A camera boosts our confidence

Slow down, soak up your surroundings, then snap. That’s the message from Methodist minister Philip Richter in his new book Spirituality In Photography.

Philip’s writing reflects a current trend in promoting photography as a means of enhancing health and wellbeing. And his book goes even deeper. ‘Spirituality relates best to patient, slow photography,’ says the author, ‘which takes the time to stop and look, to wind down and be truly present, to see with the “eyes of your heart”.’

Philip, who serves as a Ministry Development Officer in the British Connexional Team, encourages the reader to ‘receive’ or ‘make’ a picture, rather than ‘take’ it. Published by Darton, Longman and Todd, the book is divided into 11 short chapters, each exploring a different aspect of photography and spirituality.

‘Photographing the ordinary and everyday can help you ground your spirituality in what happens each day in familiar places,’ the author writes. ‘We can take more notice of everyday epiphanies.’ To support his view, Philip quotes a prayer from the Methodist Worship Book – ‘in the midst of our everyday lives, surprise us with glimpses of the glorious, humble love at the heart of existence’.

Why photography? What has it to contribute to mobility and independence?

We put the question to the Disabled Photographers’ Society. ‘Photography can be very beneficial to those who wish to explore,’ said Trustee Kenny Cowle. ‘Giving the disabled a camera can give confidence in searching for new places and also finding the beauty within their own surroundings.

‘Photography has the ability to mould to the surroundings of any individual, from a full complete studio space installed at home – to a portable space that can be transferred from place to place, allowing you to photograph people or objects in a comforting environment.’