Joe is an actor and director who is based in Manchester. Joe shops at my work and his openness about the dangers of toxic masculinity made me want to learn more from him. Joe has always been open about his past struggles with mental illness. We sat for a coffee in his flat in Manchester. We bonded over our similar minds. How men can be so hard on themselves and how we are all paranoid about what people think about us when in reality people are worrying about the same thing. We spoke for hours and leaving his flat made me really reflect on my reactions to embarrassment and my struggles with overthinking.
Danny sat for a portrait when I visited London. Danny is a model living in the capital and a presenter from PAQ. I had decided to pop down to London to meet men who wanted to take part in the series. I had known Danny for a longtime through Instagram. We had a chat in his flat where he sat for the portrait. He discussed his anxieties with travelling far from home and adjusting to London life. A very funny individual who was a pleasure to meet. Danny and I discussed the dangers of social media on our mental health. We compare ourselves to people when we shouldn’t and measure our success through incorrect ways. Something that we all have difficulties with.
Sid sat for a portrait in his garden in Withington, Manchester. I really enjoyed shooting Sid as we have known each other from the ‘Northern Quarter’ scene for years however we had never sat down for a proper chat. Sid’s positive view on life was inspiring. His ‘everything happens for a reason and just crack on attitude’ was admirable. We sat for hours discussing why men struggle to deal with embarrassment and why negative events should be seen as ‘learning curves’. Sid opened up about his tough past dealing with loss and heartbreak. Something we can all relate to.
Harry is a design student at Manchester School of Art. I have been friends with Harry for years as we make zines together of my work. Harry was keen to open up about his views on why men struggle with their mental health. He mainly focused on toxic masculinity and why we should encourage our friends to be more honest when they are feeling at their lowest. Harry sat for a portrait on our lunch breaks from university. Harry has been a friend of mine who hasn’t been scared to be honest when he is feeling at his lowest and we have always confided in one another when something is on our mind.