“Snap and Stroll Project – My Personal Perspective” by Carolyn Trippick
I’m enthusiastic about photography but I’m definitely not a skilled photographer, the ‘automatic’ setting on my SLR is still my favourite! So when I discovered the Snap and Stroll project in the Hope Guide, I was eager to find out more. I e-mailed Creativity Works and as a result signed up.
Initially I was really anxious about meeting a new group of people, in an unfamiliar setting. However, after completing a heap of paperwork (don’t let that put you off!) I was surprisingly relaxed and was contributing within the group before I even knew it.
During the first session, I identified the following personal aims of the Snap and Stroll project:
- Learn more about photography, develop skills and knowledge and express myself through imagery.
- Feel more confident meeting new people and dealing with anxiety in a college course setting.
- Build positive structure in my week to improve well-being.
Through the Snap and Stroll sessions we’ve had the opportunity to take, upload and edit images, as well as explore composition, in a relaxed and supportive environment. Through group discussions on the course, it is evident that everyone’s perspective of each image is unique, so in photography you can never really get it wrong. The image you capture is unique to you, you just continue to learn and build confidence.
The project is inclusive, there’s no requirement for previous photography experience and all equipment is provided. Therefore technical and photographic experience within the group is mixed and this adds to the group’s diversity and success.
Attending the Snap and Stroll project has been really positive. The course encourages you to look at your surroundings with fresh eyes, you look for the beauty in the environment and you become inspired. Going out as a group for a photo treasure hunt, exploring Bath on foot is really relaxing (especially when the sun is shining). You follow a treasure hunt list (i.e. a shadow, something yellow, a sign, a flower) or a theme such as Spring and the rest is up to you and your own creativity to hunt down and shoot a range of images.
The best part of the course is the fact that we’re a group of people with a common interest in photography and sense of camaraderie, but all unique individuals with our own self expression and representation of the environment around us. We therefore learn from and support each other.
Personally for me, attending the group has been extremely positive. The action of taking photos helps me to become mindful, present in the moment and truly relaxed. The process of observing, ‘truly observing’ the outside world, breaks the cycle of being caught up with negative internal dialogue. The project has helped provide my mind with a mental break from the relentless eating disorder and anxious thoughts that normally consume it.
It is surprising how powerfully effective photography is at building positive mental health. It helps you to see again, to really see, to be mindful in the moment and re-discover the beauty in your own surroundings. For example, noticing and capturing the resilience of a flower growing with determination though a crack in concrete, or capturing the beauty of raindrop patterns and formulations. Through photography you not only create an image, you create self-pride, you create ownership and you create relationships.
Engaging in the Snap and Stroll project has helped me to attain a greater sense of natural focus and calmness and reignited my passion for taking a stroll with my camera. I hope to continue to utilise photography as a creative outlet to express myself and support my health and well-being. I personally feel the Snap and Stroll project ‘brings out the light and structure in the darkness’ (of life). So, in terms of improving mental well-being, ‘creativity works’!
The Snap and Stroll project was facilitated for Creativity Works by photographer Sally Collister. Sally is about to launch her own Community Interest Company “In The Picture”, offering photography workshops. For more information visit: