A Psychologist shares insight into Mindful Photography
With the mandatory quarantine isolations happening worldwide at the moment, this is the perfect time to join in with the fun. A new free Mindful Photography course is currently open for intake, which now makes this available as an online activity, accessible any time, from anywhere!
Learn the basics of Photography, how to incorporate Mindfulness with that & participate in the weekly Mindful Photography activities shared there. All from the comfort & safety of wherever you find yourself.
Share your captures through the Instagram feed or become a part of the private Facebook Group to meet others & chat about your experiences in a safe, friendly place.
The first step involves observing where you are & what is happening in this moment, the second step is where you are inquisitive about that, but without any judgement or expectation.
Forget the day
See with innocence
Be in the now
Prior to sharing my experiences, for the readers benefit, I must add this short caveat & warning of potentially intense topics mentioned:
I fully acknowledge this to have been my experience with Mindfulness & Photography & that this may well be different for others; with their experiences ranging from similar effectiveness through to it possibly being of no benefit for them at all.
This is not professional health advice, but there is academic evidence shared for its validity of application in the Articles section.
The topics of suicide & intense mental health experiences are mentioned in the first paragraph immediately following; this may possibly be distressing for some readers.
Having a lived-experience of complex & intense mental health challenges, digital photography entered my life during a rock-bottom period in 2012 when I was suicidal. Being at my wits end after years of debilitating psycho-pharmaceutical medication causing irreversible side-effects, even meditation & other modalities of help were not being of any genuine assistance for me at the time.
It was at this point that I took a gamble on buying myself a cheap, bottom of the line camera kit, with two lenses. Photography was something that I really had enjoyed as a teenager in high school & I was not to be disappointed revisiting my old friend!
The ability to deeply observe & reconnect with the beauty of the world around me was an instantaneously beneficial experience; it allowed me the opportunity to escape all the intense thoughts of despair, as is so easily achieved when you put the viewfinder to your eye!
It was this experience of reconnecting with Nature in safe & creative ways that saved my life. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was experiencing Mindfulness & entering a state of Flow, where time & all the woes of the world disappear from mind!
Sharing this with others in easy, safe ways is what Happy Snappers Adelaide arose from. Doing this voluntarily so as to make this a free or extremely low cost activity was of the utmost importance to me for there to be genuine equity of access & this still remains true to this day with this now offered through free to access online forums for anyone, anywhere to join in with the weekly Mindful Photography activities shared there.
Happy Snappers Adelaide is a Mental Health initiative created by Alex Mausolf a Social Innovator in Adelaide, South Australia. Held as a free activity or with low fees that just cover group transport costs. It has been adapted for use interstate & overseas, it is now being delivered online too.
An assortment of discussions, thoughts, insights, tips & ideas that revolve around the theme of Mindful Photography as is explored by Happy Snappers.
The how to do it set of PDF’s for holding your own group is in its last stages of development & will be shared for free soon!
A Psychologist shares insight into Mindful Photography
Some easy suggestions of Mindful Photography explorations.
A photographer reflects on their experiences of Mindfulness.
Lose yourself, I dare you!
Is there any evidence for the basis of this as an activity?
1 Mad Idea & lots of courage
Absolutely! As the online self-directed course is a Mindful Photography activity, the use of a camera or a mobile phone is not really that important in this regards. If you are aware of how to access a state of Mindfulness, the type of camera used is irrelevant when practising Mindful Photography! That is the primary purpose of this free online course, the sharing of simple guidance on how to access a state of Mindfulness when photographing.
Not at all. The online course starts off with the absolute basics of Mindfulness, incorporating Photography as the mechanism to easily access that state of being!
For those interested in attending the in-person groups, they start off using cameras in semi-automated modes where you will be surprised just how quickly & easily you can be capturing images that pop!
For sure! The online course has a private Facebook Group that is a safe space to share your experiences & get to know others who are also undertaking the course at their own pace.
You can also share your images on Instagram using our hashtag of #happysnappersmindfulphotography
Enrolments are open now! The first part of the course will be live by the middle to end of May, 2020.
Fill out the expression of interest form at the top of the page to register & be notified as things go live.
Currently, they are based in the outer Southern suburbs of Adelaide, in Hackham. A city based Meetup group is in the process of being arranged for Saturdays too, details for that will be fully updated when finalised.
Being fully upfront with you, for the in-person groups held by Alex a controllable camera is really needed for this to work easily & well. If you see a control dial with PASM written on it, or you know that you can access these modes on your camera somewhere, you’re good to go! DSLR’s, Mirrorless & Compact cameras are all normally up to the task.
Yes, Happy Snappers Adelaide has eight cameras available for use, ranging from standard DSLR’s through to tiny & easy to hold mirrorless cameras. They are only available for use in the weekday groups or special one-off events that we co-host.
On days that are just too hot, cold, wet or windy to get out as a group, indoor photography can be arranged for the weekday groups & for the weekend groups editing in one of the city based libraries can be arranged.