d lost. A feeling of getting my head above the water so I could breathe and see the world with fresh eyes and not through the “grieving eyes.”
In the moments I spend with the camera I could briefly reconnect with joy again. I started noticing the beauty around me and was reminded of the little things to be grateful for. I became more present in my body, which slowed down my racing thoughts. In that time of my life the camera became my dear friend and my way to self-healing.
What I didn’t know at that time was that just ONE year later I would be a full-time photographer running my own business. So that’s the story of how I got started with my passion for photography.
When we engage mindfully in taking photos, our minds, bodies, and spirits are all focused on the moment. Through photography, we connect with our emotions, gain new perspectives, engage with mindful awareness, and find space to express ourselves.
3 Ways Photography Can Help You Heal
#1. Photography can help shift your focus
If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, stress or heartbreak, chances are that you may think predominantly negative thoughts. You worry about things that have happened in the past or things that might happen in the future. You might also experience negative self-talk that are bringing you down.
The beauty of photography is that it can help you break the habit of being worried and self-critical. Because when your mind is occupied with being creatively playful, it becomes a mental pause, a form of meditation and a break from thinking of the bad and sad stuff.
Where focus goes, energy flows. Meaning that what you focus your attention on will consume you and set the tone for your emotional well-being.
Getting creative with your camera can help you shift your focus from something negative to something positive. The more focused you are on your photography, the less attention you’ll have for those negative thoughts and things in life that are hurting you, draining you or making you insecure. The stress will diminish the more you immerse yourself in your photography.
#2. Photography can help you align with your true, authentic self
Sometimes we get lost and the feelings of “not knowing who you are” or “not being in touch with your true self” can take over. By playing with your creative expression through photography, you can begin a beautiful journey of re-discovering yourself – a safe space free from judgment to express your thoughts, feelings and stories.
Your photography journey will reveal what you are passionate about and what evokes joy in you. And if you pay attention to what you discover about yourself, you will build a solid connection to your authentic self. And by capturing images representing your emotions and experiences, you can better understand yourself.
#3. Photography can help you find creative freedom and grow your confidence
Taking photos can be both a super simple process or a more in-depth creative process. Simple when we just snap a quick photo with our iPhone and more time-consuming when you pick up the big camera and edit on your computer. Personally, I love to do both – depending on my mood.
Some days I really want to go deep into my creative process. I take my time planning the photos I want to take. I play around with the scene and style it in different ways. I play with composition, light and shooting angles. I test different camera settings to find the one that I like and finally, I spend time editing the photos on my computer, using Lightroom and Photoshop.
I can spend an entire day creating just ONE photo I LOVE. For some people, this would feel like a waste of time, but for me it’s pure joy.
I get to decide how nerdy I get with my craft, and I always learn something valuable when I allow myself to spend a good amount of time on my passion without stressing about time or efficiency.
I’ve noticed that when I improve my skills and deeply explore my creative abilities, I get so much personal satisfaction and my confidence grow.
Too often, photographers rush through their creative practice like they are in a hurry to take the photo. Why? Because we have all learned that we need to be efficient to be productive and get things done.
The truth is that by slowing down, you will feel more creative freedom, and your skills will grow with tremendous speed, and when you see positive result from your focused process, you will become much more confident in your skills.
That being said, there’s also a lot of creative freedom in taking photos with the iPhone. Some days, I just don’t want to take out the big camera. I just want to snap some quick photos and then cuddle up in the couch and relax with some editing.
I love relaxing with a cup of coffee while I play with my favorite editing apps. It’s like meditation for me and I forget what else might be going on in my life at the time. It’s the perfect little break during the day.
As an experienced photographer, coach and therapist, I go a lot deeper into the topics above through my Lifestyle Photography Academy. Many of my students tell me how the program has changed their lives by growing their confidence, reconnecting with themselves and learning photography in a safe space free of judgment and critique. You can read all the positive feedback on the course page here >>
The doors to The Lifestyle Photography Academy are currently open for enrollment. I’m truly looking forward to spending this season doing what I love the most; helping you capture amazing pictures and shine creatively!
This Lifestyle Photography Academy is for you if:
✅You believe it’s time to nourish your creative soul and make space for what you love.
✅You have a goal to feel confident as a photographer and capture beautiful photos that will kick-start your creative career.
✅Your dream is to dramatically improve your photography in just a few weeks and learn EVERYTHING it takes to bring your passion to the next level.
✅You wish to attract more customers, followers and clients via beautiful, professional, storytelling images for your blog, website and Instagram.
✅You’re ready to discover your artistic vision, and learn how to find your signature style, connect with your audience and profit from your work.
This program is my baby, my joy and passion. If you would like my help to increase your skills in photography, styling, creative confidence, visual storytelling and photo editing, then I would love to invite you to join me on this wonderful journey.