Insomnia. Stress. Depression.
Mental health. Photography.


How come worries are multiplied many times when you are trying to get to sleep? I couldn’t sleep last night as I was worrying about work which had to close due to rising number of Covid cases. I had to be in to support vulnerable & key worker students, like in January 2021.

Just as I was nodding off eventually the smoke alarm chose it’s moment to tell me it needs a new battery! Sorted that out at stupid o’clock then the cat woke me up meowing none stop. He was soaked to the skin and proceeding to jump on the bed – cat dried off tried to go back to sleep and…

R-r-r-r-r-i-i-i-i-n-n-n-n-n-g-g-g-g-g! The 06:30 alarm.

There are many articles that link photography to relieve stress, depression, anxiety etc. An article by M. Kennedy (Digital Photography School), looks at 3 Ways Photography Can Ease Anxiety is through Perspective, Getting Out & Expression.

Perspective or the camera’s point of view, the relationship between objects in an image.

However, perspective in everyday language also refers to “a particular way of considering something“. An individual’s perspective is guided by their own experience. So, a person suffering from anxiety may view the world through a prism of distress.

The beauty of photography is that it can change visual experience – which in turn alters personal perspective.

SJ Butler Photography – Mother’s Day Roses 2020

Therefore if you are concentrating on photography (or editing) your energies are funneled into discovering and negotiating subject matter. A focus on composition and exposure stimulates a perceptible reach beyond mental distress and sustained visual-analysis distracts the mind which can loosen the grip of anxiety, improving perspective.

Getting out

If you are feeling stressed or anxious you are often advised to get out of the house, exercise or go out for a walk something that gets endorphins pumping which promotes good mental health.

For me the potential for a great photographic opportunity is a powerful motivator which is why, during lockdown I was constantly out on my bike with my camera.

SJ Butler Photography – On the boardwalk 2020


When Nicéphore Nièpce succeeded in making the earliest surviving camera-made photograph in 1826, he probably didn’t envisage the far-reaching impact his endeavor would have on the human transferal of information.

Because no two experiences are the same, anxiety can be hard to endure and even harder to explain. Many photographers, however, have found ways to channel their experiences within photography, editing or photo manipulation.

SJ Butler Photography – Droste effects of flowers 2020

SJ Butler Photography – Sunny days composition 2020

There are many interesting articles on the internet, however this photographer has some good images to depict anxiety and depression.

2021 2022 Alternative Photography april archive Autumn birds blossom blue botanical busy butterfly cards cats Christmas cumbria cyanotypes february Flowers gardening Gardens lakes Landscapes leaves macro march may memories months national trust nature Photography quote quotes SJ Butler Spring summer sunrise sunset time travels trees video winter Yorkshire


2 thoughts on “Positivity

  1. What an interesting piece. I had never directly thought about the potential of photography to relieve anxiety but it makes complete sense – the way an interest in taking photos can lure you out for a walk AND make that walk more enjoyable, the way the need to focus on what you’re photographing takes all your concentration and leaves less room for your worries, and then editing and maybe manipulating later at home can do the same of course.

    I do love your flower images 🙂 I’m curious about what tools you use in your manipulations?

    Liked by 1 person

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