Coping with Death: Grief and Photography

Coping with Grief / Coping with Grief : Eleanor Haley

For further articles on these topics:

There are times when we want to express and explore our emotions and experiences, but we really don’t want to talk out loud for one reason or another. One-on-one counseling and support groups are just not our bag, but we have a lot of stuff building up inside us that we would like to get out. Think, emotional vomit.

If we aren’t going to talk about ‘stuff,’ we need to find ways to process it, but this can be difficult for those who don’t already have a thing. We may not know how mediums like writing, poetry, and art can work for us, and often we don’t know where to start. There’s a lot to be learned from Art Therapy techniques for those who have access to them, but photography is a self-starter art form accessible to almost everyone.

Most of us have had practice with photography, whether taking snapshots on our iPhones or crafting rich landscapes with a professional flare. You can photograph symbols, abstract images, and literal interpretations of people, places, and things regardless of your skill level if you have a camera. Creating the images will force you to spend time reflecting on your emotions and allow you to feel closer to your loved one. The results may not be perfect, but they will tell the world something about how you’re feeling.

Over time we’d like to discuss many of the different ways you can use photography to cope with grief, but we thought we’d start small by providing you with a few photo examples.

Grief and Photography: Examples of Exploring Grief Through Photography

Expression of Emotion 

woman grieving after reading letter
wilted mothers day purple flowers
barn in frost

Reminders and Symbols

grave in fall
empty chair at a piano

Searching for Hope and Strength

pink rose
sunset at the beach

For more information on using photography as a coping tool, check out the following articles:

We invite you to share your experiences, questions, and resource suggestions with the WYG community in the discussion section below.

We invite you to share your experiences, questions, and resource suggestions with the WYG community in the discussion section below.

Let’s be grief friends.

We post a new article to What’s Your Grief about once a week. Subscribe to stay up to date on all our posts.

Related Blog Posts

Related Blog Posts

See More

5 Comments on "Coping with Death: Grief and Photography"

Click here to leave a Comment
  1. Hebatallah El-Minyawi  April 9, 2020 at 1:32 am Reply

    I really like this idea a lot of using photography to express grief, to record reminders and symbols ( i worry i will forget something important about Cleo) and “Searching for hope and strength images.”

  2. Jimmy Edmonds  February 25, 2013 at 8:09 am Reply

    thanks for highlighting Rosa article – I love what you’re doing with your photography ideas. You might also like to check out ‘Released’ the book I produced soon after our son died. link +

    feel free to blog or reproduce.

    Also I’d invite you to look at Briony Campbells work ‘THE DAD PROJECT – Saying Goodbye with my Camera’ as mentioned in Rosa’s article. link +

    also pssst … the link to your facebook page is broken

    lots of love


    • Natalie Park  May 2, 2022 at 2:11 pm Reply

      Dear Jimmy, I purchased your book online and I wanted to let you know that it really, really, touched (touches) my heart. The images are so powerful and meaningful. It brought forth emotion and tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Weekend Edition - articles about grief  February 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm Reply

    […] may have seen our post last week on grief and photography.   Sticking with that theme, we wanted to share a link from the Beyond Goodbye website (great […]

Leave a Comment

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.