Photography and Health



This morning I saw them…after the long, record-cold setting winter, they emerged. The ones I had waited for all year —the ones that send my heart to race and calm my mind simultaneously.
In my neighbor’s garden the first tulips sang to the sunshine today. I reckon the sunshine was deeply moved as tears began to flow unobstructed onto my gear, yet I was not deterred. I spread out my cushy mat that allows me to lie on sharp stones without too many bruises and perched myself upon my elbows in anticipation of the magic that would begin within as I indulged in immortalizing spring. After placing my body into more positions than in playing a Twister game, I emerged with a soul that had been truly refreshed by the radiance of new beginnings. I am grateful for the lung capacity to inhale deeply spring’s celebration so that I may slowly exhale its vivacity throughout the year.

As a professor in health education at the University of Minnesota Duluth in the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, and as a prolific photographer, I am intrigued by the relationship between our health and how it empowers us to capture the images that compel us to immortalize them. Our health is the platform from which every photo is taken. Mostly when I speak of health, people think of the physical dimension, which is tremendously important; however, health also encompasses the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social dimensions of our lives. With that said, below are my reflections on what health means to me and it is my hope that throughout our convention and health fair, you will reflect on what health means to you.

I am immensely grateful for my sight so that I may be guided to that which—with one click of the shutter — will be preserved forever. I am extremely grateful for my emotions so that I can feel the joy involuntarily escalating within my soul as I photograph that which resonates between heartbeats. I am tremendously thankful for my intellect, as it contains the knowledge to render the images that are dancing before my lens. I am deeply appreciative of my body that empowers me to get into position so I can look until I really see. I am thankful, ever so thankful for my spirit, which gives my photography a purpose that transcends words as I experience moments of which I am certain, nudge the very gates of Heaven.

And I am thankful for friends like you with whom I share a kindred spirit for photography and who make conventions like this even possible. All dimensions of our health impact the images we see and preserve. I invite you to be proactive in empowering your health so that you can have long exposure to life and truly focus on that which not only resonates between heartbeats, but develops them as well.

In the image of health,
Ladona Tornabene, Ph.D., CHES

My thanks to Dr. Tornabene, co-chairperson for the  N4C Duluth 2009 Convention. for allowing me to reprint this article, which was originally published in the brochure for this convention, who’s theme this year is “Photography and Health”. It’s reassuring to find others speaking out on the real benefits that photography brings to our health.
For more information on the upcoming 53 Annual North Central Camera Club Council (N4C) 2009 Convention, please visit their website,

I encourage you to also view Dr. Tornabene’s wonderful artwork at
All proceeds from her fine art prints benefit the Professor As Photographer Scholarship Fund .
Dr. Tornabene’s mission in life is to inspire and empower people.  This Fund is designed to help nontraditional students return to school to study health education and help their current students to intern abroad.


Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: