Photography helps mom beat postpartum depression

From Joel Robison to Jackson Stack, we’ve shared many stories about the support and influence the Flickr community provides to photographers. But none compare to Rachel Devine’s story.

“I’ve always loved photography but never dreamed it would be something that I could turn into a successful career,” she tells The Weekly Flickr in the accompanying video. “Flickr really made that happen; it completely changed my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.”

Known on Flickr as sesame ellis, Rachel started taking pictures as a teenager and never really stopped. After college, she got into taking portfolio shots for kid models and did editorial work for magazines. From there, Rachel kept building her profile and officially went into business in 1995.

tallulah and her new friends she likes princesses

“I noticed Flickr as a way to share my personal images in 2004, as I was expecting my first child,” Rachel says. “I was a bit too uncertain about my digital photography skills to start posting, so I started to follow some people — specifically new mothers. I found it to be a great comfort as we had a lot in common.”

When Rachel gave birth to her daughter, Gemma, she developed postpartum depression (PPD) which nearly stopped her love of photography all together.

“My experience with PPD put me in a really dark place,” Rachel admits. “It was more than just the baby blues. It was something sinister. I lost the joy in life. Nothing inspired me to take photos. I’d go to the studio and do my work for kid models, but photography became ‘just my job.’”

baby necks the harsh reality is, infants do not have snooze buttons.

Rachel felt completely alone, but unexpectedly, Flickr became a source of support.

“I was following some parents on Flickr with kids the same age as my new baby,” Rachel says. “These people were sharing daily life photographs, but really well done. They weren’t just random snapshots, but these parents were working on taking better pictures of their kids. Additionally, they were sharing their lives and were open to creating online friendships. Over time, it was their inspiration and support [that] helped me start seeing the beauty in life again.”

Rachel finally got the courage to post her own photos in early 2005. She joined different Flickr groups, made more friends, and they all challenged each other to take photographs and share personal stories.

Rachel says these new friendships helped her to focus on something other than the way she was or wasn’t feeling. After a couple months, Rachel’s PPD started to lift and she got better.



“I had unwittingly created for myself a support group of like-minded people all over the world,” Rachel says. “I was inspired by them, and we all helped each other get better and refine our own work.”

“People kept asking on Flickr when Gemma would be a big sister,” Rachel says. “At the time, I was going through many miscarriages and fertility struggles. One day after a loss, I thought, either I really open up and show people what is going on or I get off Flickr altogether. I made the choice to show them what we were going through. Being out there and open about our life and desire to have another child meant that the ‘perfect life’ they saw online had a deeper meaning… showing the real stuff, the dirty dishes and the sadness… that had meaning.”

“This was the real moment that I began to see how sharing my life so openly not only helped me, but helped others,” Rachel says. “The engagement was extremely powerful and rewarding; my viewers felt connected to me. They could see themselves in my shots. My series of images called Details, which documents my struggle with and ultimate success over secondary fertility, generated so many letters from women who said my honesty and openness gave them hope. They said it made them feel less alone. Eventually when my twins were born, there were 600 people saying ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Welcome to the world’ on their birth-announcement photo… It blew me away.”

36 weeks.  47 inches around.

gemma and her new sidekicks...i think they make a great team.  gemma does not know it yet, but clover is the boss.

Rachel says she instantly found her sub-passion via her time on Flickr: helping regular people share their stories through great photographs. Her Flickr page became so popular (posting/sharing photos) that she created her own blog called Sesame Ellis — thanks to Flickr, it now receives 100,000+ views per month.

Rachel’s greatest accomplishment was an idea for a book, aimed at the many people uploading family photos daily. She wanted to put together something that would help regular people (without a photography background) take beautiful photos of their own lives. After writing a book proposal, Rachel got an offer from Random House and today “Beyond Snapshots” is out in stores.

Looking back on her life today, Rachel, an expatriate living in Australia with her family, feels both bewilderment and gratitude.

“Flickr showed me that visual storytelling is powerful on a global level,” Rachel says. “It connected me to like-minded people around the world, who inspire me still to this day. Flickr didn’t just kick-start this part of my career, but it saved my love of daily life photography… and I will be forever grateful.”

who am i kidding?  i am no newborn photographer and well, these are my here you have it, the announcement photo.

Visit Rachel’s photostream to see more of her photography.

Previous episode: Sleep-paralysis sufferer depicts his nightmares via photography

WeeklyFlickr LogoDo you want to be featured on The Weekly Flickr? We are looking for your photos that amaze, excite, delight and inspire. Share them with us in the The Weekly Flickr Group, or tweet us at @TheWeeklyFlickr.

Posted by Ameya Pendse


Also available in: English

#FlickrFriday: No Way Out. Do you sometimes feel that you're stuck in a place or situation and there's no way for you to change it? Restage the feeling for this week's challenge.

本周 #FlickrFriday 的最新主題是「無處可去」(#NoWayOut)。這個題目要挑戰你如何拍出進退兩難的感受,是個相當有挑戰性的題目。

快快拿起相機,拍出你最具創意的作品,投稿到 Flickr Friday 的活動群組吧!時間從即日起到下星期五,我們將會在下周公布佳作。也歡迎大家在推特上轉推活動訊息,或是分享到臉書


#FlickrFriday 是個挑戰大家創作力的每周徵稿活動。想讓自己的作品登上 Flickr 官方部落格嗎?你可以在Twitter上訂閱或追蹤我們的帳號,或是在我們的Facebook官方粉絲團按讚加入,並在每周末準時注意我們發布的最新訊息。在我們的官方部落格的「Flickr Friday」分類中也有許多過去的精彩主題與相片。


Posted by Tenz Shih

#FlickrFriday: No Way Out

Also available in: English

#FlickrFriday: No Way Out. Do you sometimes feel that you're stuck in a place or situation and there's no way for you to change it? Restage the feeling for this week's challenge.

Our new #FlickrFriday theme, challenges you to portrait that claustrophobic, entrapped feeling that you may get when you feel constricted in a narrow, tight space. Stage how you feel when there is #NoWayOut. While our inspiration was the 1980s Kevin Costner movie, we’re sure you don’t have to have seen it in order to develop some great ideas around this week’s challenge.

Take your photo for our weekly project from today until next Friday when we announce the new theme, and submit it to the group for a chance to be featured. You can also invite your friends to participate by reteweeting us or sharing our status.

To see last week’s recap post, let us take you to our #Yellow selection.

#FlickrFriday is a weekly photography project that challenges your creativity. For a chance to be featured on FlickrBlog, follow follow the Flickr photostream, @flickr on Twitter & like us on Facebook and look for the weekly theme announcement every Friday. Browse the Flickr Friday category for past installations of the series.

CC-BY source photo from CarbonNYC.

Posted by Kay Kremerskothen

#FlickrFriday: The #Yellow Selection

Also available in: Deutsch

Cucumber mango salad 

Whiskey Disillusioned.

#Flickr Friday : #Yellow

Yellow Brick Road 5 Shades of Yellow

Yellow LINE yellow jaune d'oeuf dans sa coquille

Psychology of colour  Goldfields

It's never too late for breakfast

What's Yellow And Dangerous? FlickrFriday Yellow (Goop)

gelb, gelb, gelb ist alles was ich hab - yellow/flickr friday

Our last Flickr Friday theme was all about that bright color of bananas, flowers, lemons, and butter. The theme was #Yellow, and these are some of our favorite submissions to the Flickr Friday group. We were thrilled by the sheer amount of your amazing contributions!

Many of you also took the time to pick your favorites and present them in the galleries of favorites thread that you shouldn’t miss out on. It’s never too late: We invite you to go through the pool and create a gallery with your faves to contribute it.

Photos from shutterbugamar, arileu, nataliefongphotography, TheWildflower72, Ash if, IncognitoArtz, 2day929, christianmoso, gwen 2L, BAKAEDAR, Tom Hilton, Andrezza Dias Haddaway, Matt_Briston, Pink Sherbet Photography, and wolfskintatze.

#FlickrFriday is a weekly photography project that challenges your creativity. For a chance to be featured on FlickrBlog, follow follow the Flickr photostream, @flickr on Twitter & like us on Facebook and look for the weekly theme announcement every Friday. Browse the Flickr Friday category for past installations of the series.

Posted by Kay Kremerskothen

Introducing Flickr 3.0 for iPhone and Android

Also available in: Português, Deutsch, Français, Español, 繁體中文

Every day at Flickr we share our passion for inspiring photography by building world-class tools and beautiful photo displays you can access anywhere. Ten years ago we defined online photo sharing as the first major online community to store, organize, tag, and share digital photos. We could not be more excited to continue shaping digital photography with new Flickr app for iPhone coming today to the App Store and for Android in the Google Play store now.

Stunning photos made easy

At the heart of our Flickr apps is a powerful mobile camera that makes it easy to take and share amazing photos in high resolution. On iPhone and iPod touch, fourteen live filters let you see how the photo will look even before you take it. And refine your pictures in real-time with a suite of sophisticated editing tools. Whether it’s filters, vignettes, auto-enhance or more professional tools like color balance, levels, and exposure – Flickr’s camera gives you full control over your photos all the time.

New to the Flickr apps, you can record up to 30 seconds of stunning HD video using the same live filters available with photos. Customize your video by adding different segments of footage and if you record a segment that you don’t like, simply remove it with one tap.

All your pictures in one place

On Flickr, everyone gets 1,000 gigabytes of storage free, enough space for more than 500,000 photos, pretty much all the space you’ll ever need. Our new Auto Sync feature lets you seamlessly upload all your original quality photos from your phone automatically to your account, so that Flickr can be your camera roll in the cloud.

Today we are also introducing a new way to rediscover and explore your images. Even if you have thousands of photos, our intelligent search engine will help you find what you’re looking for fast. Flickr’s understanding of your photo’s date and time (ex: “January 2014”), place (ex: “San Francisco”), and even scenes and objects (ex: “car,” “sunset,” “beach,” “portrait”) helps organize your images so you don’t have to.

Sharing photos on Flickr is also easier than ever. Using batch organization and our enhanced sharing features, share any of your photos from Flickr directly to Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

    13884676221_d6e7d20c1b_o     13907791025_9b1bb7fbdd_o

Share and connect with the Flickr community

On Flickr, discover photos from your friends and people you don’t even know yet. With the new Flickr apps we hope you’ll take a moment wherever you are to be inspired and inspire others. See photos from the photographers you follow and find what your friends are sharing right on Flickr. Join the conversation or start one of your own by faving a photo and leaving comments!

Flickr has always been about celebrating beautiful photography. Browse top trending photos within our Explore feature and discover new photographers to follow and places to go right from your phone.

We’re also helping you discover more about the photo itself with an enhanced information screen. Find out where the photo was taken and which camera and lens were used to create each shot. You’ll uncover the story behind the photo and gain valuable insights to elevate your own skills!

Now get started

Whether you’re new to Flickr or one of our biggest fans, we want you to know the new apps are the beginning of a great deal more to come! They represent our commitment to building new products for your changing needs and they offer a beautiful canvas for upcoming features.

We invite you to download the Flickr apps for iPhone and for Android. Join the world’s largest photography community, where you can discover billions of beautiful photos and share your own.

Everything you see is for you! After you’ve explored the app please give us your feedback:
Feedback for iPhone.
Feedback for Android.

Bernardo Hernandez
Vice President, Flickr

Posted by Matthew Roth

#TwitterTuesday: Birds

Also available in: 繁體中文, Français

We can be free, we can learn how to fly!

Yellowstone Pretty Bird

The Real Angry Bird, Kashmir, India Hup-2-3-4

Birdy Treats

20110605 20-13-54 Norwegen 376 Seagull watching over its domains, San Francisco

Downy Woodpecker  bird


A bird in the bush

Mother & Chick Gentoos @ Jougla Point

#Birds are part of the beings who can tell what freedom really means. We can find them either looking at their surroundings analyzing what’s going on, seeking for some food in the city squares, getting for lent some nice and cozy church or, flying. There are no borders in their sky and they live happiness and smile with their beautiful and particular singing. Check out their wonderful colors and views printed in all your submissions.

Follow us on Twitter to see the next challenge directly in your feed. We will be back with the new theme next Tuesday and don’t forget to keep on with the contend this Friday with our week-long #FlickrFriday challenge.

Photos from Ilias Katsouras, David Rius Serra, MelissaCamille, Chetan Karkhanis, Zak Jacobson, andrickthistlebottom, Sebastian Küpper, Andrés García, Le Monsieur de le Coin Bureau, Fabrizio Mariscal, Massis Sirapian, Matthew Johnson, and Alfred Myers.

Posted by Ursula Rodriguez

Shooting with fisheye

entrance to the underworld

We admire many of you employing the fisheye lens to capture all sorts of interesting subjects, from the inside of a derelict cooling tower to lichen-covered rocks in an arid landscape.

Enjoy, and share, more photos in the Fisheye group and Fisheye Photography gallery.

Photos from [AndreasS], koala-x, Teruhide Tomori, Grant Brummett, and todd-.

Posted by Arnold Chao

Cherry blossoms in D.C.

Cherry Blossom 2014

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, the famous cherry trees of Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C., reached their blooming peak. The planting of these trees dates back to 1912, when they were donated to the U.S. by Japan as a gesture of friendship.

See, and share, more photography in the Cherry Blossom Festival group and Cherry Blossoms in D.C. gallery.

Photos from Krsna, Whoopie Cat, Tim Evanson, Cathy Hammer, and ekelly80.

Posted by Arnold Chao

The ‘Blood Moon’ eclipse

Blood Moon - Total Lunar Eclipse - April 15 2014

Total Eclipse Cloudy Lunar eclipse NYC

Lunar Eclipse over Oregon

Many of you witnessed the total lunar eclipse last night and uploaded your photos to Flickr. Here are some of the highlights we discovered in your photostreams. If you’d like to discover more shots of the “blood moon” eclipse, check out the image search results for “eclipse” taken last night.

Photos from Hector Vilorio, pbuschmann, astroval1, and benalesh1985. For more astro photography, join these astronomy groups.

Posted by Kay Kremerskothen

Panographer Tanja Barnes on urban art

The Wall Along Wilshire - Ten Sections of the Original Berlin Wall
“The Wall Along Wilshire – Ten Sections of the Original Berlin Wall”

Tanja Barnes (a.k.a. @TanjaB on Flickr) started her interest in photography with a Kodak Instamatic and has fond memories of backpacking and riding the train through Europe in the ’80s. A moment during this trip ignited an ongoing love affair with urban art.

What was the moment that got you hooked with urban art?

I went through Checkpoint Charlie on my way to East Berlin. I was absolutely amazed at the west side of the Berlin Wall and its art. It was a stark contrast when you got to East Berlin, everything was so drab and gray. A good analogy is the scene when Dorothy lands in Oz and opens the door for the first time. Everything goes from black and white to Technicolor. Only in my East Berlin experience, the process is reversed — color to black and white.

Your recent panoramas of murals in Los Angeles are fascinating. What gear do you use for these shots?

My basic set-up consists of Canon T1i camera, Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM, 360 Precision Atome panoramic head, and Oben ACM-2400L self-standing monopod. When I was first starting out, I used to shoot with a SIGMA 8mm F3.5 EX DG circular fisheye. Now that I’ve got the Canon 8-15, I’m exploring image capture at different focal lengths. Because of this, it has become necessary to upgrade my pano head, even though I absolutely love the Atome. In those instances where I’m shooting at 14-15mm, I’ll use either a Hejnar Photo panoramic head or a 360 Precision Adjuste. I’m still deciding which one I like better — both are good but for different reasons. Also, because of the glass upgrade and the need for a beefier head, in turn I need a full-on tripod, so my choice is the Manfrotto 055XPROB.

UTI Crew + MTO

Dennis Hopper Mural by Jonas Never  - Venice Beach, California

Damon Martin's  "5 Elements - Korean Mythology" in front of the District Gallery - Downtown Los Angeles Arts District

Foster The People - "Supermodel" Mural in 360º Panorama

What draws you into capturing urban art?

As an Angeleno, I’m particularly interested in the current developments to the local mural art scene that are taking place right now. It’s really an exciting time! Mural art characterized the Los Angeles urban artscape that grew organically out of the Chicano movement in the ’70s. By the 1990s, advertisers appropriated murals by fabricating product placement that was designed to look like works of public art. It was considered so problematic that the Los Angeles City Council took action against this deception; and in 2002, imposed a blanket ban making all murals within the city limits illegal whether they were commercial or not. This stifled the L.A. community’s mural scene for over a decade. Earlier this year, the ban was lifted.

I think urban art, street art, graffiti art –- whatever you want to call it –- is the most powerful form of modern art. It’s like putting the printing press in everybody’s hands to say whatever they want and express it in any manner in which they choose.

But, as a documentarian (and not a creator) of street art it’s hard to have an opinion of what constitutes urban/street/graffiti art.

I mean all graffiti is not art, but some art is graffiti. I think Warhol said it best: “Art is anything you can get away with.”


“Archways” Commissioned Public Art by Mark Grieve & Ilana Spector - Selected Sculpture for City of Santa Clarita, California

How did you get into panography?

It wasn’t until I started working in the visual effects industry providing massage therapy services to VFX artists and professionals that I started to grok DSLR photography. I mentioned to one of my clients one day that I had seen an amazing interactive panorama online and that the viewer could click their mouse and drag and zoom. I told him I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. And he goes: “It’s really easy, all you need is a fisheye lens and a Canon Rebel.” He went on to explain the process a bit more. And with that, I went online and learned everything I could about panoramic photography.

Salvation Mountain #7 (Yellow Brick Road) - Niland, California

What’s your experience like on Flickr?

At first, I would just follow my real-life friends on Flickr, but that’s when I had a point-and-shoot camera. When I got serious about panoramic photography, I began to notice other communities. These communities were tremendously helpful because they emphasized techniques or gear that I had, so I wanted to check out what the others were doing. Soon I was making friends with fellow panographers. Now I pretty much follow anybody whose work I admire. I’m not limiting myself to people I actually know or to just panographers. The thing is, just like a party conversation, sometimes you want to turn around and talk to somebody else. I absolutely love to study the works of other photographers. The best part of my Flickr experience is the ability to connect with others and ask for advice, tips and tricks, and feedback.

Griffith Observatory

Thank you, Tanja, for the interview.

If you’d like to discover more of @TanjaB’s photos, head over to her photostream.

Posted by Arnold Chao