Some photographs about what lockdown looks like for you. For many it will mean home schooling, for others it could be the solitude of the empty streets and others it could be the restrictions on group sports. This current lockdown has left a lot of us feeling a bit overwhelmed by what is going on. We feel shut up and crave that social interaction.
If you are feeling as though the lockdown is affecting you in a negative way, perhaps you feel lonely, or you feel as though you can’t cope. If this is you I would urge you to talk to someone. I know that in Bedfordshire where I live there are organisations like the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity who offer support, there would also be other organisations within your area. Nationally there are also other organisations like Mind and the Mental Health Foundation as well as your local GP who will be able to offer help.
If however you don’t feel as though you can tell anyone about how you are feeling or can’t put it into words perhaps you could make a photograph.
Photography has been shown as a way to help your mental health. For some it will be getting out into nature that helps (there are however some restrictions on this during lockdown). For others, photography will be a way of facing the challenges that they are facing. It’s like standing up to a bully, once you show them you are not scared it becomes easier. Taking photographs of the challenges you face captures them in time. They become your project to be working on when you are ready, not something that is waiting to jump out at you.
Taking a photograph of each moment breaks down what could seem impossible to achieve, one photograph at a time. Faced with a marathon it could appear as something that you will never be able to run, once you start that run though it becomes a case of concentrating on the next step.
Capturing your challenges in a photograph also has other benefits. A challenge in you own mind builds up and grows.
Making a photograph of those challenges though gives you something that you have captured and that you can share.
From a photography point of view this is possibly one of the easiest challenges to try. These are your challenges so everyone will have a different photograph to make and share.
The hard part will be thinking about what your challenges are and how you are going to make a photograph of them. It will be worth it though as making the photograph will take your mind off the challenge itself.
Sharing Your Challenges In A Photograph
As a photograph you can share your challenges with others (I’m currently encouraging people to share the photographs they make from my challenges on my Facebook page). Sharing your photographs, either in a photography group or with friends and family, opens them up to discussion. Friends and family may want to discuss what is behind the photograph and the challenges that you are facing. A photography group though would transforms your challenge into something else. The artistic nature of the photograph would be discussed, or the technical aspects. The challenge that you face has instantly transformed from something that is holding you back to something others like, or dislike. It is something that is no longer stopping you, it’s something that is helping you to grow.
Your Challenge Story
Once you start taking photographs of the challenges that you face you may want to take it a step further. Keep your camera, or mobile phone, with you. Document everything that you do in a day, week or however long you want to continue.
Create a scrapbook and add comments along the way explaining each photograph. If you feel confident enough you could also share them on social media. Your story could be a way of finding new people to talk to about common challenges. It could be your story that helps someone else in the same situation.
I will be covering more on documentary photography in my later challenges, however, the idea here is not to think too much about the technical aspects of the photograph. It is the meaning behind the photograph that is more important.
Create A Theme
If you are looking to create a story you may want to think about how your photographs will be viewed together. Try to think about adding a theme to the style (e.g. black and white).
If you did enjoy this challenge it would be great to hear from you. You can always upload your photos or comment on my Facebook Page.
Sharing your photos on my Facebook Page is a great way to get some feedback on your photographs and to help you improve.
I will also be posting my next challenge soon so I hope you will be joining in for more.