My dark days made me stronger. Or maybe I already was strong,

and they just made me prove it.

EMERY LORD

MYSELF
A PORTRAIT OF

A PORTRAIT OF MYSELF

A FREE PROJECT TO HELP THOSE
FACING MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES

A mental health PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT.

Ssshh… Don’t mention mental health. 

Mental health is one of those things that we don’t like to talk about. It is also something that has been talked about a lot during the COVID pandemic, not that this project is about the pandemic. 

Before we begin, if you are looking for an expert who can help you with mental health issues I am not the person you should be talking to. If you are looking for someone to talk to, there are a host of other agencies out there who are better suited to help you. Mind is one that springs to mind (pardon the pun).

I am not even someone who has overcome their mental health challenges. If you are looking for someone who has learned to live with the challenges of mental health, and the opportunities that they can bring, then please read on.

Who Is The Course For?

This photography course is for anyone who has been affected by any form of mental health challenges.

Anyone is free to join in though.

What Will I Need?

A camera, or mobile phone that can take photos.

A computer with Photoshop or similar*.

A notebook or paper and a pen.

How Much Does It Cost?

That is the best part.

This photography course if FREE.

Although you can support it if you like.

A PORTRAIT OF MYSELF

To explain what A PROTRAIT OF MYSELF is all about let us quickly take a look at the words in the name of the project.

A

A unit of measurement to mean one such unit, it also indicates that it could be part of something bigger.

PORTRAIT

A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person.

OF

Expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.

MY

Belonging to me.

SELF

A person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

A PORTRAIT OF MYSELF is about using photography to create an artistic representation of ourselves that tells other about how we are feeling inside. These are feelings that belong to us, by taking that ownership back we take control. It is not about others telling us how we should be feeling. These are your feelings and one that, with understanding, you can learn to control and use to your advantage. 

Lastly, this photography project is about you. It is your photography project, not anyone else’s. What you will create is a reflection of you. It is you that distinguishes you from everyone else. 

I can walk down the street, there's no one there
Though the pavements are one huge crowd
I can drive down the road, my eyes don't see
Though my mind wants to cry out loud

Belinda Carlisle - I Feel Free

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Mental health affects all of us in different ways and can have life changing effects on those who suffer from it, as well as the effect on those around them. Isolation, fear, worry, that invisible force that seems to stop everything in its tracks. How we feel is like a brick wall that surrounds us, it stops us from realising our potential and keeps us locked away, alone, in a dark place.

You are not alone though. According to Mind 1 in 4 people suffer with mental health challenges each year in England.

In a country where nearly 17 million people have felt the effect of challenges caused by mental health, why does it always seem that there is nobody else. Why does our mind want to cry out loud, voiceless to the world around us. The reason behind this is that we are, in the whole, naturally private people when it comes to how we feel. We don’t like to talk about the challenges that we face.

We hide away even further at the thought of sharing how we feel. We don’t want to add to our guilt and shame by making others feel the same way. We don’t want others to see how frail we have become. Other people already have enough going on in their lives, we don’t want to trouble them further or get in the way. We can also just be being greedy, it’s our challenge and we are not going to share it with anyone.

We go through the present blindfolded...
Only later, when the blindfold is removed and we examine the past,
do we realize what we've been through and understand what it means.

Milan Kundera

THE BLINDFOLD

The challenges of mental health can often make us feel as though we are wearing a blindfold. We see our lives the way that our mind wants us to see it. We find ourselves unable to see beyond our blindfold.

The aim of the A PORTRAIT OF MYSELF project isn’t to get rid of the blindfold. The aim is to recognise the blindfold, to understand how the blindfold affects our vision of reality. 

The blindfold for me represents not being able to see what is happening. It’s is the sense of not being in control and being led by the ‘something else’ not knowing where I am going. The blindfold also creates the isolation, it stops me being able to see those around who are able to help. 

More importantly it is stopping me seeing those who I can help by sharing my blindfold.

Make an empty space in any corner of your mind,
and creativity will instantly fill it.

Dee Hock

THE PORTRAIT PROJECT

If you are feeling the challenges of mental health the thought of taking a selfie is probably the last thing on your list of things to do. This project though is not about the portrait. The project is about the process of creating your portrait. 

It is about taking control of the challenges that you face and turning them into something where you are taking charge. Instead of these challenges taking over you, the project will help you to break them down and turn them into a work of art. They say that a picture says a thousand words. You may not be able to talk about how you feel deep inside, perhaps though you don’t need to. Perhaps all you need to do is create an image that can speak for you.

During the project you will go through the process of identifying the challenges that you are facing. You will look at how these challenges make you feel. You will learn how to identify these feelings with other aspects of your life.

Once you have achieved that you will be half way to finding the opportunities in these challenges and find a way to use them for your benefit.

HELP TO KEEP THIS PROJECT FREE

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUPPORT THE PROJECT?

SHARE

Mental health challenges have been around since history began, and it is not going to go away any time soon. The reason that I have added this project to my main website, rather than my blog, is that my aim that this project will continue to support and help those facing mental health challenges. 

One of the best ways that you can support this project is by sharing it. It is as simple as that. If you have a website then please add a link on one of your pages (the link is below for you to copy and paste).

https://christopherjameshall.co.uk/A-PORTRAIT-OF-MYSELF/ 

If you don’t have a website you can always share the project on social media.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp

GIVE

If you feel that you would like to do more than share a link you could also give a donation towards the running costs of the project. The amount is entirely your decision and I will not be asking for anything else from you or contacting you.

Any funds received will enable me to look at ways to improve the project so that more people can be helped.

This link will open a new window

CONTACT

There are of course other ways in which you may want to help. If you are able to help in any way, or would just like to send a message of support, then please use the form below.

Your details will not be kept and I will only contact you back in relation to your message.

MY PHOTOGRAPHY on the blog

Portrait Headshot Wedding Photographer, Bedford, Luton, Bedfordshire

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