PHOENIX 

A PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT by NATHAN HOSTETTER

“Often it’s the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.”

-Karen Salmansohn

We are all human, and we all experience pain, anxiety, anger, or depression. Unfortunately, it

has become almost taboo to talk openly about such experiences. Bottling up emotions can have

a great impact on our mental and even physical health. I’m no stranger to suppressing my

emotions, and that has caused major roadblocks in my own personal development. I believe we

should be able to speak openly about these things we keep to ourselves, and help each other

without feeling ashamed or humiliated. Let’s change the way we communicate.

On a blank sheet of paper, write down something you’ve been bottling up; something that

you’ve been afraid to share with people, or that’s been causing you anxiety, or grief,

depression. Now think hard about how that thing has made you feel since it happened, or how

it’s limited your own progress or development. Now…light it on fire and rise from the ashes.

In effort to raise awareness on mental health, I will be doing a portrait series of this process.

You may choose to partially cover your face and remain nameless, but I challenge you to put

yourself out there and overcome that which has weighed you down. I will be participated in this

project as well, and hope you will join me.

Your photo(s) will be used on my Instagram account as part of my Phoenix series, as well as part

of my Creative Altruism project for a Social Change course I am taking. Ultimately, I hope to do

a photo exhibit somewhere in Los Angeles after the project is complete. Not all photos will be

chosen for this.

[Currently Los Angeles area only.]