Living Through Photography + Nature

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Sitting in the doctor’s office for the first time in about a year and a half, contemplating the drug list they provided at check in…Adderall…Zoloft…They told me to make sure I let the doctor know if anything had changed with the list. I don’t know why those were still listed, it’s been over 3 years since I took either of them.

While I believe everyone has the right to make their own decisions regarding medication, I decided after a few months of taking these they weren’t for me. I didn’t care for how they made me feel and felt there had to be a better way.

This visit, after sharing I was no longer taking them, the doctor asked what I was doing instead. She wondered if I’d found natural supplements to manage my chronic severe anxiety disorder and severe ADD that I’d been diagnosed with at the time those were prescribed. Nope. No supplements.

I had to think about what was different…what had made the biggest difference in my life and realized it was two-fold…nature and photography. Spending time in nature allows me to breath…to focus…to ground. Photography provides much of the same but also adds in an element of mindfulness…of being present.

The two combined are wonderful medicine for me…all I need as reflect back on so many powerful changes within myself. Nature is my favorite thing to take photos of. My second choice would be people but not portraits…more street photography…capturing moments in real life in action.

Here’s where I think the magic lies…

I am fully present. I become part of the image…seeing it from all angles, seeing what’s around it as much as I see what’s in it.

hummingbird flying

Observing all that’s around me…watching for the next photo op to show up. I’m so much more connected and aware of life as I’m looking for a great photo to appear in my path.


I’m more connected to how I feel in that moment. I am capturing moments that touch me…that evoke feelings…and I’m spending time with those feelings.


I’m engaging all of my senses…something required for true mindfulness and presence. I’m not only aware of what I’m seeing through my lens but also what I might hear, taste, touch, and smell.

purple and orange flowers

And, through the photography, I have the opportunity to relive these experiences over and over and over again. The photos bring me right back to the moment I took them…when I felt grounded, connected, present and alive.

All of this bring me to a space where medication is no longer necessary and the things that used to cause me anxiety are not as powerful in my life as they once were. In this moment, I am grateful for the beauty around me and then lens that allows me to capture it.

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