Mental health or wellness is not often talked about in the photography industry. This is strange, as most, if not all photographers, always have some psychology involved in their work. Likewise, photography is often cited for its therapeutic effects and applications. However, as with many industries, it’s not completely free of toxicity and has its own sets of stressors.
So, it’s always worth sharing when our fellow photographers share their own insights and encourage discussion on the topic. The more we talk about it, the more we become aware of the stressors and triggers that can affect our mental health. Likewise, it opens us up to various solutions so we don’t feel stuck or helpless when it does happen.
UK-based Jessica McGovern of That Photography Spot is among the brave ones who opened up on her own mental health struggles as a photographer. In the video above, she cites two main causes or triggers: long-term sustained stress and social isolation. In response, she also suggested some strategies on how to protect your mental well-being in the face of these triggers.
Taking care of ourselves
Likewise, one of our authors, Scott Wyden Kivowitz recently did deep dive on the topic for the ImagenAI blog. In a nutshell, he reminds us, “Mental health is essential for photographers because it can save your life and business. Your mental health will always suffer if you don’t take care of it.”
“Something else that is interesting is often, as photographers, we make images of people’s mental states. Those could be happy times like weddings, sad times like loss, and everything else in-between,” he also noted.” There can be a lot of pressure to succeed in the photography industry. With so many tools, social media platforms, increased competition, it can be easy to feel you are falling behind if you’re not constantly producing your best work.”
In fact, among the shocking realities he shared is that 1 in 4 photographers is facing mental health challenges. There are many reasons behind them, but burnout, the unknown future, compounding responsibilities and lack of support system top the list.
You may not be feeling any signs of burnout, anxiety or depression right now, but it can still happen. And you can do something about it. You can protect your mental health. You can manage your triggers. And definitely, you can seek help when needed.
Have you been experiencing some mental health challenges due to your personal or professional photography? What measures are you doing to improve or protect your mental well-being? Share your insights with us in the comments below, or in our group discussions if you’re already part of the Photofocus Community.