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
Reminders and Symbols
Searching for Hope and Strength
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information on using photography to cope with grief, check out the following articles:
- Beginners Guide to Exploring Grief Through Photography
- Exploring Grief Through Photography
- Healing Through Photography: Photos from Our Grief-Friends
- Exploring Grief Through Photography: Photographing Emotion and Mood
- Photography How To: Photographing Symbols
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