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“The Six Months” Records a Photographer’s Journey Through Depression

Nathalie Ghanem-Latour used photography to document and explore her experience with mental illness. These images are the result.

Photographer Nathalie Ghanem-Latour recently found herself in a slump. “I was working in a corporate environment, and my life felt very cold and pointless,” the Paris-based photographer says. “I was working from 9 to 5 and wasn’t feeling any gratification from the work I was doing. I knew at the time that I was unhappy, but I didn’t realize yet that I had depression.”

For Ghanem-Latour, photography proved to be both a means of documenting her depression, and a method to work through it. “Walking and taking photos was subconsciously my way of coping with my anxieties and depression. It was an almost therapeutic process,” she says. Ghanem-Latour took photos on brief walks around the neighborhood of her office on her lunch breaks; the resulting work The Six Months is a series of photos that feel as bleak as the photographer’s mindset. Images of construction sites and gloomy office interiors evoke Ghanem-Latour’s unsettled mental space.

“My personal experience with depression was very numbing; it really hindered my creativity,” she says. “I didn’t feel any joy from things that I once loved, nor did I have the motivation or confidence to create anything.” Ghanem-Latour just kept shooting anyway, and eventually, “over time the number of photos just grew and became a body of work that blossomed into something significant.”

“For a long time I was hesitant about publishing this series because of the stigma with mental illness,” she says. “But I want it to be a journal of my journey to represent all those emotions and negative thoughts from the past, and to have it as a reminder for myself to stay hopeful through my recovery.”

See more of Nathalie Ghanem-Latour’s photography on her website, built using Format.

More photography to see:
Photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Sees Photography as Therapy
Kyle Jeffers Photographs Canada’s Non-Places
The Spiritual Effects of Photographing Spain’s Ancient Pilgrimage

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