The big picture: 'Without photography, I wouldn't be here'

Amid a chaotic childhood, Daniel Regan’s camera became his lifeline. Now his art is bound up with his mental health struggles – and his recovery By the time British photographer Daniel Regan had turned 12, it was clear that he was different from his classmates. Home life was violent, chaotic and unstable; so much so that Regan struggled to communicate with words. So he picked up a camera that his grandfather had given him and started taking photographs instead. It was a move that would ultimately save his life. At first, the photos were a means of documenting the minutiae of everyday life – of giving permanence to the people, places and experiences that seemed fleeting and prone to disappearing at any time. Regan then turned the camera around to explore his own sense of self by photographing his skin and body. By his teens, when he was regularly self-harming, he used the photos of the cuts and scars – “the impact of the self-harm”, as he describes it – as a way of sharing his feelings with his mother, a