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The Calm Photography Movement

10th May – 20th May

Just over two years ago my family’s world changed forever when Dan, my identical twin brother, best friend and business partner took his life. In the months after Dan’s death I came across the male suicide prevention charity CALM, an acronym for Campaign Against Living Miserably. They do great work and like most small charities are underfunded. I quickly decided that I wanted to help them and as I’ve never been much of a marathon runner, I thought about what else I could do.

I have worked in and around photography for the whole of my adult life starting as an assistant picture editor on the European Newspaper in 1989 and I now run VisMedia, a visual communications agency based in London. I had the germ of an idea to use my knowledge and contacts in the industry to create a photography exhibition from images submitted by the professional and amateur photographer community.

By happy accident, one of mine and Dan’s best friends Steve Wallington, who has worked as a Creative Director for the past 20 years, (and a budding photographer himself) knew the Chairman of CALM and a little more research revealed a growing body of evidence that photography can really help people who are struggling mentally. So we founded The Calm Photography Movement with the intention of raising awareness and funds for CALM. Images would be available for auction and a catalogue of images (this one) would also be produced and sold to raise additional funds.

The brief was a simple one which asked for images that express feelings on what it is like to be a man in today’s fast changing world, which shine a light on the limitations of traditional masculinity and which empower us to think differently about the individual inside.

We have been overwhelmed by the interest in this inaugural event with over 2000 entries from 40 countries.

It really is a testament to the power of photography and the stories behind the images that makes you realise the stigma that exists around mental health. We have been very lucky to have secured partners in Lynx, Topman & Getty Images who have all helped us make this happen. We thank you for taking an interest in our movement.

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