Is photography therapeutic?

Managing stress in daily life; there is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively.  Do you set aside time for yourself?  What do you do to overcome stress and anxiety?

In January 2018, my daughter, Hayley, was in a car accident and passed away.   Everything changed for me after that.  I lost interest in doing things that I used to enjoy doing, and one of them was photography.  It took me about 3 years before I picked up my camera and got back out in the field with Bob to do once again what we used to like to do together, hiking and photography.  We often get caught up in the stresses of everyday life or traumatic events that may have occurred and don’t set aside time to wind down or do things that make us happy or are therapeutic. 

Photographic storytelling is the art of conveying stories, ideas and viewpoints through the medium of photography.  I would like to share some quotes with you.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
– Ansel Adams

“Photography is the art of making memories tangible.”
– Destin Sparks

"In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people."

Photography is therapeutic for me.   It frees me from being tangled up with everyday life or from stress and anxiety and allows me to be creative and speak freely through my photographs.  Life is too short, and we all need to “Live Our Best Life”. The winter of 2020 and 2021 with the U.S. border being closed due to COVID, Bob and I spent our winter months in British Columbia on Vancouver Island and explored the island and went on many hikes and adventures.

Hay~Ley's Harmony

It was an overcast day and we decided to drive to Fairy Lake in Port Renfrew to see the Douglas Fir Tree in the center of the lake; what people refer to as the “Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree”.  This location was important for me to see and photograph because my daughter, Hayley, loved Bonsai Trees and depending on a person's culture or beliefs, bonsai trees are seen as symbols of harmony, balance, patience, or even luck.

We spent the entire afternoon at Fairy Lake because I wanted to get the perfect picture with the reflection of the tree in the water and to do that the water had to be still long enough for me to do a long exposure photograph. 

After about 2 ½ hours waiting for the water to be still, I was able to take this photograph using my Sony RX10 MIV.

The soft overcast grey skies and just enough sun light coming through glistening on the tree, created a beautiful reflection on the still water allowing me to get this photograph. 

Photography captures a moment in time and can be used to tell a story.  The story that this photograph tells is that of harmony, balance and serenity. 

The name of this photograph is “Hay~Ley’s Harmony” and is dedicated in memory of my daughter, Hayley.

Karen Doyling

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