‘You are more than enough’: WSU student hopes to normalize mental health conversations through photography exhibit


Khánh Nguyễn

Devin Carter talks to a guest during the reception of his photography exhibit. The event was held in the RSC on Sept 4.

Devin Carter, a junior majoring in studio art with an emphasis in photo media, grew up in rural northwest Kansas where the closest Walmart was 45 minutes away. One day, out of mere boredom and a bit of curiosity, 13 year old Carter picked up his first camera. In 8th grade, he won his first photography competition and met National Geographic photographer, Jim Richardson. Ever since then and with the support of his biggest fan, his mother, Carter has had a passion for photography. 

“I really like creating something that people can connect with on a bigger level than just ‘Oh, that looks really neat,’” Carter said. “I like creating things that speak to people or tell a story.”

Carter’s exhibit titled “Don’t Weight” will be featured at the Cadman Art Gallery in the Rhatigan Student Center until September 11. 

His exhibit’s goal is to raise awareness of mental health and to normalize the conversations surrounding mental health, said Carter. 

“The reason I wanted to have this space to talk about it is because even though it’s 2020 and we’re getting better at taking care of ourselves mentally and opening up the discussion, it’s still more taboo than it should be,” Carter said. 

Carter himself has been diagnosed with depression and ADD, or attention deficit disorder. At age 11, his dad died of suicide. 

“I think, obviously, you never know exactly why things like that happen, but I think a big part of what could’ve helped with that was if it wasn’t so taboo to talk about mental health and to get help. Especially in men and especially in military personnel,” Carter said. 

On the back of his showcards reads in large print, “You are more than enough.”

“I just want to remind them that as well, that you are more than enough. You don’t have to try to be someone that you’re not for other people,” Carter said. “The people that you’re gonna connect with the most are going to come to you as you are.” 

In January, Carter started his business, Photos by Carter.

“I really like taking photos of people and showing them, no matter who they are, just how beautiful they are as a human being,” Carter said. 

He has a wide range of services, including headshots, family photos, branding and marketing, and more. 

“Being able to take photos of people and being able to see their reactions on just how great they look as a person, is always refreshing to me,” Carter said. “I like being able to help people with that… I like to make people smile.”

Visit his business website at www.photos-by-carter.com.