Five years ago, I discovered a name for what I am: an empath.
It was the beginning of a major spiritual awakening and a true aha moment in my life. It gave a sense of purpose to all that I have experienced, including the soaking up of other people’s emotions and my call to help those in emotional pain.
I also remember when I first started to love photography. It was a bit more than five years ago—I found photography when I was five years old and my grandfather offered me my first camera, a lovely Minolta.
Photography opened up a new world for me. It was like entering a sacred alternate reality where I could express myself as I wanted. It was a pause in painful experiences and emotions, and also a way to heal and connect with myself.
I didn’t know this at the time, of course—the only thing I knew was that it felt right. It felt good.
As I grew up, I thought many times about becoming a professional photographer and I even took a photography course, but it was all too technical to me. While it was nice to learn techniques, for me, taking a picture wasn’t about perfection or light or color or positioning, it was about capturing emotions.
I loved taking photos of other people, of moments. I wanted to capture the emotions I was feeling from others, especially the good ones.
I wanted them to be registered forever, so those people could see how beautiful they are and how much love they can share with the world. When they were headed down the rabbit hole or hitting rock bottom, I wanted them to be able to look at these photos and connect with who they really are.
I also wanted to capture my own emotions while watching the emotions of others. Taking photographs helped me to distinguish between other people’s emotions and my own, which can sometimes be confusing for an empath who doesn’t know she is an empath.
Photography became my therapy, my healing, my grounding ritual.
This therapy also allowed me to explore my free spirit. When I was taking photos, I didn’t have any “I should” or “I have to” thoughts; I didn’t have to let go of my own inner truth to please others.
No, I was free—completely present in the now, in the moment. Noticing everything around me, the small details in people, things, moments, or nature.
I eventually gave up on the idea of becoming a professional photographer, because I realised I can only take pictures when I feel inspired to do so, when I feel called.
But it wasn’t until after I discovered my empathic nature that I finally became conscious of my emotional connection with photography.
I realised that our emotions, what we feel, are the guiding system of our lives. How we feel about something or someone comes from the wisdom of our past lives and our ability to know our inner truth.
My need to capture these emotions through photography, especially the positive ones, was also my way of connecting with my guiding system, with how I feel. Doing that felt effortless.
I also realised that when I was capturing a beautiful smile from someone I love, or a gorgeous rainbow in the sky that filled my heart with love and gratitude, I was connecting directly with the energy around me. It was healing and therapeutic.
I believe all empaths are different and have different experiences and journeys, but I also believe it is so important that we be creative and free, that we have something in our lives that allows us to express ourselves and connect with the divine.
I would love to hear from other empaths in the comments about your own connection with photography, or other similar creative therapies you might have.
Author: Carla Gadyt
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Khara-Jade Warren