Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.
Find out more
We use cookies and similar technologies to optimise your experience when using this site, to help us understand site usage, and to tailor our advertising on third party sites. Read about Cookies and view our Privacy Policy at the bottom of each page on our website at any time.

RPS Members Summer Exhibition | Call for entries now open | Enter your work

Transporter
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie

Photography as a tool against depression

Contemporary Home | Events | News

This is the twelfth blog in a series on COVID-19 and lockdown, edited by contemporaryweb@rps.org and contemporarydeputy@rps.org

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.

Tyre
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie
Beach
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie
Hero Action Figure
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie
River
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie
Bridge
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie
Autumn Colour
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie
Lake
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie
Tree Arch
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie
Squirrel
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie
Elephant
CREDIT: Wayne Beattie

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/.