In a photo essay, street photographer Murray Dejager described his early foray into using his camera as psychological therapy. Specifically, Dejager felt that his camera functioned as the Therapist, helping him witness his own feelings in ways that he found difficult to see on his own. “All I knew was that when I walked the streets of downtown with my camera, looking for images that captured the way I felt inside, I felt better,” he wrote in a short essay. Similar to Dejager’s discovery, photographer Richard Wood and I discussed this very topic last year, and again I encountered the same topic at a consumer tech conference. Is there a way to shoot depression with photography?
Editor’s Note: Bringing More Light Into Focus is a guest blog post written by Richard Wood. His post is a great way of introducing the concept of using photography to explore the interior world within us through an external avenue. While his account is personal and touching, the pracitioners at SDC recognize Mr. Wood’s experience as his own and not a means of therapeutic advisement for others.
In January 2007, I got my first cat, Phyllis. Phyllis McGillis Amaryllis, technically. I found Phyllis while searching online for kittens and discovered the “Itty Bitty Kitty Committee” in Tacoma, WA, where I happen to be living at the time. If you ever visit the IBKC site, you’ll find amazing photos of beautiful kittens, adorable stories about their actions and complete personality profiles. And to sweeten the deal the kittens are being adopted out on behalf of the Pierce County Humane Society.
Well, my entry into photography started there! The site was so beautiful, the kittens were adorable and their website had THOUSANDS of followers who visited daily! So, I thought Phyllis might want to continue her relationship with the followers of IBKC.
I started out with my point-and-shoot camera, but almost a year after getting her decided the PnS was NOT cutting it. So I got my first dSLR camera, a Canon XSi kit with the 18-55 lens. It seemed SO expensive at the time, ringing in at about $700! But to see the photos go from great to fantastic was WELL worth the spend!
Shortly thereafter I adopted two more kittens with my partner. These kittens, Rosalie & Renatta Pettibone (the IBKC started giving each litter cute last names to identify the litters). And then started the new blog about all three called “Phyllis and the Aliens” (later transitioning to http://kittymeadow.com), mostly because that’s what Phyllis thought of the two new youngsters!
Anyway, this post isn’t necessarily about the adorable cats in my life. It’s about life change, what I saw as tragedy.