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Fatherhood Through the Lens

It’s the day of dads on Sunday June 18, and this Father’s Day we’re celebrating a diversity of dads and role models through photographic snapshots of masculinity, fatherhood and father figures.

Fatherhood Through the Lens is a series of five images selected from The Calm Photography Movement exhibition, held at Getty Images last month. Each image invites us to take a fresh look at what it means to be a dad, a man, and a role model.

CALM’s CEO Simon Gunning said: “Fathers and father figures play a huge role in defining kids’ identities and views of themselves – supporting kids in their discovery of their identity is a huge responsibility and an equally huge pleasure. This photo series shines a light on different experiences of fatherhood and masculinity, celebrating just how diverse that can be.”

The Calm Photography Movement co-founder Scott Shillum said: “We were overwhelmed by the interest and engagement in the exhibition. We received over 27,000 entries from over 40 different countries and managed to raise over £17,000 for CALM, which is a testament to the power of photography. Through the self-expression of the photographers and subjects involved, these images shine a light on masculinity, fatherhood and father figures, and we’re already having very exciting conversations about how The Calm Photography Movement can grow and continue to start conversations around male mental health”


“I want for her to go to school. I would give up everything for her to have a good education.”

A man holds his child in front of their home in Ganap, South Africa. High hopes are placed on the education of the youth for improving the quality of life in the Moshaweng valley.


“Flyn was 16 when he took his own life. He would have been 30 this year.”

A father cradles the ashes of his teenage son, lost to suicide at the age of 16. Years later, dad Dan is now part of A Band Of Brothers, a project which enables younger men to transition to adult life free of crime and full of meaning.

With this series, photographer Casey Moore sought to provoke conversation about what it is to be a man in 2017 through the medium of self-portraiture.


Photographer Chris Floyd recalls photographing the father of documentary telly and role model to many, David Attenborough.

“In he comes, determinedly with a stick, crumpled jacket, slight scowl, not in a good mood. I’ve been told that he doesn’t relish having his photograph taken and that I shouldn’t take it personally.

“He emits a small cough, adjusts his posture and like the sun breaking through after a colossal thunderstorm his whole face takes on an air of beatification.”


“Are all young boys allowed to be angry, sad, raging; are they all allowed to cry?

“Even if they are, the moment comes when those emotions start to be repressed by society’s expectations, contained by the social constructions of our so-called civilised, modern western world.

“What happens to young men, who become adult men, who miss out on all that emotive expression?”


As the business editor at a major national newspaper Ben’s life during the week is non-stop. Early starts, late nights, commuting and deadlines.

The weekend is an opportunity to reconnect with his wife and two daughters, Izzy and Zara. Here Ben and Izzy play at the top of Martinsell Hilll in Pewsey, Wilts.

Keep an eye out for updates about The Calm Photography Movement, which will be back bigger and better in future. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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