I use these photos a lot when I am telling my story.
Photography is a very personal thing for me. I talk about it a lot at my workshops in the hopes that my story of struggle, mental illness and therapy through photography may inspire others and help even just one person facing darkness.
If you were to look through my image archives, you would be able to pinpoint the hardest time of my life, that was 2016. Death surrounded me and when I thought I had hit rock bottom I was hit again and again. It was a long year that crushed a piece of my soul that still has cracks in it to this day.
Throughout it all I had my support group of family and friends, however the most unlikely support and form of therapy for me, came from my photography. Living where I did at the time in southern Qld, there were no friends living around me and my own family were 450km. I worked in a male dominated environment and didn’t really want to speak about it anyway….
I wanted to give up, I would have easily too, until, with encouragement from Jas, I returned to work and started shooting again.
The first three years of my photography career, I always created images hoping that someone else would like them, that they would sell prints and make a name for me. But, after my miscarriage and saying goodbye to my fur baby and best mate of 11 years, I couldn’t really give a shit about all of that.
I was angry, ashamed and fuelled with hate for life and the unfairness of it all. I wanted to scream it every second of everyday. So, that is what I shot. I documented the darkness around me, as if the more I discovered externally, the less would be suffocating me internally. I shot what I felt and didn’t look for smiling faces and warm light because I had none of that in my life.
My camera became my therapist. I showed it how much I was broken and it pieced me back together one dark, angry image at a time. We never spoke, it just let me feel and whatever that was, was never wrong, just understood.
Time passed and my camera was slowly pointed towards the light. We found ourselves outside, in the warmth of the afternoon. I found my sense of humour once again and allowed myself to let go.
Today, I am riddled with anxiety and panic attacks (that’s a story for another day), but I regularly pay visits to that same therapist of mine and we’re working on it…..