August 06, 2019
I had the privilege of shooting this brave and beautiful young girl recently, and learned a fraction of her story and her strength.
On the surface we see a beautiful young woman, eyes full of hope and wonder at the endless possibilities that lie ahead for her.
Yet behind those glistening eyes, there’s a deeper story to tell. So much more to see than the obvious beauty. A story that you can’t see on first look but when you return to the photograph, the truth starts to peel away.
These images are to highlight the hidden mental health battles that so many young people experience and to prompt us all to dig a little deeper in our understanding.
Nancy approached me to help her raise awareness of mental illness and sadly the terrifying lack of support that is available, particularly for teens. This brave girl has put herself out there to shine a light on herself and also the issues.
Mental health is a silent, isolating illness. It’s taboo. It can be embarrassing. Misunderstood. Lonely. But thinking back, so too can being a teenager. So imagining that teenage trauma, and not getting the help you so desperately need, is terrifying to me. Especially as a Mother, we all want to protect our children from harm and give them the best life possible.
Together in these photographs we’ve tried to demonstrate how silent the struggle can be. To look at perfection, but who knows what pain lies in the deep swirls of a restless mind. The ruin behind the image is to show that we cannot simply understand a history of someone from simply looking. The real story is so much more complex, raw and real.
Then there’s the glimmer of hope as between the cracks grows some beautiful Ivy. Nature is a wonderful thing and is trying to teach us a lesson. With understanding the needs of the plant, it has allowed something so beautiful to grow in the most unlikely, dark corners.
Let’s do more to nurture those that need support. Look behind the facade, the show, the picture perfect beauty. Let’s demonstrate compassion and a desire to attempt to understand such a complex issue.
Please support Nancy @beeheardcampaign to help raise awareness of adolescent mental health.
A 15 year old with a story to tell. Help her share it and give hope and a voice to so many unheard youths.
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