This is the twelfth blog in a series on COVID-19 and lockdown, edited by firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Wayne Beattie's fight with anxiety and depression using photography as his weapon of choice was recently covered in a BBC news article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-54621208
I caught up with Wayne for a chat about how he came to photography and how it helps him.
After recognising his mental health issues Wayne had already taken the brave step to speak to someone. After a few wrong turns he found counselling and had already begun to talk about his issues when he discovered the power of image making.
Wayne told us that he realised immersion in photography was a great tool for managing his stress when, after being away for a family trip, he saw that he had taken more than 600 images with his smartphone. The physical act of looking for opportunities and making pictures stopped him thinking about negative stuff. Speaking with his counsellor they agreed that this was a good method to manage Wayne's depression - and would avoid the need for any medication for depression.
Making images is a form of meditation that many people use, we can clearly see how Wayne's approach works. Wayne particularly likes making pictures of animals - particularly unusual ones. It is Wayne's use of Instagram that brought him to the attention of the BBC reporter; Wayne is known as @casual_snapshots and uses hashtags #MyJourney, #AnxietyBattle, #DepressionBattle, #MentalHealth, #Depression and #Anxiety - tags which a large community are using to share their ups and downs on social media. Wayne posts images taken in and around Teesside, showing industry as well as local countryside and wildlife - all with useful comments on the positive impact the visit and the images are making on his day.
Let Wayne's photography do the talking, take a look at https://www.instagram.com/casual_snapshots/.
Other blogs in this series: