Daryn Sherlow, who has published a number of incredible photographs with SPN, is now asking for help to once again get a camera in his hands.
If you have a moment, please read his story. You can help by donating to the GoFundMe campaign, and/or by passing his story along to your network of friends.
“With your help I will be able to continue bringing you pictures for your enjoyment. At the same time you will be helping me on my struggle to overcome PTSD by the aid of a used or new DSLR Camera.”
First, some of his photos. Then, in his own words, is his personal story, how his camera helps him, and how he came to be without that camera.[unitegallery darynsherlow]
-by Daryn Sherlow
If it were not for my used Canon 7D camera equipment I believe that my injuries from Afghanistan would have overwhelmed me. I was a member of the Canadian Forces for 22 years and have served in Iraq, Bosnia, and recently in Afghanistan where I sustained injuries and trauma that caused me to be medically released from the Canadian Forces. My last tour of duty ended my career and left me broken.
During my lengthy medical rehabilitation I was encouraged to find something that would allow me to function in the world again. The PTSD had overtaken me to such an extent that I feared and dreaded being in public.
In 2012 I was awarded a small sum for my injuries from Veterans Affairs Canada. After seeing to my bills I had enough left to buy a second hand 7D and a couple lenses. Buying the 7D was the best thing I have done for myself as I soon discovered that actively taking photos helped me get through some of the deepest and blackest parts of my life.
Photography actively enabled me to venture back into the world I was avoiding. For me to get outside and focus on something other than being haunted from my memories was invaluable. Not only was I slowly recovering I had found an outlet that connected me back to the world. In a small way I began to interact with others through the use of pictures.
With the use of Photoshop I managed to develop pictures I was comfortable enough to show others on Facebook. I was surprised that people liked them and that encouraged me to to continue. Inspired I started heading out more taking more pictures. My confidence and self esteem were returning to the extent that I would not shy away too much from people anymore. Photography was bringing me back into the world to the extent that I reached out to our community newspaper and submitted some photos. I was essentially putting myself out on a limb in fear of being rejected.
Our newspaper, the Sooke Pocket News, actually displayed many of my photos of which made me feel proud. This was something I had not felt in a very long time. Taking photos that others enjoyed gives me great pleasure.
My 16 year old son, who lives with his Mother in Winnipeg, showed keen interest in learning photography and I made him an offer. An offer that seemed innocent enough at the time but he pleasantly surprised me. Last spring he was having difficulty in passing a class in high school. To encourage him I offered him this deal: if he brought his marks up to 50% then I would lend him my prized camera and one lens for a month. If he were to get 55% then he could borrow my camera and two lenses, 60% he could borrow all my equipment. At 65%, which I thought was a long shot, he could have all of my equipment. Because there was less than two months of school left he would have to seriously buckle down and focus on his studies to improve his marks and really buckle down to get close to 65%. To my surprise and overwhelming pride he achieved 65%. My camera equipment was now his! I am so very proud of him.
This left me in an interesting position as I no longer had any photography equipment. Nor do I have the means to replace it in the near future as I am on a fixed pension. Because of my injuries I have been deemed Totally Disabled and can no longer, nor expected, to work again. I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to get some equipment so that I can continue taking photos as photography has become a core part of my life, as it keeps me engaged and interacting with people. I have searched the used adds, gone to the camera shops in search of another used 7D and lenses and in my position I realistically cannot purchase any replacement equipment in the foreseeable future.
With your help and support I know I will be able to achieve my goal of buying another used (or possibly new) Canon camera and equipment. The camera is a therapy tool for me and I use it as a means to keep me active lessoning the impact of my situation. In return I enjoy posting my pictures for others to enjoy.