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This is where we tell your stories, cover topical issues and promote meaningful initiatives.
Mindful Photography Competition
Capture a moment that displays and encourages mindfulness for your chance to win a $200 gift voucher. The CRANAplus Mental Health and Wellbeing Team is running a Mindful Photography Competition – no fancy equipment or tourism-brochure locations required!
We’re inviting all rural and remote health professionals to capture a moment that both displays and encourages mindfulness in its attention to small detail and curiosity about the world. It could be a dewdrop on a leaf, patterns in the sand, or a cloud formation — just to name a few ideas.
The competition is designed to encourage participants to take the opportunity to be more mindful and capture some of the ‘present moments’ they experience, wherever they are.
The mindfulness of photography
Mindfulness is about being totally aware of yourself and your surroundings in each moment and fully observing what is happening within your body and the thoughts you have, without judgement.
Engaging in mindful photography is a powerful way to be in the present moment. In photography, you are capturing the moment – really focusing, noticing the light and the subject. It requires an awareness of what is capturing your attention – is it the colours of your subject, the textures, the shapes, or something else?
Mindful photography can increase enjoyment and memory for experiences, generate a positive mood and heighten life satisfaction¹. Do you have a photo on your phone that you revisit regularly? Does looking at it make you smile and take you right back to that moment in time and place?
The advantages of mindfulness are immense. Have you experienced the sense, when totally engrossed in a creative pursuit, fishing, snorkelling or even work, that you have lost track of time? In that immersion, you can experience a sense of peacefulness, calm and contentment. Mindfulness is about choosing what you wish to ‘attend to’ in that particular moment.
Mindful photography can also be about seeing the world differently. Our perception of our surroundings greatly impacts our sense of wellbeing. Sometimes our environment can seem less than ideal. However, when we zoom in, beautiful, fascinating and remarkable things may emerge. Changing the perception of your surroundings and zooming in on the aspects that make it interesting will increase your engagement with them. This, in turn, gives meaning and improves overall wellbeing².
Taking a moment to reflect on where you are in your life physically, emotionally and spiritually can encourage self-discovery and growth. Photography is one way to document and connect your future self to this process. Photos allow us to be mindfully present in the here and now, and for our future selves to be transported back, when we want to reflect on and review experiences. Reviewing old photos provides important visual memory cues and allows us to reminisce.
Smartphones have changed how we experience photography, placing the option of taking a photo in our pocket at any given moment. This enables us to capture images of unexpected mindful scenes. You may be out for your morning walk and notice a shrub that has just started flowering or a tiny ladybug on a leaf. The best mindful photographs are the ones that are not expected. Resist the urge to edit or stage your photo. Allowing for what is there demonstrates a non-judgemental, accepting approach that is crucial to mindfulness.
Have you heard the saying, “You get more of what you focus on”? Why not focus intentionally on the interesting, remarkable, simple or ordinary but beautiful things around you? All the while, incorporating the essential elements of mindfulness: Intention (choosing to cultivate awareness), Attention (to the present moment, sensations and thoughts) and Attitude (being kind, curious and non-judgemental).
Entering the competition
Hopefully you are now keen to submit a photo (or two) to our Mindful Photography Competition!
There are three VISA gift cards to be won – worth $200, $100 and $50 for first, second and third place. Shortlisted photos will be displayed at our 2023 CRANAplus 40th Anniversary Conference and published in CRANAplus Magazine.
Entering is also an excellent opportunity to experience the benefits of mindfulness and to feel calmer and more connected. Go on. Your body and mind will thank you!
Visit crana.org.au/2023photocomp to enter the competition. Entries close at 5pm (AEST) 16 June 2023.
1) The winning entry to our 2018 competition from Anne Tournay, called ‘Moon & Eagles Nest’.
2) Runner-up Kara Templeton’s entry into the 2018 competition.
3) Runner-up Andrea Porteous’ entry into the 2018 competition.
- Diehl K, Zauberman G. Capturing life or missing it: how mindful photo-taking can affect experiences. Current Opinion in Psychology. 2022:101334.
- Clifton JD. Happy in a crummy world: Implications of primal world beliefs for increasing wellbeing through positive psychology interventions. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 2020;15(5):691 – 5.