As photographers, we know the expressive power contained in our art. Our pictures tend to speak louder than our words. It seems that the best photographers often have very little to say about their craft and their creations. The images say everything for them. Expression through our images is why many of us do what we do.
That’s why we were thrilled to learn that there are veterans who are using photography to work through their posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veterans take a six-week photography course aimed to help them learn to express their unresolved emotions about their military experiences through photography. Any photographer of any level can recognize this as a winning idea.
You can watch a news story on this program here: http://petapixel.com/2013/05/03/veterans-at-the-va-in-palo-alto-are-using-photography-to-cope-with-ptsd/.
In the video you can see veterans using simple point-and-shoots. The healing power of photography does not need to cost thousands of dollars to be effective. The pictures simply need to be honest and introspective.
Although the news report is specific to a VA hospital in Palo Alto, California, PTSD is a nationwide program, and it would be great to see this program offered nationwide.
For more information on this program, please visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ website: http://www.va.gov/. If your local VA center does not offer a photography course, there are other options to begin self-healing through photography. For example, veterans suffering from PTSD might consider teaming up with a fellow veteran who might have some photography knowledge to learn the basics. The many tutorials on our site are also great resources. If you are suffering or think your are suffering from PTSD, we encourage you to seek help at your local VA hospital. We also encourage you to try photography as one of your outlets for expression.