How a daily photography challenge helped one man through lockdown

At the start of the year, Ben James started group photography walks around London.

But, just weeks into his new project, lockdown forced him to find inspiration elsewhere - with unexpected results.

A daily photo challenge entry. Credit: Ben James Photography challenge

Restricted to going outside just once a day and to mixing only with your own household, Mr James began an online daily photography challenge to allow people to share their own images with others. It wasn't long before he had a global following. "It was just a simple little idea that I had and for that to snowball into a world reaching, daily challenge was mind blowing," Mr James tells ITV News London.

Ben James' images appeared often on ITV News London weather. Credit: ITV News London

"All of a sudden we had a little network going."

The group has not just brought people together during a time of great isolation for many, but has helped Mr James - and many others - manage his own mental health throughout lockdown. "Every time I do talk about it, it validates my condition. I have depression. It's fine, it's OK for me to have that. And the more I talk about it, the more other people start to think 'I can talk about that'. "Just by reading the comments and feedback about how the daily challenge uplifted so many people, was so rewarding for me personally. I couldn't thank them enough for that feedback. "Just to know that people all around the world have felt something there."