A special moment frozen in time forever
Therapeutic Photography enhances insight, promoting the awareness and expressions of your underlying feelings.
Photography, a powerful tool that has allowed me to escape from the cell of self-consciousness. It enables you to interact with experiences that cannot be easily formed into words, allowing you to find meaning within the photographs, expressions and postures you would have missed. Like dreams, they are creative constructions that reveal a range of emotions and memories locked within the mind.
After losing my aunt, it was easy to fall. I had never lost anyone before, being 16 at the time I didn’t know how to grieve so I did what I knew best and repressed all emotions. I occasionally asked myself why she abandoned me, she was like a second mother to me and she abandoned me. I was broken. The gate was opened, allowing self-consciousness to creep in.
I removed myself from all social media for several years, many assumed that it was because I was putting my head down, focusing on my studies. Wrong. I had given in and began to feed my loneliness by isolating myself from reality, the feeling of being watched and judged by others. I guess if I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have a reason to feel self-conscious. Wrong. All days were the same, some better than others but often the same.
24 April 2017 saw my return to social media (Snapchat and Instagram), there I didn’t have to say anything, didn’t have to write anything but simply share photographs, pixels carrying a range of emotions. What other way can you express yourself without saying a single word but through silent pixels carrying so much.
Self-portraits have allowed me to appreciate myself and capture all my emotions within pixels. They are a representation of your identity that encourage you to look at yourself from an objective point of view. You are unable to hide or put up a front; you are viewed so closely, looking into the camera knowing that every detail is being captured. You are aware that others will view you so closely, in a way that only close friends and family would ever view you.
You are vulnerable.
Vulnerability in photography isn’t a bad thing, you are left to analyse and identify your vulnerability within your everyday life. We live in a world where we are able to put up a front and smile like everything is okay.
Take this photo for example, graduation day. The happiest day for every student. I had finally achieved my dream and graduated in Law – yet it was the saddest day of my life. I was able to put up a front for the camera, when others see this picture, they see joy, I see pain. I had just gone through the most heart breaking month and worst of all, my aunt wasn’t able to see me graduate. She believed in me and was the reason I even studied Law, she never got to witness this “beautiful day”. First Law graduate in the family.
It’s easy to put up a front but in doing so, you allow yourself to suffer even more. Self-portraits allow me to familiarise myself to the vulnerability within my life and to learn not to repress it’s natual presence. In doing so I can focus on myself and eliminate the task of putting up a front. I aim to incorporate vulnerability in my everyday life because from it, I can gather strength.
For example, I have made myself completely vulnerable by writing these very personal blogs but in doing so, I have found strength and a platform to share my sufferings and lessons.
My instagram conveys my love for self-portraits, emotionless but a thousand words captured within the pixels. I look back at the portraits and I’m filled with joy, I’m happy with who I am and where I am heading, I am confident in myself.
Photography has led me to many things, most noticeably my love for pink, Salmon pink. To me this colour holds deeper meaning, like Salmon, I am free to roam the ocean, be who I am and on a bad day I may be captured. Salmon don’t realise how important they are and the impact they have on the lives of other species. Upon their death, the nutrients in their carcass is passed from the ocean to the terrestrial wildlife and woodlands, providing nutrients to the next generation of Salmon and every specie living within the river bank. I guess at times it’s easy for us to forget how important we are to others, even if we seem small or it appears that no one cares. You are more important than you can ever imagine.
I look back at photographs and appreciate the moment frozen in time. Sometimes the moment isn’t always positive but re-living it again can be a bitter or beautiful moment, and at times a lesson for the future.
In times where you feel down, lonely or are filled with mixed emotions, I challenge you to pick up a camera and express your emotions through photography. Let your emotions be captured within pixels, let that be the platform that leads to self discovery and strength.
Every snapshot a person takes is a type of self-portrait, a kind of mirror with memory reflecting back to a moment that was special enough to be frozen in time forever.