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  • Writer's pictureMadlén Hjelmroth

Passion, Mental Health and Photography

A couple of days ago, I came across an article on Substack and a Youtube video covering the same topic but from two different angles. The two photographers are Dina Litovsky and Sean Tucker, who have 300+K followers on Instagram. They’ve been around for a while and gained attention because they are good at their work. Furthermore, they have embraced the social media scene successfully. Obviously! Reading and watching their latest posts raised a question I’ve thought about for a long time. How, why and to what extent do I choose my photographic social media path?

During the pandemic, most of our social interactions were through different digital channels, and that’s how I found Clubhouse. I listened to photographers from all over the globe discussing photography, but the topic always ended up being about strategies to succeed and gain more followers. While listening to these conversations, I thought: How would Cartier-Bresson have handled being a newbie photographer in the era of social media?

Dina Litovsky recently embraced TikTok, and in her newsletter, she asked the question; What happens when we step out of the still image comfort zone? There she describes how long it took her to learn how to handle and create content for that app. Three newsletters later, she writes about ‘Being burned out and the thigh rope of creativity. The pressure of being creative on demand and the toll it takes.’

In Sean Tucker’s latest Youtube video titled 'Street Photography and your Mental Health, he interviews Pete Wands, a doctor, father and photographer. Pete talks about the benefits of his mental health when doing photography. After finishing a busy day job and putting the kids to bed, he takes late evening photo walks and feels happier when returning home.

I came to think of Vivian Maier, whose work was discovered and recognised after her death.

Daniel Milnor's writing and photography has been featured in Camera Arts Magazine, Black and White Magazine, Life Magazine, Zone Zero, Flash Flood, Finite Photo, Resolve, Hasselblad Gallery, and many other. He has chosen the path of doing what he cares about and is not on social media.

A friend called me a while ago and said she felt a bit lost and didn’t know which path to pursue in life. I listened and asked her: Do you have a passion for something? If not, try different things out until you find one. That passion doesn’t have to last forever, but for as long as it makes you happy. We spoke yesterday, and she told me she had found something that makes her happy.


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