Photography And Mental Health: Capturing Personal Thoughts About Covid-19

Though we may not see it now, we are living in a historic moment. As the years pass and we think back, the Covid-19 pandemic is sure to creep back in and take on a trip through memory lane. Never before have things been closed across the globe, with many populations forced inside. It’s affected millions, causing deaths, closures, depression, and uncertainty wherever it goes. Just like any other historic moment, photographers are snapping pictures that will later be there to tell the tale of the 20th centuries’ global pandemic.

Inspiration for the Project

One photographer had a swell idea to document the true feelings of people around the world. Feelings are a big part of the issue with the Covid-19 outbreak, with several countries enforcing social distancing and taking away our human instinct to be social. She felt the grave and depressive states that came from a life in isolation, going through stages of depression herself. While she was able to manage her depression and come out of it, her sister could not. She decided to take her life in 2019, succumbing to her battles with mental health.

The photographer’s idea sprung from her emotional state upon losing her sister, inspired to give people a chance to voice their thoughts and opinions. She first took to the streets and asked people to write what they felt. The people were everyday people from all walks of life. They were of all ages, all colors, and all genders, which is why this photography collection is so inspiring. We often think we are so different, but when we stop, look, and listen, we’re really similar in our feelings and thoughts.

Similarities in Thought

One impactful photograph shows a woman with a red face covering with a sign that says, “There are days where I struggle to see anything good.” Another showed a man who wrote, “Negative feeling about the virus. An end to this virus.” One woman even wrote “Trapped!” These messages and other messages appeared, showing a common link between depression and the pandemic. While a few were upbeat and showed a bit of positivity, one couldn’t help but notice the heaviness of the air floating in the abyss.

Due to the success and outpour received with the photos, the photographer plans to keep it going. She wants to make it normal for people to express their feelings and know that they are not alone. The commonality between many was a feeling of sadness, loneliness, and uncertainty. In times like these, the best thing we can do is surround ourselves with the ones we love and those who bring a smile to our faces.

Though she or her subjects may not be thinking about the impact these photographs will have in the future, they paint a reality unlike any other, depicting thoughts and feelings from those living through this historic moment. Photography can help raise mental health awareness while documenting a time unlike any other in the modern history of humankind.


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