Photography and the ADHD Experience

It’s almost 3am and yet again, I’ve been oblivious to discomfort while indulging in one of the areas of my life I keep ‘forgetting’ is significant to me. Taking photos. 

In the midst of making a cup of coffee I was thinking about things I don’t have photos of, and trying to work out why that even matters to me. I have no desire to prove anything, to show off or strut about saying ‘look at me’… but it still niggles at me that I’m missing a photograph of a particular part of my life. 

In a flash (as is usually the case), I had a thought, and wondered if it extends to others in the ADHD sphere, or if this is just a random and unique combination of pieces of me. 

I realised that I want that photograph to look at. Even if I post to Instagram, my photo blog or Facebook – it’s about how I feel when I – just ME – sees a photo. 

The reason I wonder if it’s an ADHD-common thing is because I realised when I see a photo of something – particularly that I’m emotionally connected to in some way, any way – I can ‘relive’ the feelings that existed in that moment. This is a really difficult thing for those of us with ADHD to do, generally speaking. To recall or imagine future feelings can be difficult and it’s one way I think we find it so hard to motivate, or why we change our minds before acting – that ‘thing’ we were SO passionate about and keen on last night loses all lustre when we think about getting up to do ‘it’ the next day – there is no reliving, no anticipation. 

I can already tell I’m not explaining the inside of my head very well, so I’ll stop trying for now. I just wonder if what I get out of a photograph, that I don’t get out of imagination alone, is a ‘me’ thing, or if it’s an ADHD thing – and if it is the latter, perhaps that could be one way to encourage progress. Not random ‘tropical island on fridge image means I’ll be rich enough to have one’ stuff – but ‘this place that I felt AWESOME in when I took this pic makes me remember the positive feelings and want them again, enough to keep moving towards that’. 

For all the negative press taking heaps of photos is getting lately, I think there’s some merit in the other side of the argument. At least for me. 



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