Photography Exercises for Exploring Grief

Photography Exercises for Exploring Grief

Expression of Emotion:

  1. Chose 1 or 2 emotions you feel when thinking about death, grief, or a specific loss and express them photographically.  Check out some examples here.


  1. Reminders of your loved one in everyday life:
    • This could be a literal symbol (grave marker or personal item)
    • This could be an abstract reminder (rain or a sunset)
  2. Photographing objects:
    •  This exercise can be helpful when parting with important or sentimental objects or moving to a new home.  Photographs help you to hold on to memories while letting go of physical objects.
    • Photograph possessions that belonged to or remind you of your loved one.  Check out a how-to on photographing symbols here.
  3. The Empty Chair:
    • Photograph an environment where you would often see your loved one prior to their death
    • Photograph a place where you feel your loved one’s absence the most.
  4. Dear Photograph (

Hope and Strength:

  1. Transformational Self Portrait:
  1.     Symbols of Strength:
  • Photograph symbols or reminders that make you feel strong, inspire you or give you hope.  Check out Litsa’s post on photographing murals as symbols of strength.
  • Consider a sunset, friends and family members, religious symbols, or a personal item.
  1. Words and Quotes:
  • Incorporate words, verses, or quotes that resonate with you in a photo.
  • You can also find or create these words in your environment and photograph them.
  1. Gratitude:
  • Photograph the small things that make you feel grateful.  Share them with us at #whatsyourgratitude
  • We love photographing gratitudes, check out posts about gratitude here.


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