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Photo essay: “Reflections”

“On the still calm waters of surrender, the reflections of clarity appear.” -Bryant McGill, Conscious Magazine

My name is Nikki. I am a Junior, a non-traditional student here at Weber State University and I am sharing some of my favorite photographs with you. All of them, as you will see, are based around reflection. I felt that this might be a good way to not only share my passion for the beauty in our world but to share a little bit of my story with others and remind each of you that you are not alone in your struggles or even in your happiness.


It may be difficult to understand this, but I tend to correlate mental health with a photograph of a reflection: reflection on the water, in the mirror, or even the reflection of a loving mother in the eyes of a child. I am hoping to help connect the dots between how I relate these two subjects, and I am hoping that this will help give you a new perspective on what it means when you see a reflection.

Mirror Lake, Utah. (Nikki Dorber / The Signpost)

I began my amazing journey of being a Mother when I was 22 years old. After having my first son, I decided to have two more children, all within three years of each other; they were often referred to as Irish Triplets.

South Ogden, Utah. (Nikki Dorber / The Signpost)

It was a beautiful but chaotic time in my life and often I felt that I was not going to be able to complete my tasks for that day. I had three babies, all in diapers, all in car seats, and all were, obviously, very dependent upon me. In the first few photos, you will see the eyes of this beautiful little girl, and whether it is literal or metaphorically, you can see the reflection of her Mother/Father in her eyes. It is in this type of photograph that I am reminded that our children reflect what we give as an example.

Pineview, Utah. (Nikki Dorber / The Signpost)

Before my children reached their teenage years, we were given the grim task of having to bury their father, who passed due to mental illness issues. There is, of course, a lot more to this story, but the basis of it is the fact that mental illness forced him to make decisions that he would not have made had he been healthy, mentally. The days, months and years following his death were extremely difficult; we were left to pick up the pieces left behind. As I reflect on these times, I am reminded through the images of calm waters and reflection that being mindful of my own mental health was essential. It also offers a glimpse into the peaceful times to come.

McKay Dee Hospital, Ogden Utah.
(Nikki Dorber / The Signpost)

Finally, the reflections of things such as home, the sky, trees, and nature offer the viewer the opportunity to see the beauty in our world. Let it serve as a reminder that being mindful is as important as being aware of a broken bone. I wish you luck in all that you do, and if you find that you need someone to talk to, there are many, many resources on campus.

Bird Refuge, Hooper Utah. (Nikki Dorber / The Signpost)
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