"Some days I’ll think of going out to shoot and I’ll say to myself, “Oh no, you won’t get anything today, why bother, better to just stay inside.” Then if I can just put one foot in front of the other and get out the door to start walking, I shoot a roll of film, and then another, and sometimes even three rolls. It’s exciting, and it has helped my self-esteem and social anxiety. The class has taught me that I am able to be part of a group, and they have come to be like a family to me."
-- Beth Smith
"When I am outside walking around. The sun kisses me with light and warmth…. I have always been a nature photographer and there isn’t anything out there that hasn’t caught my eye."
-- Janet Darlene Boring
"Photography has given me the opportunity to work through my chaos with my photos by capturing the movement of my feelings, putting my mental chaos on hold."
-- Barbara Collins
"I take strolls looking at shapes combined, the whole collage of what’s coming through the lens. My artistic vision is to use the film as a visual poetry, be it the two-dimensionality of the film with it’s contrast of colors and the shades of light and shadow, or the three-dimensionality of the eye expressing poetry and prose."
-- Gordon Franciosa
"Everyone sees the world differently. Photography helped me to show others how I see the world from my unique perspective. This class helped me to feel that I matter."
-- Jolynne Hudnell
"I like using the camera to paint a picture – to create something rich in depth, texture and complexity. A picture asking the viewer to pause for a second look, a musing, a reflection – a contemplation, if you will."
-- Donna Lechleiter
"Walking and photographing in the world makes me feel centered…. I look for magic in the mundane aspects surrounding us. Be alert and open minded, doors may close but doors open, reminding me to relax. Creativity is a sign of mental health. Sharing my photographs in this class shows me that one need not struggle alone."
-- W. Michael McDowell
"Photography allows me to get out into the community and it gives me something to look forward to and keeps me from being depressed and isolated. The class has brought me out of my shell."
-- Clark Midkiff
"Photography puts me in a different mindset, a different mood. It’s like being in another world when you create, and even when you look at your images. Photos give me a sense of wonder, and I can pretend that I am at the places I’ve photographed."
-- Jaana Niinisto
"This was a difficult photograph to make, and even more difficult to show. But with it shown, I feel this sense of relief, like something that I have been holding onto has been washed away."
-- Debra Norton
"I shoot from my subconscious, where I feel my mental health issues don’t affect my work. Openly I express myself in these photographs. Expressing myself is living. I cannot live if I don’t have a creative outlet. This class has given me a long overdo freedom of expression."
-- Greg Rounds
"One year ago I was thinking about ending it all. This picture is a statement showing not only that I am still here, but also that I am a survivor. Before photography, my life was my depression, now I have a reason to get out of the house and meet new people."
-- Jamey Taylor
"I think of myself as a portrait photographer most of all. But I also love to photograph the natural beauty of southeastern Ohio. I guess what brings my photographs together is that they all come from my heart."
-- Penny Causey
"Taking self-portraits has led me to examine myself in new ways, and is a way to think about how others see me. By continually seeking new subjects to photograph, I have expanded my comfort zone. I hope my work inspires the viewer to look at the world in a different way."
-- Paul Grimes
"My interaction with others is very limited and photography allows me to expand my ability to communicate with others. I strive to create images that suggest emotional responses from you, the viewer."
-- Sandra Frazier
"The themes and methods I pursue make me grow and mature as a person. By working with multiple exposures, I have another tool and the chance to broaden my horizons. Now I take it a little bit slower and enjoy what I see not only through the camera's lens but through my mind's lens."
-- Christi Hysell
"My pictures represent how I feel and they also represent how I want to feel."
-- Katie Krivesti
"Time, short and busy, has a sigh while we breathe through our eyes. We must sigh as justice and breathe purity, still and correct to ourselves, for if we do not then we are sighing as the world's many sighs of grief with nothing to breathe."
-- Brandon LaBonte
"Where (and when) I grew up I had to improvise playthings from the plentiful junk left behind by the former occupants—an oddly bent pipe for example, became a rifle. This informs my technique today: making thrilling discoveries through improvisation and experimentation, the wonderful unintended consequences of seeing what else something can be used for, the drive toward play."
-- Christopher Leonard
"I love photography. It lets me express and show just how I feel. It also helps me take my mind off worry and gets me thinking in a different direction. When I catch myself getting upset about something out the door, I go and start shooting (pictures, that is). My family and friends all love my work, even though some run from me when they see me coming with a camera."
-- Glenna Kay Karnes Parry
"The form of expressing myself through photography has followed me almost through my whole life…I speak but often I stutter, stumble and mumble. The two dimensions of what you see are deceiving but real. As real as I can get sometimes."
-- Stephanie Schmidt
"The world, as it is today, is frustrating and frightening to me. To stay positive, I find pleasure in nature and often see great beauty in simplicity. I enjoy decorating the world in my mind. Photography allows me to convey my visions to you, in my own unique way, and often through the use of multiple exposures."
-- Sandy White
"The first picture we see when we look at a photograph is the image, scientifically presented to us. But if we linger at all, we begin to see a "second picture." It is at this point that the mind (and perhaps feelings) of the viewer are engaged. This is the essence of photography. I simply invite my viewers to see that second picture. I believe that art does not truly exist until it is shared."
-- Pete Wuscher