I recently spoke at a bereavement group about my experiences with photographic journalling. Since then, I have had a few people ask me about it so I thought that I would share my thoughts here…….
I’ll start by telling you how this whole thing even came about for me, because I didn’t sit down one morning and say “today is the day that I am going to create a photographic journal”. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Last year, I went to a photography conference with Brooke Shaden. While I went there with the intention of bettering my photography skills…. the conference for me, was less about photography and so much more about self discovery. At the conference, I successfully tried meditation for the first time….and I say successfully, because I admittedly attempted various forms of meditation more times than I can count. MeRa Koh talked about 4 minutes of quiet reflection and how she incorporates this into her daily routine. Spending 4 minutes a day, quietly reflecting, listening to your inner voice and using visualization to help you achieve clarity was the focus of her speech. I laughed to myself as she described her experiences thinking how silly it was and how I could never do that.it just wasn’t in me… It wasn’t until I experienced it first hand, that I witnessed the power of our subconscious. This was a huge turning point for me both personally and professionally. Professionally my work has taken a completely different turn. I am able to work with my intuition. Grab hold onto my thoughts and create much deeper more meaningful work. Personally, I had always been afraid of quieting the noise, and listening to me inner voice. Immediately putting up my walls during times of discomfort. I was afraid of what would happen if I let myself just be with my thoughts. Meditation for me has now become part of my daily routine. Its a time for quiet reflection. A time without judgement. A time to really listen to my inner voice and have it guide me. During these times of quiet reflection, I began to see images…..images that made no sense to me at the time……but I wrote them down nonetheless. After I had about 3 of these “visions” I sat down and I read them over……trying to figure out what the heck a room full of broken eggs, and circling black birds had in common……no easy task. At the very least, I thought they could be interesting and original individual pieces. I began researching the symbolism of some of my visions…and writing down key points that I found interesting and that’s when I realised the meaning behind these inital visions. It was almost like my subconscious was speaking to me…..screaming at me to release my feelings. I know that sounds crazy. But that’s the only way that I can describe it. All the feelings and emotions that I have had showed themselves to me in a way that felt purposeful and safe. I began writing notes, reading about grief, and reliving that day with such clarity. I was driven internally to complete this project and so, I began telling my secret through photography This process of allowing myself to explore my inner most feelings, has be empowering, but at the same time quite scary and emotionally unsettling. I honestly never gave myself permission to grieve or to feel anything. What I began feeling during this process was lightness. Physically I felt it in my chest….never before did I realize just how much tightness I held in my chest…almost as if I was protecting my broken heart. I felt it cognitively in my thoughts. I also just felt an overall sense of purpose….I knew….needed to do this. Photographic journalling has allowed me to recognize and express my feelings and emotions, and I hope that by sharing my experiences that it encourages you to explore yours with creativity and purpose.