As I write this, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 – and while I’m by no means qualified to provide more than a few superficial observations – reading about wellbeing has given me reminded how healthy photography can be. It’s no secret that creative pursuits can have a positive impact on mental health and while I enjoy several creative hobbies including writing, drawing and music, I think photography ticks the box. the most mood-boosting squares. Here’s why…
Photography allows us to convey meaning, express feelings and immortalize privileged moments. This in itself is extremely beneficial, but it is only the beginning. Physical and mental health are intrinsically linked, and many genres encourage photographers to move. Whether you’re climbing mountains, walking through cities, or just wandering the countryside, you’re going to rack up those steps. And with the camera in hand, it probably won’t feel like exercise either.
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Some benefits are gender-specific, for example, landscape and wildlife photography provides an excuse to experience the many health-promoting qualities that nature has to offer. Travel photography serves to broaden horizons and immerse oneself in other cultures. And street, documentary and portrait photography is a great way to meet and interact with new people.
For some, photography is a chance to spend some time with yourself, but for those who seek it, there is also a strong social element. Whether you’re chatting with like-minded photographers online, getting into some shots with a friend, attending group workshops, or joining a photo club, there are myriad ways to connect with others.
Something a little less obvious is the presence of challenges and goals. Photography is a learning process and even if you don’t realize it, you’re probably working towards a few goals right now. This can be a short-term goal like conquering manual mode or a long-term ambitious goal like getting your first paying customer. I know from personal experience that creative ambitions gave me welcome direction when I felt a bit lost in other aspects of my life.
And the proof is in the pudding. N-Photo: Nikon Magazine publishes a few articles in each issue called Your Stories. Over the years, many photographers – amateurs and professionals – have recounted the positive effects photography has had on their lives, whether recovering from illness, remembering a loved one, or simply… avoid cabin fever during lockdown.
People don’t shy away from maintaining good physical health, so why not set aside some time for a wellness workout this month. You can start by taking your camera…
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