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HappyHippie

Mind The Lens: Interview with Picfair Photographer, Gordon John Taylor

01 October 2021

Posted by Picfair

Welcome to Mind The Lens, our mental-health-focused month in partnership with The Photography Movement where we're providing a range of supporting content as well as £20,000 in grants to projects within mental health and photography. To find out more about Mind The Lens, visit our blog post or application page.


"I work as an HCA Mental Health (Hospital-based). Photography is my escape from a stressful job, but not a job I will ever choose to leave. I'm blessed to live in a beautiful part of the world and one I love to share through my photography, even if that is far from perfect. I'm quite new to photography and only just past the point and shoot stage, but I shoot to my taste and I'm happy with that."

How did you get into photography?

"I would say I started fully getting into photography when I relocated to The West Coast of Scotland in 2017. I already had a passion for the great outdoors, so combining my outdoor activities with photography seemed a natural progression."

https://www.picfair.com/pics/08442709-girvan-sleeps

How has photography helped your mental health?

"I work within the secure mental health sector, so I not only see first hand the extent that this can have on the individual, but with such a challenging role, the pressure it can put yourself under, too.

With the beauty to be found on The West Coast of Scotland, for me, it is the perfect place. To get out and focus your thoughts and feelings. It gives you the ability to place things back into perspective. My photography has just enhanced this so much, it brings so much pleasure to not just myself, but also to many I share my experiences with

For myself, photography is an escape. Something to focus on, it clears your mind. Between taking a photo and reviewing them later, you tend to look at things with fresh eyes, and also the ability to deal with life's demands. Where my walks exercise your body photography exercises your mind.

Photography is such a generous form of art, and what first brings so much pleasure to yourself, when shared, can also support, encourage and inspire others around you.

And then, it is back to sitting, watching, waiting, that slowing down again. There was a time where I used to “spray and pray”, but as I have developed, I have slowed down. This allows more time to drink in the natural world, to appreciate what is around me. In turn, this further aids my photographic eye, allowing me to observe how the light is falling, patterns to bird movements, planning my shots, rather than just hoping - seeing the bigger picture, but appreciating the details."

https://www.picfair.com/pics/08442699-sundown

Which photo means the most to your mental health?

"Now that's such a good question and how do you choose with so many? So here's one of a place where I can both take in the view and process my thoughts."

https://www.picfair.com/pics/08423347-the-adventurer

What's your top tip for others looking to improve their mental health?

"You could write pages on tips for this, and it's never a one size fits all answer. The most important tip of all I would say is "ME TIME." This often sounds selfish to some, but it truly is essential. You need that me time to: reduce stress and unwind, give a better work-life balance, allow time for self-discovery, self-heal, enable you to think deeper and process your thoughts and feelings in a safe place."

Visit Gordon's Picfair Store

https://happyhippie.picfair.com/


Now you should read…

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