Nature Photography for Better Mental Health

My photography journey began as a result of being in a very bad and very prolonged depression. As such, discussing mental health and sharing the healing impact that nature photography can have on us is something that’s become incredibly important to me. I give talks to camera clubs on this subject quite frequently and I recently presented it live on The Camera Store TV which is available for viewing on their YouTube channel if you’d like to check it out.

In 2020 I started offering Nature Photography for Better Mental Health photo walks which I’m now very pleased to be offering with McBain Camera on a semi-regular basis as well. The purpose of these walks is to simply cultivate mindfulness through being in nature and taking photos of what fills us with joy. These are typically small, contemplative scenes of things we often take for granted in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Dew on grass, bees in flowers, the way the light hits the leaves, the patterns in lightly frozen water…there is beauty all around us just waiting for our creativity to capture. But we need to stop and let go of our every day world and return to a time when imagination and play drove our curiosity. Only then can we start to see the things we’d normally miss.

During our first group outing hosted by McBain, I expected more to be leading the group through this exercise. But to my surprise everyone sort of lost themselves immediately, slowed down and got right into their creativity. It was a day where I didn’t expect to shoot much but I was able immerse myself as well and soon found myself lost in the smoky, filtered light that was playing on the leaves. I created a small series of four images from that outing that are vastly different from anything I normally shoot and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

It’s this kind of experience that I hope we can all find in nature, whether you’re joining us for a workshop or not. It’s all there for us to see. You just need to stop and look.