10 photography activities to help you cope with grief
Creative Outlets

Creative Coping: Using Photography To Cope With Grief

Have you ever seen or taken a picture of yourself & it change the way you view yourself?

Or have you ever seen a photo of something else that started to change your outlook?

Take a second to think about it. I’ll wait?

You have haven’t you?

To be honest we all have at some point. It may be a high school yearbook photo that makes us realize how far we’ve come.

It could be a bad selfie that makes you realize it’s been too long since you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

Why am I asking you this?

Because I want you to see the type of impact that photography can have on your life.

Taking photos can be a powerful form of coping for,

  • grief
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • stress
  • and more

Before we jump in let’s clear up something. If you jump on Google & type in photo therapy you’ll get an answer but not what you’re looking for.

Photo therapy is a form of therapy that uses a mix of lighting to invoke responses.

Great! But that isn’t what I’m talking about here & that should only be done with a qualified professional.

What I’m focusing on today is walking you through using photography as a form of creative coping & self expression.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Which means I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. This is at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Photography Benefits

Just like with any creative form of coping & therapy, there are several different benefits.

For photography the benefits fall more into what I call deeper meaning.

Which in essence means that you may not notice a change or meaning right away. The type of activities within photography copy require you to reflect & form deeper connections.

Some benefits of using photography are,

  • Increase self awareness
  • Think objectively
  • Provides a look at your connections with your surroundings
  • Uncover awareness of your emotions
  • Helps to communicate what you can’t verbalize into words
  • See objects & situations in a deeper perspective
  • Sparks creativity

Related: At Home Art Therapy Activities

Online Photography Classes

I’ve taken quite a few photography classes in my coping journey & I continue to try more.

However, some stand out more than others. Not only in affordable pricing but in actual actionable knowledge. These are a few of my absolute favorites.

Creative Live

Photography Starter Kit 

Live Action Photography 

Introduction To Flash 

Outdoor Photography Techniques 

Brit & Co

Phone Photography Rockstar Bundle 

Light Effects 

Family Photography 

*Pro Tip: If you want to start editing some of the pictures that you take then use PicMonkey. You can edit on the computer or right from your phone.

Photography Activities

I’m all about activities that you can do at home to help you cope.

Listed below are 10 photography activities that you can start today.

But remember, don’t limit yourself to these activities. They’re meant to get you started. Get as creative as you want & explore photography how you see fit.

If you have a fancy camera then great! You can use that. If not, then use your phone. It seems like cell phone cameras are better than traditional cameras sometimes anyway.

It’s also important to note that you don’t have to limit yourself to just still photos. You can also use film to make videos.

10 photography activities to help you cope.

Ground Only

For this activity you’ll be taking photos of only the ground.

Get creative & go to multiple locations.

The ground is more that just the carpet in your home or the dirt outside. You can go to the mall, look at the street, go to the beach.

Look Up

Now it’s time to look up.

In this project you will take pictures of everything that’s up. For a point of reference think of this that are above the height of your head to photograph.

Taking Shape

Take some time to look at the environment around you. Do you see any natural shapes or patterns?

Spend some time taking pictures of just those same shapes & patterns that you see.

1 Scene

Decide on 1 focal point to take pictures of. It could be anything from a grouping of objects or even a landscape.

Now take 15-20 pictures of only that scene.

Capture it from different angles. You can also then edit it with different filters.

10 creative photography activities to help you cope.

Hands Only

In the activity you will only take pictures of hands.

Take the photos of hands making different gestures in different backgrounds.

The Alphabet

This challenge will literally take you from A to Z.

Find an object or an area that starts with each letter of the alphabet & take a picture of it.

Only focus one 1 letter at a time.

I suggest you do a letter a day. But, if you’re feeling inspired then you can do more.


You never know what could be right around the corner.

Embrace the unknown with this activity.

For 1 day take pictures of what’s around different corners.

It works best if you just point & shoot the picture. Then go back & look at the image.

Be careful about where you take these more candid photos. You don’t want to be in a very crowded place because you may come off as being creepy.

10 photography activities to help you cope.

Finding Beauty

Go on a walk outside for this activity.

While walking take a look around you. Do you see something cool? Something beautiful?

Snap a picture of it.

For even more of a challenge, take a walk inside your home & do the same activity.

Sometimes we forget that there is something beautiful around us all the time.

Selfie Week

This isn’t for social media. This is strictly an exercise for you.

Spend an entire week taking selfies of yourself. Just 1-2 photos a day.

Get creative & take the selfies in different ways.

  • Mirror pictures
  • A photo of your shadow
  • Photograph yourself working or playing
  • Take a partial picture

I Can Do That

Have you ever looked at someone else’s picture & thought “I can do that” or “I would love to take a picture like that”?

Well now is the time.

Pick an image to recreate & take several shots.

Be reasonable though. There’s no need to try to recreate underwater shots or skydiving shots at this time.

Looking for more ways to cope? Grab the Artist Within E-book filled with over 100 art therapy activities that you can do at home or check out the new art course! Inner Surface!

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10 photography activities to help you cope with grief.