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CREDIT: Antonia Penia

Therapeutic Photography Self-portrait Experience (SPEX)

RPS Women in Photography Events

Therapeutic Photography Self-portrait Experience (SPEX). A four-hour workshop on Sunday, 23 June 2024 10:00-14:00 BST with Antonia Penia and Kimi Gill, A Look Again Mindful Photography 

The main objective (and expected result) of SPEX is to broaden the perception of oneself, others, and the world and discover the potential in oneself, others, and the world. Any process of transformation of one's own life (such as healing from trauma, addiction, etc.) must necessarily involve the discovery of other aspects of one's own identity. Looking at yourself from different perspectives helps you explore yourself beyond labels, stigmatisation and judgement. SPEX also serves to stimulate the creative process, transforming difficult emotions into photographic works of art.


© Antonia Penia

Structure of the SPEX workshop: 

  • Presentation- we share how therapeutic photography has personally helped us to heal; discussion on self-image, stigmatisation (and self-stigmatisation). Presentation of individual photo sessions, what are they for, and how do they work? 
  • Visual meditation with aromatherapy will be used to prepare for the session.
  • Individual photo self-portrait sessions on expressing emotions in the studio set up on site. 
  • self-portrait exercises using mobile phones and aesthetic choices around the spaces in pairs. Antonia will talk about mindful photography while individual sessions take place.
  • Group work on the multiple and changing perceptions of the images produced, focusing on the numerous and changing perceptions of the images created.
  • Discuss how to continue using photography to express emotions and look at themselves from other points of view; fill in the feedback form. 
© Antonia Penia


Antonia Penia is an award-winning artist, born in Galicia, Spain, and has been based in London since 2010. Antonia is a visual artist who expresses her creative vision using photography, video, and performance art. Through exploring and insinuating her self-image, she creates intimate, sensual and provocative images that examine identity, gender, and social and cultural status and some of the narratives that question human behaviour like issues of power, religion, race, gender, and the relationship between the past and present. She believes self-portraits are a way of healing and practices therapeutic photography. I became a conscious artist expert with 24 years of visual artist experience. I now combine well-being and photography disciplines in my workshops. She is an educator at the National Portrait Gallery and the London College of Fashion. She has been trained as a therapeutic photography facilitator using The Look Again Methodology. 

Feelings of longing, loss, mental health, censorship, and connection to the natural and spiritual world have shaped her work. Throughout her life, she has challenged the history of patriarchy and the abuse of power through gender. She believes in equality and fights for her rights.


Kimi Gill is a London-based photographer with a background in shooting people and portraits for charities, including The National Autistic Society, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Crisis. Through her commercial work, she began to realise the healing benefit of photography and how it can help people improve self-confidence, self-esteem and self-efficacy. She developed her theoretical knowledge of the subject by studying Therapeutic Photography at Robert Gordon University. This is an academic course (PG Cert) focusing primarily on therapeutic approaches such as attachment theory and applying them to personal issues. She then went on to work with Cristina Nunez, studying SPEX (Self Portrait Experience), which she has been delivering in workshops to participants at charities and groups around London.

© Antonia Penia



Soma home, 231 Stoke Newington Church St, N16 9HP London

Studio space you will be working in...





If you are not already a WIP member, joining and benefit from reduced ticket prices and our free member-only events might be advantageous. Join Women in Photography (£10 pa) 


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