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Stress Relief Through Photography

Hello friends.

I have an honest question for you, and one I hope you take a moment to consider: how are you?

That question is powerful, isn’t it? In my 18 years of teaching photography and journalism it was one of the defining questions I would ask my students daily.

Some of you know my story, and how I recently resigned from my teaching position. To say that this has been a stressful time is an understatement. So today I had to take a moment for myself to ask myself: am I okay?

I think I’m okay. I have an exciting new career. My family is safe. I no longer stay up though the night worrying about what kind of burden would be placed on my students the next day.

But just to be safe, I grabbed my camera and went to Neale Woods in Omaha, Nebraska. It was easy to do, being nearly 60 degrees today, but I wanted to spend some time outside in the sun and take some photographs of the beautiful world we have around us.

I wandered through some muddy paths and took some photographs, not worrying so much about exposure or focus. The photos you see here from this mini adventure of mine using a digital camera with the sensibilities of an old rangefinder. My eyes looked through the beautifully bright clear glass of the optical viewfinder as I took photos and enjoyed the act of documenting what I saw.

After just a few minutes, I felt some weight lift from my shoulders. I smiled. I listened to the wind and the birds and the planes flying overhead.

I felt wonderful, and it had to do with getting outside and creating something.

While I was out there, I had ideas for my photography courses that I’m developing for Mr. Z’s Photo School. These have very little to do with the technical side of photography, and more to do with the connection between our art, our world, and our well-being.

Some ideas:

  • Macro Photography for the Soul
  • Finding Magic In Your Back Yard
  • Looking for the light in the Every Day
  • Photography and Writing

So if you’re intrigued by the idea of photography as a form of therapy, or you just want to find ways to create and grow in creative ways, then I hope you keep in touch as I develop these ideas and begin to bring them to the world.

The world needs more positivity and light. It needs joyous moments of creation.

As I move forward, I want that to be my defining mission in what I hope to teach others about photography.

I’m excited for the future, and I invite you to feel free to pick up your camera and create. You just might feel better afterward.