Close this search box.

Find your Lense: Rich Life & Primals

Welcome to Phlourish

Whether you are a seasoned photographer or a beginner, there is one core attribute which is essential for cultivating your artistic vision: the way you see the world. We believe that two psychological concepts, The Rich Life & Primals, offer photographers emotional lenses which they can apply towards their work.

Primals introduces the idea that we matter in the world and that understanding how and why we matter is of great psychological benefit to each of us. The Rich Life introduces us to the idea that the arts and the humanities can expand our perspective of the world. Together, both of these concepts can help photographers build empathy for other people– especially at a time with so much conflict and alienation happening around us.


A 5 minute video explaining PRIMALS.

All 26 Primals.

There are 26 Primal World Beliefs (primals for short) which are very basic beliefs about the world, such as the belief that the world is beautiful and safe. Researchers suspect that the Primals you hold may color your outlook and actions, and have extensive consequences for your mental health and resilience. If you would like to learn more about the Primals Project and discover your own primal beliefs click below:

Your Primal beliefs of the world have a direct impact on what you photograph.


A 9 minute video on the Psychologically Rich Life.

Positive Psychology tells us about the Pleasant Life and the Meaningful Life. The Pleasant Life is devoted to having as much pleasure as possible. People who lead this life often prioritize making as much money as possible so that they can fund that good life for themselves and those they love. The other, the meaningful life, is devoted to doing good on different levels such as family, community and the wider world. It is committed and disciplined, but can be narrow sometimes because it can require a laser focus on pursuing a worthy objective.

But some people don’t identify with either of these “good lives” and might be thinking: Where is adventure? Where is the unknown? There is a third life that has been described by Shige Oishi - The Rich Life. It is about growth, learning, and being challenged. It is not the easiest route and not for the faint of heart. Oishi says that many people don’t even want this kind of life. It is only when looking back and seeing missed opportunities that they begin to wonder if their life could have had more perspective changing experiences. The Rich Life is not marked by great pleasure or great service to others. It is marked by a curiosity about the world, a love of learning, of excitement, and the willingness to experience the full spectrum of human emotions - from good all the way to bad. It is neither narrow nor boring but it may be sometimes uncomfortable. It is a life filled with interesting experiences that change your perspective and ultimately leads to wisdom. It is a bumpy ride - full of ups and downs.

We can cultivate the rich life by experiencing arts and humanities to inspire photography engagement.

The aim of our program is to show how photography, both the skills of photography and the content we photograph, can enable different ways of seeing the world. We can learn to understand other people more deeply and in doing so increase our empathy for them. We can learn to see the world more hopefully and increase our happiness, well-being, and resilience. Together, we can be a source of inspiration to others so they too can become happier, with higher well-being and resilience. Phlourish has five areas in which we believe photography can help us see a positive, optimistic world:

Noticing; Creating; Connecting; Reframing; and Storytelling.

As you can see, we are using photography to change habits of seeing, to inspire creativity, and to build a storehouse of images that “pixelate our well-being”. Choose to start with one or two exercises and try out the prompts. We hope you will be inspired and share your photos.

Phlourish is based upon positive psychology – the science of well-being. In particular, it is based on the extensively researched PERMA model, which features five components of well-being: 


P — Positive emotion – happiness, joy, hope

E — Engagement – being in a state of Flow, or complete immersion in an activity.

R — Relationships – being well connected to others.

M– Meaning – having purpose in life, optimistically pursuing our goals

A — Accomplishments – achievement, mastery, competence, control 


Every piece in our program builds on one or more of these components. 

Scroll to Top