Thursday, April 4, 2019

Unmasked Mental Health - Danny Thompson Commercial Photography


Over the last few weeks I have been working with 3 guys who have taken it upon themselves to try make a dent in the World’s Mental Health Crisis. UNMASKED. A Peer to Peer mental health support APP.
They are 3 typical local lads, Doug, Logan & Robin who I met at a Halifax Business Networking Event at Halifax Business Centre. We had a laugh, cracked a few bad jokes and then arranged a meeting to discuss working together on a Commercial Photography Shoot. We met, over a cold one, to talk about what was important for me to capture in their photos. It was then that I learnt each had their own story, their own personal reasons for trying to make a difference. Quite quickly it was obvious that the photos needed to show their struggles, as a way to connect to their audience but to show the positivity they have for life and the new project UNMASKED.

Logan & Doug

Shoot Day 27/02/2019

The Piece Hall, Halifax in West Yorkshire
Doug, Logan & Robin

To get the ball rolling we took a few testers, just a bit of fun to get the lads used to being in front on the camera (strangely it didn't take them long!). They were relaxed and the energy was great to work with! I couldn't help feeling that switching to the harder, soul bearing shots was not going to be easy for this comedy duo. We stopped and took a little time to allow them the chance to get into the right headspace. Unfortunately, this was as natural to them as joking around. Immediately I could see why they were working so hard to unmask mental health, As I captured the way Logan scratched at his neck and held his head in his hand and Doug stared into nothingness, clenching his fists. No prompting, no posing, no pretending. It was honest, it was their stories.

Working with these blokes made me connect to those in my life with their own mental health battles to fight. The last few years for my family have been tough, as my wife has battled through difficult mental health issues, including an eating disorder. When I looked through the lens I could see the similarities in the way they stooped , twisted and looked into the nothingness. I'm certain others will do the same with their loved ones. 

Obviously, we were not going to end this session on the low, so after a quick change of clothes and a new venue we focussed on what they were working to achieve! Helping people connect to others and provide support for anyone needing it. 

I've since met up with Doug, Logan and Robin and they've thrown themselves into promoting the New App which is due to be launched soon. They are fast becoming familiar faces around Halifax and the wider areas of Yorkshire, they've even been featured in the Yorkshire Post! 

Doug & Logan (in action doing their Podcast (Tuesday & Friday's)
We've chatted about their future ventures and ideas, we've spoken about our families and lives and again we've had a good laugh. They have definitely succeeded at connecting with me on a personal level through their stories and I look forward to seeing them succeed and seeing my images being used in the process! 

They've got many events coming up;

Charity golf day on their Facebook page

It has been a pleasure to be involved with such a great cause and on a business level Danny Thompson Photography will continue to support them in anyway possible. 

On a personal level this just sums up how I feel from my time so far with UNMASKED; Doug, Logan and Robin..

“People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, But people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou) 

Please see below some of the images I captured..... 









Doug & Logan

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