Photography as a soul therapy

Started Aug 11, 2022 | Discussions thread
RaajS Veteran Member • Posts: 6,651
Re: Photography as a soul therapy

alpshiker wrote:

Needless to say, for many of us, photography is a medium on which we have set our sights to help ourselves heal from the attacks on our mental health of the reality of a fleeting world, in constant upheaval and largely unpredictable. Well, maybe you hadn't thought of it like this yet.

I would like to start this thread on the subject of the consolation that photography can bring us in various situations. I remember having suffered from the disappearance of landscapes that I loved, of beautiful trees or witnesses of the past. As we get older, the effects of age and illness on the people we love and of course on ourselves, and sometimes, of a change that has come too suddenly and leaves us on the floor, such as when the death of a loved one occurs. These are times when we turn to photographs, to remember how things were and ought to be in a world set right side up.

On a personal note, I had mentioned six months ago on this forum, the loss of my friend. I have now prepared a photographic tribute about her, the link of which you will find in my August ramblings – please bear with me. Apologies also because this is nothing elaborate and these are not images taken in medium format either. We had known each other for a good dozen years. Photographing her was tricky at first because of her disabilities, and she needed to tame the photographer. But she got hooked on the game and quickly took pleasure in these moments of complicity and in the peculiar gaze that the camera sent back to her. Showing her how I saw her, turned out to be a great way to prove to her that she was still a truly worthy and remarkable person despite a debilitating illness. And this exercise helped me heal myself from a failure in my past. She had never posed for a photographer, nor did I have the experience of a portrait artist. Everything was improvised, as is often the case with the finer things in life.

Paul, thank you very much for sharing this and your images. I loved your Vimeo presentation. This hits a very personal note for me - my father is wasting away, in an advanced stage of Parkinson's. Over the last few years I've seen a man who I consider to be a transcendent genius be essentially reduced to a vegetable.   I wish I had made more time to photograph him over the years.  The few images that I have I value deeply.


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