Updates: perceptions project, new projects & photos! / by Ailsa Fineron

Hello all! Update post for you to let you know that I have not been neglecting projects, photography and this blog (at least in my thoughts).

Mental health perceptions project

First off, thank you so much to everyone who completed my survey for the mental health perceptions project and/or read my post on it. I am so grateful for your support. (If you don't know what I'm talking about but would like to, you can read more about the project here.)

With that said, I just wanted to let you know that I have not forgotten about the project. I have been incredibly busy lately and rather stressed and really don't have the time to devote to it right now. However, I will be much freer to do creative stuff come the summer holidays which I am looking forwards to mightily!

Obviously perceptions in mental health is a huge topic and the project is a rather big task to have set myself. As a result I am going to leave off focussing on it until mid June as I really want to do it justice and give it my all. However, in the meantime my brain will still be gradually digesting people's input and coming up with many different ideas and fanciful thoughts- do not fear! Also, if you have any suggestions or thoughts about the project, please feel free to contact me with them! I am very much open to your input. This topic is, after all, so much bigger than one person. 

I have, of course, still been taking photographs! I'm just going to dot them about this blog post for you to see... (washing, feb'15)

I have, of course, still been taking photographs! I'm just going to dot them about this blog post for you to see... (washing, feb'15)

My 'mental health selfie' for Mind

A little while ago, I recorded my 'mental health selfie' for Mind, which you can now watch! (I actually did two: one for my coping methods for my depressive episodes and the other for my hypomanic ones but only the depression one has been put up so far.) Apologies for the terrible quality- rest assured that my filming skills are being built upon steadily. Anyway, I hope you like it!

Great thumbnail, huh? I think this is my 'oh god am I articulating myself well enough?!' face

New projects!

So, as I stare at many, many solutions of the diffusion equation for various different circumstances, my brain has this knack of coming up with new project ideas... Here they are:

5 things project

I just finished a 6 week period of counselling and during one of the sessions, my counsellor and I were talking about self-confidence, and, more specifically, my self-confidence or lack thereof. Now, when my mood is stable (not too high or too low) I think I am confident. I like myself. I actually think that I'm pretty awesome. So I said that to the aforementioned counsellor. But then I went on to say that despite me feeling confident, I do struggle to say it out loud. (For instance, just typing that I think I'm pretty awesome a fair amount of the time was a bit of a struggle.) We got talking about the 'naming 5 things you like about yourself' task, and then she [my counsellor] asked me to do it. 

If you haven't heard of it before, it's fairly self-explanatory: you just have to say 5 things you like about yourself. They don't have to be defining characteristics, or very deep, nor do you have to say why you like them, you just have to say 5 things. That's all. 

So I launched into it. And got to number 2. 

After a fair amount of hard thinking I did get 5 but it took quite a lot of energy. And even then, I would think of things and then self-censor and not say them out loud. Here are my 5 (in the order they came into my head):

1. I am a very caring person
2. I try my best to align my morals and ideals with my day to day living, and regularly try to spot any discrepancies between the two
3. I readily and happily admit to my mistakes, apologise if necessary, and do my absolute best to learn from them
4. I am a good friend
5. I am good at appreciating little things in the world

So how am I turning this into a project? Well, I am doing something a little different from usual- filming people! I have been wanting to get into filming for a while now and this seemed a good project to start off with. Basically I am going to record participants telling me about their 5 things and how saying those things out loud made them feel, whether they struggled with it, etc. I will then accompany this audio with what I imagine to be 'moving photos': still shots of participants moving just slightly in various settings and poses. I know that sounds quite abstract but I have a very clear picture in my head. I will have the first video up soon so you can see what I mean! 

In the meantime, if you would like to get involved then please e-mail me at ailsafineronphotography@gmail.com Then I can give you a bit more info and talk about any concerns or questions you may have about taking part. 

Sex ed project

The second project I am hoping to get rolling soon is a small but significant one. Having talked to various friends -ages 18 to mid twenties- I have been very saddened (but not all that shocked) at the lack of comprehensive sex ed amongst us. Particularly it's complete lack of regard to same sex couples, a-sexuality, the difference between sex and gender, abuse, consent and pleasure. 

In order to highlight how poor some people's sex education has been -and how poor it often still is, especially with the defeat of the amendment to the Children and Families Bill which called for mandatory sex and relationships education in schools- I am going to be taking portraits of participants and asking them what they wish they had been taught about sex when they were younger. I'll then be posting the portraits together, alongside the advice participants wish they'd been given, on my website. Again, if you would like to be involved (I would love for you to be!) then please contact me at ailsafineronphotography@gmail.com

I think that's about it for now so I'll leave you with some more recent photographs. Thanks for reading!