Snapshot: using photography to boost your mood

Complicated and expensive cameras are no longer the only way you can take amazing pictures. Smartphones now provide access to photography without having to be an expert.


In Ann Mccoy’s recent blog ‘Tips to get you through the self isolation period’, she suggested using your camera phone to take nature pictures on your daily walk or in your garden.

The article started me wondering; what else could we do with photography on our phones? What if you can’t get outside?

Armed with my phone, a bored family and various bits I found in the house I set out to explore what else we could do to relieve boredom, connect with others and dip a toe in some mindful activity!

Here are some of the things that have been keeping us occupied and connected with friends and family…

What is this?
Take a close up or unusual view of an everyday object and see if anyone can guess what it is. Here are a couple I’ve taken. Any ideas? (Answers at the bottom)

What am I watching?

Similar to ‘What is this?’ we took a picture of the TV to see if anyone could guess what programme we were watching. This can be as easy or tricky as you like depending on the moment you capture and what the programme is.

Where am I?

A photography version of hide and seek. Take a picture of an area in the room where you are – for example the floor, a patch of wall or an item nearby. See who is first to guess where you are.  Close ups work well for this too!

Window to nature

If you do not have access to a garden or the outdoors, why not capture a sunrise from your window. You’d be amazed at what you can snap from inside your house. Putting up a widow feeder or placing food on a sill is a good way to attract wildlife to you, with fruit in particular attracting butterflies and insects.

This picture was caught when a spider made its web on my car.

If the weather is right you could try some cloud spotting and capture the best shapes on camera.

Okay, so this photo isn’t one of mine because amazingly for April we had a cloudless sky today, but it shows how strange clouds can be. This one is a Lenticular Cloud.

Shadow pictures

We draped a blanket over a chair and used a torch to create our shadows, this was my son’s favourite because it looked a bit like a crocodile eating.

Playing with perspective

We used Lego and sugar here, but you can use distance to create other strange effects like this one below:



Blogging is popular at the moment and there are lots of ideas online which could help you get started. Using photos as part of your blog can help you to explain things and to illustrate what you’re talking about.

If you like to cook (or even eat) you could write a blog  about food.  You don’t have to be an expert cook. Any food can be your photography inspiration, even if it is straight out of a packet like this one!


What I discovered trying these activities with my family was that as well as being fun they encouraged us to look closely at the space around us, to focus on the moment and take in the beauty of small things.  This is how photography can be mindful and support our wellbeing.

(Answers to the guess the object quiz at the top: Croc shoe and sweeping brush)


Gina Warren

Mum, carer and Occupational Therapist.