Coping with Death: Grief and Photography

Coping with Grief / Coping with Grief : Eleanor Haley

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

The trouble is if we aren’t going to talk about ‘stuff’ we need to find other outlets to get it out. This can be difficult for those of us 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 that is accessible to almost everyone.

Most of us have had practice with photography, whether taking snapshots on our iPhone or crafting rich landscapes with a professional flare. If you have a camera, you can photograph symbols, abstract images, and literal interpretations of people, places, and things regardless of your skill level.  The process of creating the images will force you to spend time reflecting on your emotions and will 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.

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

You get the idea? Now we have a challenge for you and we’re going to make this one really easy. Show us a picture – any picture – that represents your grief. It could be a picture of your loved one, a picture of the two of you together, a picture that inspires you, or a picture that represents your emotion. Tweet or Instagram the picture to @whatsyourgrief or post it on our Facebook Page. You can also submit your photo to our Photogrief (

For more information on using photography to cope with grief, check out the following articles:

Hey…Pssst…don’t forget to subscribe to our blog on the right side of the page.

Let’s be grief friends.

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

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  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


  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 […]

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