I have several ongoing photo projects in the works at various stages and due to my intense mental health struggles being extra challenging I naturally gravitated toward this new project—in the moment—as a way to try to help myself cope.
It was important and helpful for me to make photographs as a way to stay aware of my surroundings and appreciate the beauty around me. It became a big challenge for me to have my heavy DSLR nearby or to be able to pick it up. I considered using a film point and shoot camera I had, but knew I didn’t have the capacity or strength to develop the film at this time.
I wished that I could have a small, good quality digital camera with the capability to do in-camera film simulations that would be more manageable to keep with me and also offer a level of creativity and uniqueness without the added step of editing photos at my computer. Unfortunately this was not an option for me as I didn’t have the funds to purchase a camera.
This “in the moment” project was my compromise to creatively and resourcefully finding a solution to help myself cope with intense, moment to moment struggles when my circumstances prevent me from doing this the way I would prefer.
I came across the FIMO app that I could use to take pictures on my phone using film simulations. I used the free version which was limited to just a few film simulations.
Rather than focusing on what I didn’t have I tried to enjoy what I did have available and use that to the best of my ability. I viewed this like using a vintage Polaroid film camera with a digital aspect. The film simulations added an element of suspense, surprise, not being in control and embracing and finding beauty in the unpredictability. And since the images were digital I was able to see them when making the photos rather than waiting until the film was developed which added a level of enjoyment to this project which was helpful for me at that time.
I wasn’t making amazing, extremely high quality, fantastic images and I was working to stay aware of my surroundings in a meaningful way, surviving one more moment when survival seemed too challenging, paying attention to the light and shadows around me, learning a little more what it is to be present, alive, thankful, appreciative, and enjoy life. All these qualities made “in the moment” a very meaningful project for me.
Since I continued to take many pictures over time I decided to print these images in multiple collections. This first collection contains black & white images taken in August 2022. I’ve ordered my first test print of this zine and am currently waiting to receive it. Then I plan to make it available to others.
It is my hope that by sharing this project, the idea behind the project, and these images, perhaps it could provide a little inspiration, hope, or in some way be beneficial for others.