Photo taken by contributor Samantha Pugsley, a 24-year-old conceptual fine art photographer from Charlotte, North Carolina. She first picked up a camera during her junior year of college. This was right around the time when she was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Things that were once easy became impossible for her. Getting dressed in the morning, shopping at the grocery story, driving her car…just living, was a panic attack waiting to happen. Photography helped her heal. With her camera she could start a conversation about what was going on in her head. She could say things with her images that she didn’t know how to say out loud. She still struggles with anxiety but making art helps her talk about it and manage it. She started a 365 photography project to ensure that she’d be doing what brings her joy every single day. She has noticed that her anxiety level is much lower if she spends time with her camera every day.
About this photo: “Being alone in nature with my camera is one thing that soothes my anxiety. I used to feel very anxious every time I went to an unfamiliar place by myself. Now, I’ve come to use these times as reflection and a renewal. Instead of pressuring myself to have a concept in mind when I embark, I find a stunning location and let it speak to me. For this picture, I found this beautiful, isolated shore after hiking through a nature preserve. I saw this log jutting out towards the water and immediately thought of a siren. I perched myself on the log and imagined I could hear her a siren’s song while I shot this.“