These days our mental health could use a little breathing room.
From the pandemic to social media, the state of unrest and divide in the world and the amplification of our general, day-to-day stressors such as job or relationship anxiety - the list is endless. Which is why there's no better time than now to learn and develop new tools to help ourselves stay mentally healthy as we navigate through it all.
One of the most important items in my mental health toolbox is photography. It saved my life. That is not an overstatement. I discovered my passion for it during a severe depression that lasted several years. It was while out walking my dogs that I began to take comfort in the simple things nature shows us and that we often overlook. Sunsets, reflections, storms, the way the light filters through leaves, bees pollinating flowers, frost covered grasses... these were all things that I started to notice and in turn began photographing with my cell phone to remind me of the brief glimpses of happiness those moments provided. Soon the proverbial dark clouds began to lift and I found myself with a new passion with which to pursue life. I bought a DSLR and embarked on a journey that has truly changed me in the most profound ways.
And now I’d like to share that with you.
Nature Photography for Better Mental Health is not a “photography” workshop, per se, more than it is a workshop in cultivating mindfulness through being in nature and taking photos of what fills us with joy. We will not be seeking grand landscapes or epic night skies but instead will be focusing on the small, simple scenes we can find in our own backyards: our parks, nature trails and ravines.
The workshop is open to people of all skill levels. Heck, you don’t even need a “proper” camera! If all you have is a cell phone, the principle of the workshop remains the same - learn to see and appreciate things in new ways that can help you take comfort in being in the moment thereby alleviating the effects of stress and anxiety.
Each workshop is one-on-one and lasts 90 minutes with the option to go longer depending on the conditions of the day. This is not a one-size-fits-all workshop and each can be tailored to the participant based on everything from photographic experience to physical mobility. We will touch on basic photography concepts such as composition and light but the primary focus of this workshop is to get you to "see" the world around you differently and focus on being in the moment. Participants wishing to further their photography skills will be able to book additional time with me, should they desire.
Lastly, while the workshop is tailored for a one-on-one experience, if you are more comfortable attending the workshop with one or two friends, groups of up to three are welcome so please contact me and we can certainly make that work for you.
Cost is $75 per person.