Photo taken by contributor Brandon, a man who has struggled with severe anxiety and depression for most of his life. He was officially diagnosed at the age of 17, and has been using photography as an outlet ever since. Brandon focuses on surrealist self portraiture in an attempt to ease his anxiety by giving him complete control over the worlds he creates within his photographs — something that he cannot have in real life.

About this photo: “This photograph was written, and sketched, and rewritten multiple times over the weeks prior to moving to Chicago, and finally was at a point where I could produce it after living in Chicago since September of this year. The piece is titled Tropophobia. When I made this photograph I recalled being 11 years old and crying because I was afraid to leave my street because I thought something would happen to me. I thought of all of the times I held back from going places I longed to for the fear of my safety. I recalled finally leaving my comfort zone when I was 18 years old and going downtown in my hometown by myself. I recalled crying in bed 48 hours before I was supposed to pack my things and leave for the big city to start a new life, because I thought I had made a mistake, and that I wasn’t ready. I was finally able to produce this photo after 7 months of it’s birth.”

Find more from Brandon at his website and instagram @brandon.halley


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