Photography can help you make it through difficult periods of your life. And in his series Focus on Mental Health, photographer David Dixon meets photographers who have inspiring and encouraging stories to tell. One of them is Chris Nowell, the only registered blind landscape photographer in the Peak District, U.K. And in this video, Chris shares his story of how he was injured and how this severe injury led him to discover his love of photography.
David started the series after opening up about how he used photography to recover and maintain his mental health. Other photographers started contacting him, and he went out to meet them and hear their stories. There are two goals of this series. First, it’s to make it become more commonplace to talk about our problems. And second, it’s to encourage everyone to take positive steps towards recovering and maintaining their mental health. Chris Nowell is one of these people who had gone through a personal hell, but he found peace and consolation in art, or more precisely: in landscape photography.
In September 2007, Chris was standing with his fellow soldiers when a rocket hit a wall right behind them. His skull was fractured and he suffered a series of severe injuries. He spent about a year and a half learning how to read, write and walk again. Chris admits that he would get fed up, bored and frustrated. But then, he became a member of Blind Veterans, an organization that helps blind veterans rebuild their lives after sight loss. This is when he first got interested in photography.
Despite his eyesight being severely damaged, Chris found a great passion for landscape photography, and he became good at it. He enjoys this genre in particular because he doesn’t really enjoy crowds (I can totally relate). Chris is also an ambassador of Vanguard Photo UK, and the only registered blind landscape photographer in the Peak District.
Personally, I think that Focus on Mental Health series is a great way to empower people and encourage them to talk about their problems. I believe that it’s important to talk when we’re having a hard time, and I also believe that art can help us get through it. So, make sure to watch the video and hear the entire Chris’ story. You can watch more stories on David’s YouTube channel, and I hope they’ll empower you if you’re currently going through a rough time.