Photo Therapy…it's a real thing

My Facebook feed is on fire this week with all of the events that are occurring even as I write this blog. In one quick scroll, I saw…

Gag FB post.JPG

Elementary school graduation (lots) ~ Middle school graduation ~ High school graduation ~ College graduation ~ Wedding ~ 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries ~ New baby ~ Celebrations of those that we’ve lost ~ 100th birthday

This doesn’t even include all of the sports and activities that are coming to a close. Personally, I finished 2 photo projects over the Memorial Weekend for people that are close to me…one in celebration of success and one involving saying goodbye. Transition is both wonderful and super hard sometimes. I find myself kind of emotional this time of year…but ya know what…doing those projects and working with photos helps me.

It’s a real thing…

Did you know that there is a therapy practice called ‘Photo Therapy’? It uses people’s personal snapshots, family albums, and pictures taken by others (and the feelings, thoughts, memories, and associations these photos evoke) as catalysts to deepen insight and enhance communication. It can include photo taking, but also photo-interactive activities, such as photo-viewing, -posing, -planning, -discussing, or even just remembering photographs (source:

FB Killen.JPG

The thing about this type of therapy, is that you can do it on your own. Think about it…how often have you scrolled through your phone pics or grabbed that old album when someone or something was on your mind? I don’t think we always (or maybe ever) purposely think of it as ‘therapy’, but doesn’t it sometimes make you feel better and get you through that moment? Sometimes it makes us happy, and quite honestly, sometimes it evokes a good cry. Both can be quite therapeutic.

I’m sure there is all kinds of science behind the why of this, but what I know from years of experience working with thousands of photos is that pictures evoke emotion. I always joke that I love making people cry. It’s true, but only because if an album or slideshow brings emotion, it validates that I’ve done my job in telling their story.

So my advice to all of you in transition and those celebrating important milestones this spring...when you’re feeling a little emotional…embrace it. Get the pics out, get the albums out, get the home videos out and grab a box of Kleenex. It’s therapy and it’s good for the heart.