What is Photography Therapy?

Photography is more than just taking photographs. It can also be used as a holistic approach to therapy through the expression of thoughts and feelings. Photography can be used as a form of therapy, especially for those experiencing various forms of mental or psychological issues. Photography can help you better express, understand and even overcome mental issues such as anxiety and depression.

Photography can help you to get back on track especially after suffering from any tragic or sad incident. Photographs have some kind of healing effect on many people out there. There are times when expression through words may be difficult for you and only through photography can you express what you are actually experiencing or feeling.

The Two Types of Photography as a Means of Therapy

There are usually two types of photography that are accepted to be forms of therapy. They are phototherapy and therapeutic photography. It is important to note, though, that both of these types of therapy photography do not actually require advanced photographic skills, knowledge or training to do.

Here below we take an in-depth look into the two distinct types of photography therapy:

  1. Therapeutic Photography

Therapeutic photography, just like the name suggests, is a form of photography that involves taking photos with the purpose of helping in personal healing, reflection, and growth. The process can either be done consciously or unconsciously by the individual involved.

You can actively explore, construct, and even reflect on the photos by paring them with creative writing and get to learn more about yourself and how you perceive the world to be.

To begin, you can either personally or in a group take photos and store them for purposes of the therapy. In a case where you are just personally involved in the taking of photos without the assistance of a therapist, there actually is no therapy session that is involved. However, the main thing here will be just the photos and taking photos that will provide therapy in itself.

The other important point to note is that therapeutic photography is not only just about taking photos alone. There are other aspects involved such as posing for the photos, viewing the photos, discussing the photos, visualizing or imagining the photos taken. For you to partake better in therapeutic photography, it can be better to join adventure or camera clubs that get involved in photo taking sessions.

  1. Phototherapy

While therapeutic photography may be done by an individual for his or her personal self-inquiry, phototherapy is different. Phototherapy involves therapy techniques that are used most often by therapists to help their patients to cope up with their emotional or even personal problems. In Phototherapy, the camera is used as a tool of effecting personal or social change. It has been established that the way a person reacts to a particular image at a certain time may provide clues to their unconscious.

Here are some phototherapy techniques which are often used in phototherapy:

  • Projective Process – the projective process is defined as a person’s emotional reaction to photographs basically coming from within the person and reflected unto the image itself. The projective process technique is usually used to help the patient to improve and build their confidences and also explore the influences they may have. The projective process is usually most beneficial when working with people who are marginalized more so when the issues that are being dealt with are not visible and evolve around individual identities.

  • Self-Portraits – therapists use the self-portraits technique when they are dealing with a client who is conscious and in complete control of how they see and perceive themselves. When a person takes a photo, he/she is usually in control of the pose and style they deem fit. In self-portraits, there is usually no outside interference, and the final photo that is released to the public is what the owner likes. Self-portraits can help women as well as those who have been marginalized with constraints against them externally.

  • Photographs Taken of the Client by Other People – When you start to view a photo of yourself that is taken by another person, you get to have an opportunity of finding out how a person views you. You basically have the opportunity to have a glimpse of the outside view of yourself. You have the sense of how the world views you and get to find out if the views go hand in hand with the self-portrait.

Looking at photography and how it can help people who need therapy

There are just so many reasons why photography is proving to be a good form of therapy. There are a number of methods of using photography as a form of therapy. A person, for instance, can decide to write down his feelings and thoughts before finally using photos to explain what they have written down.

Here, it must be noted that it is always just not about the photos but rather the process that is involved. Taking the images, carrying the camera, looking through the lens, hearing the clicking sound of the camera and also walking around looking for scenes and situations to capture, just makes photography therapeutic.

Photography offers people a platform that they can use to have a look at the world in an objective manner. Through the images that people can see, they get a sense of the real life they are living and not the usually protected thoughts that people keep deep in their minds. This way, people get to become mindful of the things that are around them and what is actually happening in sharp contrast to what they think (and is some instances believe) are happening. When one develops mindfulness in photography, it is therapeutic because it exposes the hidden realities the individual thought he/she knew about.

Photography is a way that people can express themselves, and for this, it can be used to uncover a person’s real psychological state. Through photography, a person’s genuine feelings and emotions can be exhibited. This allows others to get to understand a person better without the person actually having to utter words that would otherwise be difficult to say. This facet of photography makes it a real deal of therapy as it goes a long way in liberating a person from things which previously may have been understood about him/her!

Photography enables people to see things in more depth and also be more attentive to the things that they see, hear, think, and feel. Photography encourages people to ask more questions which, in the end, encourage people to become even more enlightened about certain matters which before made them worried or confused. The therapeutic part of photography here is that it enables people to have a deeper understanding which in a way is healing.

Through photography, people can change their daily experiences. Taking a photo of something that was otherwise ordinary to you in a different angle can bring a new dimension of how you think of it. Through photography, things that were just ordinary can change and become special, especially when you look back at them in photos. Here the therapeutic aspect of photography comes in the sense that looking at a picture can bring a positive and happy feeling that did not exist before.


Photography Tips For Weddings At Sea

Most couples these days like to have a wedding by the sea. It could either mean a beach wedding, or weddings on a cruise or a yacht. Whatever is the case, it is often a challenge for the photographer to take care of his equipment (from the sand and the water), and also get the right shots amongst so many wedding guests.

Here are a few tips to help you capture weddings at sea beautifully.

Go wide

Even though weddings are all about capturing the right emotions and get candid shots of people with close-ups and portrait shots, when it comes to sea weddings, you must cash on the beautiful landscape and take advantage of the surroundings. So don’t forget to take along your wide lenses, to get the right feel of the sea and the beach, as that will help you add a great aesthetic feel to your pictures.
Play with silhouettes

With the sun shining bright during the day, you will get innumerable chances to play with shadows and silhouettes. Make sure that you use it to your advantage, because the same shadows and silhouettes around the shining seawater seem great. You can also get nice light rays and other beautiful light effects in your pictures.
Add more color

With the blue water and the sandy beaches, you can get decent subtle colors in your pictures. However, since you are covering weddings, and not landscapes, you must ensure that your compositions bring more color to the photographs, by means of right foregrounding and background. Look for the greens in the plants, or the colors in the flowers and the decorations. In other words, make your pictures more vibrant with smart choice of combinations.
Take some monochrome shots

You’ll get beautiful monochrome shots when you are on the beach. Make sure you capture the sea waves and the splashes well. The shots will also come out nice during sunset or sunrise. For night weddings however, you may only get good monochromatic shots if the lighting is good, or if you have an assistant to help you with an umbrella or an extra flash etc.
Don’t miss out the sky

Weddings at sea are your opportunity to get sunrise, sunset and all the beautiful changing colors in the sky as the sun moves and the hours pass by. Try and capture these beautiful colors well, by incorporating the sky in a lot of your pictures. For night shots however, make sure that you somehow control the settings and bounce off the extra lights, such that they don’t land directly on the subjects.

Needless to say, you need to keep your equipment safe all the time, so get rain and dust proof covers for your camera and lenses. Take your tripod along to get good group shots; though don’t rely on it fully. The more you move around and spot great shots on your own, the better variety you’ll get. And maximize on natural light as much as you can. Work on aperture priority in cases where the light in the sky keeps changing frequently.

This article is submitted by Georgia Perry. She is a world class photographer and has captured the hearts of many people with her excellent photography. She also does freelance photography and says it is always a pleasure to work with the Bristol wedding photographers as they are fun to work with.

Everything You Need To Know About Headshot Photography

Because photography is an interwoven craft usable in many forms, today we’ll discuss an undiscovered model or actor’s best portfolio friend: the headshot. The less complex description of these photos: a headshot is a concurrent, 8x10 picture of yourself that is used to determine your castability for roles in musical productions, your face’s potential to sell brands or just your mug for portfolios to obtain work in entertainment fields.

The more complex answer: A headshot is an updated, 8x10 picture of yourself that reflects your type and is primarily focused on the features of your face. A headshot is your calling card; your personal photo advertisement for securing interviews and auditions with agents, managers, and casting directors.

Below are commonly asked questions regarding the headshot photography world:

Are headshots in color, or black and white?

Color photography is the standard for headshots; in fact, the color saturation is richer today than ever before. Color photography gives casting directors an accurate view of your features such as your skin tone and eye color; never accept photos in black and white unless you’ve been instructed to do so.

What’s the difference between a headshot, ¾ shot, and full length shot?

The name refers to the amount of body captured in the 8x10 photo.

Headshots cover the top of the head to the sternum (middle of chest). ¾ shots are from the top of the head/ hair to approximately the midpoint of the thigh. (Most ¾ shots stop at the waist.) Full length shots capture the full length of the body.

Stick with either the headshot or ¾ shot.  Full length shots are normally used chiefly for modeling pros, and not necessarily great for casting calls. While it’s good to give casting directors an idea of your body type, usually a shot picturing the body from the waist up is more than enough and are far more dynamic.

How much should headshots cost?

You should expect to spend anywhere between $300 - $800 on a photographer and prints. While it’s extremely imperative to have professional headshots, it’s equally imperative to avoid deteriorating your finances on overly expensive headshot sessions; this is cash that can be better spent on training, marketing and so forth. There are many affordable photographers, many which may charge $400 or less, that are able capture a great selection of shots to help you stand out to casting directors, agents, and managers that you’ve shown an interesting in casting for.

Should I just take the photo myself or get a friend to shoot me?

Because these photos are designed for professional settings, having unprofessional camera operators at the helm is perhaps no-no number one. Remember, you’re a professional performer; because you want to emanate that professionalism, professionally taken photos should always be your modus operandi in theatrical or general acting lore. Anything with your name on it is a reflection of your talent and work.

In Closing: It All Starts with the Photographer

Because your ultimate goal is minimizing your initial investment, finding an affordable photographer is priority numero uno. Once you’ve found the perfect man or woman, discuss your goals so they can provide the right lighting, backdrops, close-ups and portrait rendering.  Certain fields require certain sizes of photo spreads; having the right photographer in your corner is definitely a huge bonus, but never a guaranteed ‘in’ when speaking of casting selections or lead roles in plays.

About the Author

Roger Kowalewski is a freelance writer and photography buff from Indiana. You can follow him on Google+.

5 Key Issues That You Need To Consider When Selecting Portrait Professional Retouching Software

Selecting portrait professional software is never easy. What makes the task hard is the fact that there are so many retouching applications in the market, and each single application claims to be the best. But when all is said and done, one has to ultimately make a decision on the portrait professional retouching software to use. Now that is a decision that can be made randomly (without any considerations) – perhaps just by tossing a coin.

The decision on the retouching software to use is also one that can be made in a rational manner: after making some objective considerations. Needless to say, the latter approach to selection of retouching software is better. But for you to be able to use it, you need to know what the relevant considerations are: hence the need for this discussion on the key things you need to consider when selecting professional retouching software. Those key issues that you need to consider when selecting portraitprofessional retouching software include:

  1. User-friendliness: You will generally have an easier time if you opt for a professional retouching software application that is truly user friendly. One good measure of user-friendliness is how easy the software is to use, at a general level. Another good measure of user-friendliness in this sort of software is the appearance of the user-interface: whether it is intimidating or welcoming. When all is said and done, you need to remember that some of the highly hyped portraitprofessional retouching software applications are actually not very user friendly. The user friendliness of the retouching software you opt to use will have a bearing on something as crucial as the amount of time you will be spending on the retouching work tasks. It will also have some influence on how enjoyable (or stressful) the retouching work will be, for you.
  2. Available features: You need to first undertake some research, to gain insight on the features that are generally and by convention viewed as ‘essential features' in retouching software. Then you need to ensure that the software you ultimately decide to use is of a variety that has all the identified ‘essential' features. It is, for instance, crucial for you to know what face touch-up capabilities the software you consider buying has. Then you need to know what ‘feature enhancement' capabilities the software you consider buying has. This is because, in the final analysis, most of the work you'll be doing in terms of retouching portraits, will revolve around those two areas – namely feature enhancements and facial touch-up.
  3. User support: You are definitely better off opting for a retouching software application that enjoys genuinely good technical support. This will ensure that help will always be at hand whenever you get stuck with certain aspects of the software's usage. Security and other technical patches/updates for the retouching software are also likely to be available in a timely manner (if you opt for a well-supported application).
  4. Cost: All we can say about cost is that you should see to it that the software you opt to buy is, in all senses, good value for money.
  5. Versatility: You can figure out how versatile a given retouching software application is by trying to get insight on the sorts of plug-ins available for it, and trying to understand what import and export capabilities it has.

Annabel Lee is a photographer and a hobbyist who makes professional portrait for years. Her portrait professional has won great popularity among her clients thanks to her advanced skills on retouching portraits.


Make This A Picture Perfect Holiday Season With These Photography Tips

The holidays create cherished memories, and in order to capture these memories perfectly, many people use their cameras to take as many pictures as possible. Unfortunately, because most of us aren’t trained professionals, our holiday photos rarely turn out the way we want them to. Thankfully, with a few quick tips, you can learn to make your holiday pictures shine.

Shoot, shoot, shoot.

In order to capture the best holiday photos, you need to be ready to take a boatload of pictures. Taking multiple photos of the same shot will help you to choose the best picture, and it will even help to capture an entire moment, such as a child opening up a present. Although you may not want to have your camera stuck to your face during the holidays, taking a plethora of photos will certainly help you capture those great pictures. Plus, all the photo taking will help you learn which camera settings, angles and shots work and which, well, don’t.

Get up close and personal.

How many photos have you seen where the subject of the picture is surrounded by a lot of dead space? Don’t make this mistake. If you want to create the best possible holiday pictures, you need to get up close and personal. Eliminate the amount of dead space in your photos by getting closer to your subjects (or even using your zoom button). You’ll be surprised at how much better your pictures turn out when your subject is the main focus and not the random items in the background.

Don’t be afraid to try new angles.

Everyone always seems to take their photos head on, but there’s no rule that says that’s the only way to take pictures. Try to take shots at different angles. Stand above your child as they open a present, or be on one side of them. Try to take pictures from a different point of view. The more creative you can get with your shots, the better they’ll turn out.

Don’t focus your subjects in the center.

Everyone thinks that the subject of a photo always has to be in the center of the shot, but it doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to put the subject of your photo on the right, left, top or bottom of the photo. Sometimes putting your subject off center creates a better story for the picture and makes them that much better.

Experiment with your settings.

Your camera has more than one setting, and it’s important that you experiment with the different settings in order to take the best pictures. For example, learning when to use a lower shutter speed or a quicker shutter speed will help improve your photos, and learning when to use auto focus and when to use manual focus can also be beneficial. Don’t be afraid to play around with your settings to find those that work best for your holiday photo needs.

Get a grip on lighting.

The lighting in your photos will make or break your shot, so it’s important you know the right lighting for your pictures. For example, you should always opt to use a flash when taking pictures outside, as it will help bring light to your subject and remove the blue tint that occurs on snow. You should also try to avoid using your flash while inside, as it will typically flatten your photo and wash out your subjects. You should also avoid using a flash when taking a picture of a lit Christmas tree, as a flash will diminish the effect of the tree’s lights and wash it out. Learning the right lighting for your holiday photos, and experimenting with different lighting options, will help create the best photos.

About the Author

Jayma Watson is an amateur photographer, freelance writer and blogger who spends as much time as possible capturing family memories.