Cindy with hands on face. Red, Kyoto 2017

I think photography is one of the ultimate forms of self therapy. Why?

Cindy with hand on chin. Red. Kyoto, 2017

For myself, I love photography as the opportunity to explore, empty my mind, and find more joy and excitement in life.

Selfie in mirror. Kyoto. 2017

Here are some assignments you can use in photo therapy:


1. Walking meditation

Walking woman. Kyoto, 2017

Leave your phone at home. Go out for a walk, with your camera on your neck or wrist.

Walk 25% slower than you normally do. Treat this assignment as “taking your camera for a walk”.

Slow down. Walk slowly. Feel the pavement underneath your feet. Enjoy each step, slowly.

2. Creative expression

Silhouette. Kyoto, 2017

Use photography as a tool for creative self-expression.

Use the camera as your paint brush, and seek to abstract reality.

Dots. Abstract street photograph. Kyoto, 2017

This assignment will help you feel less anxiety and stress, because you are focused on making pictures, and making art.

And yes, photography is art.

3. Simple shapes and forms

Zen aesthetics. Kyoto, 2017

I find it soothing to photograph aesthetically pleasing forms, like diagonals, triangles, and rectangles.

Looking up. Kyoto, 2017

Clear your mind by looking for interesting textures, shapes, and forms.

Textures in wall. With eyes. Kyoto, 2017

4. Honor thy selfie

Shot through the reflection of an aluminum espresso machine. Kyoto selfie with Cindy. Reflection, 2017. Orange and Blue.

If you’re uncomfortable with your personal body image, make artful selfies of yourself.

Honor thy selfie.

Kyoto selfie, 2017
Selfie with your life partner, will bring you joy.
Eric Kim selfie with flash.

The more comfortable you are photographing yourself, the more you will understand your own self-image.

Also as an assignment, have your partner photograph you:

Portrait of ERIC in Yukata by Cindy.
Cindy takes a picture of ERIC sleeping in Ryokan. Uji, Kyoto 2017

5. Make art everyday

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The best therapy is art. Make art everyday. Learn how to draw, photograph, sketch, write poetry, and just don’t take it too seriously.

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Make photos every day. Don’t censor yourself. Treat your photography with fun, enthusiasm, and shoot like a child.

Photography as a tool of self empowerment

You are creative every day.

Never forget, photography should be used as a tool of empowerment for yourself. Don’t worry about comparing your photography with others. Make photos that bring you more joy, excitement, and enthusiasm for life.

Personally, deleting my Instagram has reduced anxiety, and envy/jealousy in my life.

Ultimately ask yourself the question,

Is photography removing, or adding stress from my life?

BE BOLD,
ERIC

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