Photography is the best tool for self-therapy.


You are creative every day.

Single line face sketches by ANNETTE KIM from CREATIVE EVERY DAY

Hapticlabs Kyoto Office- Jennifer Nguyen, Annette Kim joins us to make CREATIVE EVERY DAY
Color wheel theory: Dynamic tension between opposing colors. Image from CREATIVE EVERY DAY

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Why is photography self therapy?

First of all, photography is a tool that helps us be creative every day.

All humans are creative. If we don’t have a creative outlet to express ourselves, we become frustrated, depressed, and lose a sense of purpose or direction in life.

Many of us turn to photography because it is an instant way to make visual pictures and art. Even Henri Cartier-Bresson called the camera and photography: “Instant sketches”.

To me, when I am out making pictures, I feel less anxiety, frustration, and fear in my life. I don’t worry about finances, family drama, or concern myself with the future. I fall into a “photo zen” flow— where the only thing that exists is myself, the camera, and reality. It is a loss of my ego, a loss of a sense of self, time, and I feel self-elevated.

Cindy hand touching mirror in wedding dress, 2016

Negative space. Marseille, 2015 #cindyproject
Man walking on track. Sapa, Vietnam 2017

Take your camera on a walk to clear your mind

Whenever I need to clear my mind, I just go on a walk with my camera. This one painter Paul Klee once said,

Painting is taking a line for a walk.

I think photography is:

Taking your camera for a walk.

When you walk your camera, and walk yourself — you feel better. As humans, we are designed to walk. The less we walk, the more depressed we get. Movement is tied to human well-being, and also by walking and taking pictures, we are killing two birds with one stone:

  1. Making pictures (artistic outlet)
  2. Walking (exercise, walking meditation, clearing of the mind)

If we add street photography to the picture, then you do even better — now we can interact with strangers. We can have a nice chat, and be social.

Take your photography seriously.

Don’t take your photography lightly– take it seriously. Take it as a tonic for your soul.

Photography is self-therapy. Make pictures to help empower yourself.

Therefore, if anyone tries to prevent you from going out and making photos, be adamant. Be adamant that you must photograph for yourself. And consider, the more you empower yourself, the more you will empower your family and f

Photography self-therapy assignments

  1. For a month, every day, for lunch — don’t eat lunch with any of your colleagues or workmates. Rather, go on a walk with your camera for 30 minutes or so, and shoot street photography. Pack your own lunch, or grab something quick on-the-go.
  2. When you are feeling anxious, stressed, or mad, shoot a self-portrait of yourself. Examine the look on your face– the creases, furrows, and how your face looks. Ask yourself, “Is this how I like to look?” By photographing your own face under stressful moments, you will better understand your physiology.
  3. Show gratitude through your pictures: As an assignment, only photograph your loved ones for a month (no other subjects). This will help you find more appreciation and love for those individuals in your life you truly care about.



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