So this is my first post, and I have been thinking long and hard about what i want to do with this website aside from just showing off photos I have taken... of which i intend to do plenty. About this time last year I suffered from suicidal depression and my journey with photography was a large part of my journey back from the brink. Now that i'm in a better place (although by no means "fixed"). I want to do my part to help others. I recently came into some stigma about mental health at work and it made me think that the thing to do is talk openly about it to try and remove the stigma. So here is my story...
We don't need to get into the specifics but I had something of troubled childhood that apparently you can only put off dealing with for about 30 years before your head decides its had enough and starts falling down on you. It started in the summer of 2016, my ability to focus at work started dropping off I became more isolated and started keeping myself to myself. It seemed manageable, like a rough patch that if i could just get through I would be OK. It wasn't a rough patch though and eventually I got so low the idea of waking up and having to battle through another day just was too much. I started making the bad kind of plans. Thankfully there was still a part of me that recognized how wrong this was and before anything drastic could happen I sought help. I was off work dealing with this for around 6 months and for a long time could not bring myself to get up and do something with myself so I'd just lay in bed all day with the curtains shut... enter photography.
My Journey with photography didn't begin at this time, the seeds were planted around my 32nd birthday when I went to Disney World in Florida. In the build up to the trip I was reading up on how to go about planning the trip. I spent a lot of time on the Disney Tourist Blog A great blog for planning trips to Disney World, the guy who writes it is a photographer and talked a lot about taking photos in the Disney parks. Without realizing at the time this had left an imprint on me and when i got to the parks I had my phone in my hand the whole time trying to snap some good shots. This is the first shot that made me think I should try my hand at photography:
When I got home from this holiday i was very proud of the photos that I had taken but the fire had not yet been truly lit. I continued taking some snaps on my phone from time to time but it wasn't something I was driven by or actively pursued. Fast forward to around this time last year where i was struggling to get out of bed and face the day at all. One day I was looking back over the Disney Photos and i decided to go out and take some more photos. I decided that I would find street art and take photo's of it. It seemed like a simple enough thing and it would get me out for a walk. I kind of loved it, i really enjoyed getting out and snapping stuff on my phone and then playing with it using the editing tools on Instagram. Then subjecting anyone unfortunate enough to follow me on social media to all of the photos that i had taken. It became a regular habit, walking around the trendier parts of London looking for street art to snap. Although there wasn't any real art to it at this point, it was very much point and click. As shown here:
But as time went on I started to focus a bit more on the picture i was taking and being a bit more creative. This was the point that i started falling in love with it, I started to understand the potential of what i could do with a camera and it was like a whole new world had opened up to me.
Then one day that I was feeling extremely brave on, I ventured into taking candid photos of strangers, and this truly was the light-bulb moment. It wasn't just about taking pictures anymore but capturing life as it happened. Small things that when you take the time to just look at them become fascinating. With this I was off, I was constantly looking for things that would grab my attention, things that i could see and moments that i could share with people. This was the first candid photo that i took, the one that really brought me to life.
Here I am now, not that much later down the line, where once i wouldn't get up to eat I can't wait to get out looking for things to capture, looking forward to share them with people. In a way it really did save me, I was in a bad place and finding this passion was a large part of what helped me find my way out of it. I'm very excited to see what is next on this journey and where it will take me. I'll leave you with this, my most recent photo that I am most proud of. It's a long way from that shot of the EPCOT Golf Ball.