The incredible picture healer journey continues

Sam Tench / Photo blogs / / 0 Comments
Taxing, chaotic, challenging, a blur!

Words come to mind as I sit and reflect on the previous six months. Juggling many roles and responsibilities on one day tends to blend into the next; no wonder I find myself struggling to keep track of the daily tasks. My children are a full-time job in themselves. So, I’m amazed by what I’ve achieved and the many projects I have in progress.

With the multiple demands competing for attention, The Picture Healer blog has been a little quiet.  I’m trying not to be hard on myself for my lack of blogging. Since being hard on myself is what I do well, a recap of what I am doing may help to silence this concern. So here we go, a quick recap, followed by insight into what might lie ahead.

The recap

My first book, Resilience – A Year in Pictures, was released earlier this year. A book that I not only wrote but also shot every photograph that features inside. I did this throughout one of the most challenging times most of us are likely to experience: the COVID-19 pandemic. Any achievement during this time should be considered a job well done.

Resilience – A Year in Pictures led to a coveted spot on the front cover of The Geelong Advertiser’s GT Magazine. Yep, I’m a cover girl now. This front cover is framed and proudly positioned on the wall, at the top of my staircase, at home. This achievement is something I never could have predicted would happen in my life. There’s something about being on the cover that is a personal triumph. It relates to sitting on the opposite side of the camera. The lens were pointed at me and the resulting image was shared for all to see. Support and feedback have been overwhelmingly positive and I’m grateful for the widespread support. Here are a few comments from The Picture Healer website:

“I was so inspired by this book that I even went out and purchased my own camera!”

I certainly wasn’t expecting that one!

Such a beautiful, heart-warming book with gorgeous photographs, which we can all relate to so much!”

So much truth in this comment; we’ve lived through this together.

“She expressed her feelings beautifully in her photography, and it gave me a sense of hope.”

This is precisely what I was hoping for.

“The journey and personal growth is clearly made evident not only by your writing but even within the images themselves.”

I appreciate the sentiments in this one.


Reading the comments is like music to my ears; beautiful and rewarding. These comments have made the hard work worth every minute and put a big smile on my face each time I revisit them. Such comments contribute to filling and maintaining my cup of wellness.

Next in this recap is the artistic disillusionment that followed. With a plan for book number two merely scribbled on a piece of paper, a real sense of insight into what I would do next has been vague. I also continue to experience a lingering feeling that my work is in some way incomplete.

My creative side began to feel disused, rusty, and out of sorts. Many of you know that creativity needs ongoing attention, nurturing, and practice.  Without these things, I have little doubt that the healthy part of myself will weaken until it is little more than a distant memory. A memory of something I should have nurtured but failed to follow my instincts.     At this point, I had two options:

  1. Sit and wait for the perfect idea.
  2. Explore the thoughts and feelings and see where they lead.

Now to the update.

The update

With unfinished business on my mind, the brainstorming began; lots of it. There’s more to my book than the words that appear on the pages. The pictures and words encompass an important message from which to learn and grow. A book can be a beautiful keepsake. I’ll always be an author with the motivation to write and photograph for a good cause. Still, I’ve yet to attain a real sense of achievement in my work; I feel something is amiss. At least, that is how I felt until a new and exciting idea popped into my head.

An exhibition is not something I had envisaged doing, but this is my current focus. The thought of holding an exhibition has ignited the same the sense of excitement and determination experienced on New Years’ Eve 2020 when I first came up with the idea for a book. To hold an exhibition, I had to first find a host venue for such an event. Where to start?

With glorious images in mind of how my exhibition could look, I turned to Google and researched possible venues. At this point, I knew that if I managed to be successful in my quest, it would be an experience that would deliver many lessons and valuable experiences.

“If only I believe, I can.”

As it turns out, finding a venue to display one’s work takes a lot of determination, persistence and, yes, resilience. Having good art helps. As I embarked on this new creative path, I got to work writing artist statements, exhibition statements, and applications. I discovered that insurance applies to more than ensuring the audience’s physical safety; it also applies to the content of an image and how the viewer may react. I’ll never look at an insurance policy the same way again!

Working on my new goal of holding an exhibition involved facing my biggest fear, public speaking. I tend to jump headfirst. I don’t always consider the bigger picture; in this instance, My dream of holding an exhibition meant I also would have find courage to speak in front of a room full of people. Stay tuned; the results are not in yet.

I’m also working on an author’s presentation and have been granted exhibition space at the Geelong Library & Historical Centre. While exciting, this opportunity entails a list of things to do that is the size of Santa’s Christmas gift list. Next comes a second presentation, and two adorable new friends.

New friends

We have two new babies in our home. Two toy poodle puppies. “What was I thinking?” comes to mind. I wasn’t thinking clearly, I’ve decided, because now I’m boss lady to two of the most adorable and time-wasting little pooches. No regrets though; not only have the puppies made my daughters incredibly happy, but for me, it’s like having two new babies to look after.

Other things that have kept me busy

With just three weeks until the unveiling of my exhibition, I met Ray Martin, photographed him, and presented him with a copy of my book. We attended a Geelong event with a group of holidaymakers, embarking on an Australian first. Travelling on a journey, a first, aboard the Ghan train, departing Leighbridge train station, for Darwin. Thanks to Stuart and the crew at Geelong Travel, who gave me opportunity to capture this massive train and experience the high spirits of many delighted people happy to be going somewhere on holiday, once again.

To sum up

It’s refreshing to have freedom to explore ideas that matter to me and in ways that enhance my creativity and discovery of self.  I want to travel and experience destinations begging to be photographed. I look forward to this. Who knows what I can create?  For now, I’m ready and waiting. Waiting to be inspired again by a theme that speaks deeply within. I’m ready to create another story through pictures; a book.  Soon, I will be looking for more venues to hold further exhibitions. While I on the brink of a whole new adventure, the story so far, Resilience – A Year in Pictures, also deserves its voice. It’s my job to share the book and its message with the community.

Resilience- The Exhibition- The Geelong Library and Historical Centre- May 2022.  Free entry.

Resilience- A Year in Pictures- Authors presentation- Belmont Library- May 12th @ 10am. PHONE: (03) 4201 0665 to book

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