Photography And Ptsd

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Jagged Angel

I have recently bought a fancy DSLR. the reason for this is that I was finding my little compact camera just didn't cut it for the images i wanted. I take my camera everywhere I can these days, and I have found a very deep love for photography.

Anyway, I was recently reflecting on my photography habits (and addiction!), and realised that because of the camera, I am now able to cope with things I couldn't cope with BC (before camera ;)). Things like: heavily populated shopping malls, music concerts, agricultural shows, markets, cities... essentially anything with a lot of people about. I also used to have trouble with overly-beautiful places because of the emotional overload, and now I can cope better with it. I used to find a lot of the world quite a sensory overload in general...

I have realised that the camera allows me to 'filter' the world. At first, it was because I could look through the viewfinder and there would be a very small part of the world there... this I could cope with. I believe that now I have begun to think in terms of the viewfinder... I have begun to see the world in small pieces, as though I am scoping it out for a photograph! this has meant that I actually want to go outside the house... if only to photograph things. Now when I travel, I cope with the world to the point that I can go out of the hotel early in the morning and not even think of returning until late at night (whereas BC, I would have to return to the hotel at least twice to rest from the overload), I am attending concerts, and agricultural shows, and car shows, and going to crowded places deliberately to take photographs! I am deliberately seeking out incredibly beautiful places to photograph. to be honest, this camera has changed my life.

I still have problems with the outside world, but the camera has given me a way of existing I thought was gone forever.

I just wanted to share this with people who understand....
Hi, yes I am. I love photography and it has played a role in my recovery too. Something random and interesting, when I am dissociating a lot, I will set up different shots in my head, even without my camera. It helps me be in the room and think about something else.

Congrats on your new love. What do you most like to shoot? I am a portrait photographer but would love to shoot more nature, landscape, historic sites. But I tend to stay busy with my business. What kind of camera do you have?

Have you read Understanding Exposure?
I love photography, my best friend was a photographer and had Asperger's so he adjusted by using his cameras to get out be amongst people.

I enjoy being able to see what's in my head actualized. I can do that with paints sometimes but not as easily.

I think it's fantastic what you are doing and would love to see some of your work some time, if you ever care to share.

Simply Complex: What do I like most to shoot? I think I like shooting singular objects close-up... a very small portion of the world to deal with... I love photographing the detritus of human life - burnt-out cars, derelict houses, broken things, old rusty machinery, coke cans in odd places (coke cans are so nicely red against their surrounds...). I bought a Nikon 3100, and got the latest 18-270 Tamron lens for it. I'm a baby when it comes to DSLR, so I figured if I went with one of the best entry-level cameras to start with, I'd do ok. It's a huuuuge learning curve! (and I often simply don't get it right).

I'm really pleased that there's someone on here who has made photography their business... I'd love to do that, but I suspect that I may not enjoy it so much if I had to take photos for others rather than myself. How do you cope with that part of it?

I have not read 'understadnig exposure'... I will Google it, and find it out.
Understanding Exposure is the bible of learning DSLR ... highly recommend it, even if you have been shooting a bit. I started with a Canon XTi...its a good entry level. Now I shoot a 5D Mkii (its a great camera!).

Its interesting, your interest in burnt out cars and such is similar to mine in a way. I love to shoot historical places...not in historic ways, like post cards. Up close details where people touched or crafted, with an eye on the subtle details. Of course, i get to rarely.

Being in buessiness for yourself and doing portraits...not for the faint hearted. I have really struggled, honestly. I will be "into it" for a while, then PTSD/depression and anxiety catches up to me and I slack off. Luckily my husband is the primary wage earner so anything I make is "extra" and there is very low over head. But I got on celexa (my first SSRI) 3 weeks ago and it has kicked in and I am really getting serious again. Hopfully it will help me keep my head in the game.

I used to be nervous a lot! But I wanted to do it and I loved it. Now I only get nervous if it is a tough 5 kids or a party for adults. You put on your business "hat" and get to it. Ya know?
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