4 Photographers Who Overcome Adversity and are Truly Inspiring

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Every photographer has hurdles to clear throughout their journey. For hobbyist and pro alike, difficulties arise. Most struggles relate to a level of skill or a difficult client. However, some photographers have to grind through a host of barriers. From difficulties with mental health to working with a physical disability, some photographers overcome great adversity. The Phoblographer has published some powerful stories over the years, with many of them highlighting photographers’ strengths. Below are some of our more memorable and inspiring stories.

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1. Anastasiya Egonyan Inspires Photographers with Epilepsy

Anastasiya Egonyan is an amazing portrait photographer. She’s up there with the best of them. She does have epilepsy, however, which sometimes causes her to fit. Egonyan explains in our 2016 interview that she had a choice to make regarding managing gigs and her condition. She could either have no seizures but be on medication and unable to work. Or, instead, she could learn how to manage her illness and do what she loves at the same time. We think she made the right choice. You can see for yourself here.

2. Ian Treherne Inspires Photographers

At the age of 15, Ian Treherne was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a deteriorating eye condition. He’s also deaf. But, he hasn’t allowed either circumstance to prevent him from being a photographer. Here’s what he had to say on the topic:

“I will lose my vision eventually. I’m still going to continue pushing myself. I want to leave a body of work for others to be inspired by…to challenge themselves to pick up the camera…”

We have no doubt he is and will continue to be an inspiration for many photographers. Check out his story here.

3 .Jonathan Higbee Wrestles with Anxiety and Depression

Many photographers struggle with mental health: very few talk about it. Jonathan Higbee is a long-time friend of the site, and we’re always grateful when he shares his experience with anxiety and depression. In the past, he was dealing with the side effects of SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) withdrawal. Throughout that time, he struggled emotionally and was even unable to leave his apartment.

So what did he do? He turned his struggle into a photography project. On using photography as a form of emotional support, he said, “it’s the best kind of therapy, and as an added bonus, there’s a chance the work we create can help others, too.” You can see Jonathan’s project here.

4. Maren Klemp Uses Photography for PTSD

It was Maren Klemp’s daughter who first fell sick in this story. Klemp details how her daughter had a febrile seizure that lasted almost an hour. During that time, she stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated. Thankfully, she pulled through. For Klemp, a worried mother, the thought of her daughter being in a similar situation again was very difficult to handle. She entered a phase of depression and anxiety. To help her understand it all, she photographed the thoughts dominating her mind. You can take a look at the full story here.

Have You Overcome Struggles in Life?

As we said, many photographers face extreme diversity. We would like it if more felt comfortable talking about it. If you feel you have a story to tell, we’d love to hear about it. You’ll need a strong body of work, and if everything fits, we’d be happy to share your story with our audience. You can get in touch by using the form above. Thanks for reading.

Lead image by Jonathan Higbee. All images used with permission.

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