One Month of Self-discovery: Photography Challenge

by - July 09, 2018

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Art is an incredible medium of self-expression. When it comes to self-discovery the answers are all within ourselves, but often we don't have the key to unlock them. I believe that photography can help us see our strengths and flaws in a new light. It helps us understand, accept and love ourselves better. But it can also surprise us, it can show us something we didn't have the courage to admit before, it can reveal to us something we truly desire and send us further along our life's journey of growing. Take on the challenge of finding out more about yourself through the camera lens. Be open and willing to learn.

What do you love and what does love mean to you?

Take a series of three images - something you love to do, somewhere you love spending time and someone you love being with. What you love and are passionate about can reveal a lot about who you truly are. Think of how you feel when you take the pictures, what are the feelings that envelop you? What comes to your mind and heart when you look at the photographs afterwards? Take a note of how your body feels when you reflect on your work at the end of the week. Be aware of any reflective thoughts and you may also jot them down so you can return to them at the end of the challenge. You can be as artistic as you want, but the composition and lighting are not the focus here, the focus is you!

What is happiness for you? What does achievement look like to you? What challenges you the most?

Take a series of three pictures - one of what genuine happiness translates to you as, one image of your proudest achievement (or an element of it) and one that represents your biggest challenge. A side note, please follow your heart with this exercise - don't choose something that you feel you should find important or something that others deem as achievement-worthy. It doesn't have to be a grand-scale experience. Your graduation might be your parents' happiest or proudest moment of you, but is it really the thing you are most proud of? And please don't get lost in thought, overthinking it can only make you feel more confused! Afterwards take a minute to reflect and see if you can spot a link between the three pictures. What have you learned from those three images? What would you like to take on board in the future?

What do you dream of? What inspires you?

Your dreams and desires shape you as the unique person you are. So capture a picture of something that represents your dream, it's as simple as that. Stretch yourself here and go for what your heart wants the most, don't settle for something small or "realistic". As children we had a much more positive idea of dreams - they didn't intimidate us, there was no fear around the subject. Yet as grown-ups we are not allowed to dream anymore, because we have to be reasonable. But being reasonable doesn't mean you have to abandon your dreams. If you don't have dreams anymore, how would you know what goals to set for yourself and what direction to take in living the life you want? Start here and take a picture of your dream(s). Embody it and allow yourself to want it, allow yourself to make it happen.

What makes you the incredible being you are?

Your final week's challenge is to take as many images as you want of everything that makes you who you are. The quantity is not what matters here - it can be a hundred pictures, but it could be only one. Embrace your authenticity and be honest with yourself. What's the real you? Not just the version you allow others to see, not the measured and curated self you present on social media, but the raw and flawed you. Have a look at the images and let in the thoughts, feel the emotions - whether it's shame, anger, or fear and then release them. Set your true self free.

At the end of the month, I deeply encourage you to leave aside your critical goggles and look at the photographs with tenderness and love. That's you. Honour what makes you the person you are and let everything you learn about yourself in this challenge inspire you and help you grow further.

Have a day of love and I hope you enjoy the enlightment of self-discovery!

In Arts & Entertainment we will try to turn off our hard-working brains and deal with the less-exhausting prospect of our leisure time. Here we will talk about all things visual: new exhibitions, books and movies that made or failed to make an impression and also discuss what example the popular culture and our society give us - when is healthy to follow it and when to say enough.

Previously on Arts & Entertainment - 'Lady Bird' and The Journey of Finding Yourself

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