Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that develops after a terrifying ordeal that involves physical harm or the threat of physical harm. PTSD has become more widely recognized in recent years, and is common among war veterans. Recently, war veteran and 2013 Tour Divide finisher Kevin Campagna started Pedal Against PTSD, a young non-profit organization that is intended to bring awareness to PTSD and how cycling can help heal this disease. Atlanta, Georgia-based brand narrative photographer Matt Jones set out to Moab with Kevin to capture him on a multi-day ride, bringing us healing images that are being used for promotions and fundraising for Pedal Against PTSD.
Because Moab is such a vast and remote area, Matt and Kevin were overwhelmed with where to begin. They dealt with the challenges of light, as they spent most of their afternoons and evenings looking for appropriate camping spots. Therefore, they had to take advantage of the early and mid-mornings as prime shooting time. Matt found the shoot rewarding despite it’s challenges:
Our goal on this particular trip was to capture as many images of what a participant would likely experience during a multi-day ride as possible. The adventure is part of the healing process, which is what we worked at capturing. Aside from the location itself, I found enjoyment through embracing the challenge of a new location and a new sport. Everything about this shoot was challenging, but rewarding from all angles. Of course camping underneath the crisp, clear sky in Utah pretty much tops the list!
Through this project, Matt learned a lot about how cycling can help those that fight with this disease, and he has been inspired to help grow the organization:
A victim to PTSD, Kevin has found endurance biking as a vehicle to fight this disease. His story, like many veterans, is one that will inspire many. By providing all gear necessary to go on both single and multi-day, self supported rides, no one will be hindered financially. Hopping on a bike, the open road, nature, campfires, building friendships and healing together is what it’s all about.
Matt plans to keep this project going as Pedal against PTSD grows.