urban apparel / supporting mental health
YSM stands for, “Your Story Matters.” They are a clothing brand dedicated to raising awareness for the support of mental illness and suicide prevention, sharing their belief that everyone has their own unique life story, and that every one of those stories matter.
Founder, Josh Carey, is open about his own struggles, and uses the platform he has built to provide support to the community, and work to end the stigma associated with mental health.
Josh was looking for a photographic style that would show-off YSM's apparel, while complimenting the message of the brand.
Mental illness doesn't discriminate on race, gender or sexual orientation. As the demographic for YSMs look lends itself to a younger audience, I started by scouting locations to suit their urban style. I then sourced local models that would demonstrate the diversity of the community.
For shooting style, I coined the phrase "contemplative confidence". With individuals, this shows the inner strength and fortitude attained by being part of the YSM community. When two or more people appear in an image, there is a sense of togetherness, while retaining the "contemplative confidence" of personal strength.
Editing style is focused on a modern, urban look, using a mix of moody desaturated tones that mute the world around the model, with warm orange tones giving a feeling of hope.