Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Looking Out

Photo taken by first-time contributor Danielle Holjeson, a 30-year-old woman from Pocatello, ID. She has struggled with Major Depressive Disorder since she was a teen, and has been managing it with medication since she was in her early 20s.  She is a newly single mother of a young daughter who is both the source of great joy and great frustration to her. She has been a photography hobbyist since high school but began a more serious foray in 2011, when she felt the need to try to visually represent mental health disorders so that those who don’t experience them or aren’t affected by them might come to some kind of understanding of what it’s like for those who live with mental illness. The name she uses for her photography, Bright Eyed Way, is inspired by lyrics from her favorite band, Blue October. The song talks about “waking” up from a horrible bout of depression, shedding the scales of it, and moving forward with renewed hope and strength. She chose it to remind herself to do the same whenever she can.

About this photo: “This photograph is a self-portrait. It was actually taken the day I received my remote shutter release – I’d never shot with one before so consequently this was an experiment to see if it would work the way I wanted it to. It wasn’t until I had uploaded the shot that I realized the photo starkly represents the way I feel when I battle a hard low with my depression – shuttered in, looking out at the “light” that others appear to have in their lives, unable to reach it myself.


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

*Facebook & Twitter @BrokenLighCo & @DanielleHark. Follow for e-mail notifications.

5 comments on “Looking Out

  1. Escaping Elegance
    October 8, 2013

    I know the feeling and you have captured it for sure! Beautiful use of light.


  2. petchary
    October 8, 2013

    Yes, I know the shut-in feeling, too. Dear Danielle, hang in there. I assure you that your daughter will bring a huge extra dimension to your life, as my son did for me. Allow her to do so and that light will grow stronger for you!


  3. poemcollision
    October 8, 2013

    impressive story – good luck, Danielle!


  4. Paula McLane Jennings
    October 8, 2013

    great job with the photo and I totally relate to the depression. I have struggled with it since my teens too!


  5. Inside the Mind of Isadora
    October 8, 2013

    Great photo ….


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