How Photography Can Help With Anxiety


Eifion Williams



How To...

How photography can help with anxiety, that was something I thought about often. If there was ever a time I was going to struggle with anxiety then the last 16 months was that time – I knew from the moment we took the decision to completely lockdown at Welshot HQ and go into self-isolation that I was going to have to create a structure and a focus in order to get through this unprecedented time in our lives. I knew if I was struggling then others would be too and I was determined to show how photography can help with anxiety…

Taking photographs can help improve your mental health.

Photography allows you to express yourself, helps to bring focus, and helps to provide a positive life experience. Photography can help with reducing stress. Being behind a camera can take your mind off the day-to-day grind, giving you something to concentrate on. By immersing yourself in something creative, time will disappear helping you to forget yourself whilst you concentrate on your subject.

Dolbadarn Castle and Lake Padarn in the mist in Llanberis North Wales
Image Credit: Eifion Williams
Dolbadarn Castle in the mist – Llanberis North Wales

How photography can help with anxiety…

The photographic process, from choosing your subject and/or genre, to what perspective to shoot from, to how to light your scene requires your full concentration. By eliminating your mind of everything but what you are photographing, can help to relieve stress. The main thing that I have learnt with my photography over the years is not to rush it. To take my time, be methodical with my settings and composition. That way I find that I get more satisfying images. One good way to slow yourself down is to use a tripod, it has the added benefit that it will ensure your images are shake free too.

Try something new in your photography

Choose to photograph a new subject and/or genre which you are unfamiliar with. I chose macro as this was a genre that I had not hasd much experience in, wanted to learn but was also easy to do during the first lockdown in 2020. Macro work is something which you can normally take your time doing, which alleviates and extra pressure, letting you work at your own pace and learning a new skill while you practice.

Close-Up photo of an orange flower
Image Credit: Eifion Williams
Macro / Close-Up of a flower in the Welshot garden

During the first Lockdown I purposely left my macro lens on my camera. This encouraged me to concentrate on what was in our garden, close up. Something which I wouldn’t normally have done. Flowers and Insects were my targets and you could often find me wandering around just looking to see what I could find.

Learn your camera by trying something new

While I was learning a new skill, this style of photography encouraged me to slow down and be patient but, more importantly it let me forget, it helped me find a sense of calm and relaxation. More importantly it kept me away from the constant noise of the news, which was only leading to anxiety and serving no other purpose, unlike my photography, which was actually benefiting me in more ways than one.

My top tip would be to use your photography as a tool to reframe the world as you see it. Photography is a good place to reflect on your own values and thoughts and to show the kind of world you want to see through your own photography.

Macro / Close-Up Photograph of a garden spider
Image Credit: Eifion Williams
Macro / Close-Up Photo of a garden creature taken during the lockdown of 2020

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to your own photography!

When you are engaging in your photography, treat it as a form of self-expression. There is no right or wrong way to do things. The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself as you’re taking photos or learning photography. When you are creating an image, be it a table-top close up photo, or a spectacular land/seascape image, create it to please yourself and not for others. When looking at your work you will feel a sense of satisfaction which in turn, will make you feel good and pleased with what you have made. There is nothing like after being out with your camera, looking at your images on your computer and seeing your collection of great shots straight off the camera.

If you are a photographer, or considering taking up photography , I would encourage you to pick up your camera and go and create some photographs which please you. There is nothing like photography to help you relax and take your mind off the problems we encounter in our daily life. This is something that we always, actively encourage at our Welshot Photographic Academy Events.

Being able to create something that did not exist before is very rewarding. Owning a photograph which you have created should fill you with pride. Helping you to believe in yourself. I am also betting photography will help you with the anxiety as well. just like it did with me.

It’s not just us either…

The Digital Photography School has this to say on the subject… 3 Ways Photography Can Ease Anxiety

What do YOU think?

Has photography helped you in any way? Does this blog resonate with you? do you have any ideas how photography can help with anxiety? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear how picking up a camera has helped you?


  1. Sarah Horrocks avatar
    Sarah Horrocks

    A honest and thought provoking article Eifion. I agree 100 % with everything you say. With the encouragement of you and Lee and the Welshot team and my fellow Welshotters I have managed to get through the last 16 months by picking up my camera. The daily challenges have inspired me to try different genres and fuelled by constructive comments to keep on trying to perfect new techniques. Coupled with online 1:1 training with you and all the other tutorial sessions i know I have learnt a great deal but also know there is a lot to learn but, most importantly, have fun with Welshot whilst doing so. As you say Eifion, picking up my camera and getting absorbed in the task in hand has taken me away from news bulletins etc etc and into another world thankfully – I was going to say stress free but spilling cochineal on the carpet, burning my dining table with a light and singeing my car seat with a lens ball is a different story! ! I cannot thank you enough.

    1. Eifion Williams avatar
      Eifion Williams

      Hello Sarah

      Thank you for your kind words and comments. At the start of the Lockdown we decided that we were going to keep going with Welshot, not face to face but in whatever way we could. That way we could keep in touch with each other through our photography and various quizzes and challenges. I’m glad to hear that we helped you through this trying period with new styles of photography and our zoom calls. Sounds like you have had a few misadventures as well, the cochineal on the carpet and singeing your car seat with your lens ball LOL!. But hopefully we are now on the other side and can soon start to settle down to running events aw we had pre lock down.

  2. Sue Ryan avatar
    Sue Ryan

    Lockdown had the complete opposite effect on my photography. I self isolated because I’m vulnerable, but didn’t quite make the cut in terms of shielding. No family nearby to help if I became ill. Also, much as I love going out for walks, for a long time I have desperately been trying to move from where I live for the very reason that there is absolutely nowhere local to me where I can just go out for a little walk. I normally go off elsewhere with my camera, but public transport became a very frightening prospect. So lockdown was exactly that for me – nowhere to walk, and I don’t drive. I have a small garden and I can practically hear everybody yelling why not photograph something in the garden? Why not set up a still life or something? My camera became a harsh reminder that I couldn’t go out at all, so it stayed very firmly in its bag, I couldn’t bear to look at it. To me, using it in the house or garden was like rubbing salt on the wound. The good news is, I ventured out with it two weeks ago – sick with worry getting on a train and I had to remind myself how to turn the flipping thing on, but I had a ball. 😊 (And I AM going to move as soon as possible!)

    1. Eifion Williams avatar
      Eifion Williams

      Hello Susan.

      Thank you for your comment on my blog. I think there were many kinds of experiences over this time, no one person was the same. I am glad you have got out now and hope it continues. Good luck with the move and take care.

  3. Sue Mannings avatar
    Sue Mannings

    This was beautifully-written, Eifion, and obviously came from your soul. It was through YOUR continued challenges, motivation and inspiration which gave me a reason to pick up my camera during LD. I was fortunate to have been able to continue with my job, albeit part-time, but my mojo and positivity were certainly challenged. Yes – having a camera in hand and focusing (sorry) on being creative certainly helped a great deal.

    1. Eifion Williams avatar
      Eifion Williams

      Hello Sue.

      Many thanks for your comments and support during Lockdown. I have had a camera of one type for as long as I care to remember. But the recent events have been very trying for us all. We all have to try our best to keep going through this time, and it was photography which helped me. So, that is why I thought I would share my experiences.

  4. Sue m avatar
    Sue m

    Ps – That’s a beautiful photograph!

    1. Eifion Williams avatar
      Eifion Williams

      Thank you Sue.

  5. John Evans avatar
    John Evans

    I 100% agree Eif. I turned to photography again when I struggled with anxiety a few years ago and buried myself in it again during lockdown, challenging myself to shoot each day, even if it was just with the phone. At the end of the process, I had a record of photos, some of which brought back really positive feelings. Thanks to all at Welshot for the challenges during lockdown and beyond, much appreciated. John

    1. Eifion Williams avatar
      Eifion Williams

      Hello John

      It’s true isn’t it John, Photography can take you away from the day to day routine. Giving you something else to think of. Taking you away to another world a lot of the time as you have to think about what you are doing, composition, light and your settings. Better than any pill. Good therapy. Plus you have something worthwhile at the end of it. You have your book, a collection of photos recording events during this very strange period of our time. Thank you for your kind words John. Lets hope we get back to some sort of normality soon safely.

  6. Mark P avatar
    Mark P

    Great article Eif and very thought provoking,
    Baking, exercise, reading, study and photography became our new positive ‘habits’ during Lockdown
    I believe we eat healthier feel healthier and the reading/study and time to practice has seen my photography improve beyond belief – thanks for sharing

    1. Eifion Williams avatar
      Eifion Williams

      Hello Mark

      Thank you for your comments. Lock down meant different things to everyone. Most have either got stuck into their hobbies, learn’t something new or gone down the whole exercise route. I chose what was and still is my hobby as well as work, Photography. But chose to try out something new to me, that was photographing our local birds as well as getting down and dirty with garden insects. One extreme to another. A long lens on one camera and Macro lens on another, and leaving them on. No changing, just concentrating and learning what they could do for me.
      Thank you for your kind comments and support too Mark.

  7. Hannah Hughes avatar
    Hannah Hughes

    I feel calmer just by reading your article Eifion. I’m glad you found something that helped you and I’ve really enjoyed seeing your photographs. X

    1. Eifion Williams avatar
      Eifion Williams

      Hey Hannah

      Thank you for your kind words and I am really glad it has helped make you feel calmer. Looking forward to having lots of adventures with you very soon. Especially the walk in the holidays with the children. Eifion

  8. Claire Evans avatar
    Claire Evans

    Thank you Eifion for writing this blog profiling your personal journey with anxiety. Reading about your experiences and using photography as a form of therapy has encouraged me to reflect on how my camera has helped during a mental health hit earlier this year (not COVID related). I can resonate so much with what you have written. It’s an honest and passionate portrayal of how the mind very much influences how and what we photograph. I have always believed the lens is the window to the soul. Delighted that Welshot have embraced this issue and help raise the profile of how the camera really helps in a therapeutic way. It’s not always a case of looking to take great shots it’s sometimes just about picking up the camera and taking time for the body and space for the mind irrespective of what you capture. Photography is just photography. Great to talk and share Eifion – thank you🙏.

    1. Eifion Williams avatar
      Eifion Williams

      Hello Claire

      Thank You for your kind words and comments. I thought that I should write about my experiences during this strange time. By doing so, hope that it may help other people who are in a similar position. Often it’s as you say, not really going out to take great images. It is the fact that you are just out with your camera, keeping your mind occupied with your photography, and yes it is therapeutic.

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