You have probably had the experience of taking a casual walk with your camera and feeling your mood improve as you see and capture some interesting scenes. Or had a wonderful experience looking at an old family photo album. Art therapy has been used forever, and photography is just one of its applications.
When I was eighteen I came down with mono and had to drop out of my first year of university. It was a low point in my life. Walking outside with my camera made me feel better—it healed both my mind and body. Some forty years later, I’m still taking walks with my camera and still feeling the positive vibes.
Hungarian photographer Marton Perlaki, whose photos often have a surreal and quirky aspect that I admire, told British Journal of Photography interviewer Tom Seymour, “I think my pictures have a certain childish, absurd humour which plays an important role in my work. I think about photography as a sort of therapy for the mind. I am trying to understand something about myself through the process and the final work.”
Psychotherapist Joshua Miles observed, in a Counselling Directory article, “There is a meaningful and real connection between the creative and therapeutic processes.” —
Photo tip: Look for words on signs that can be used to used to make interesting juxtapositions–for example, a stop sign or a yield sign.