Joshua Peters

Filmmaker and Photographer Joshua Peters

Joshua Peters is a man filled with hope. Hope that filled him as a child when, homeless, his family sought shelter at a Help USA facility and received it.

“I feel like that’s one thing they gave my family, and they gave the other families … hope,” he said. “Because at one point, we didn’t have a roof.”

Today, Peters is a professional photographer with a thriving business that allows him to express his passion. He also is filmmaker and public relations/marketing strategist with a goal of “Making The Films That Matter.”

He credits Help USA, and also Mentoring USA, for the assistance he received not only as a child living in a shelter, but also with giving him the opportunity to intern as a college student with Help USA’s media department.

Peters knows the importance of reaching out to youth, with inspiration and hope, and with more practical tools. For more than 10 years, he volunteered as a mentor with Mentoring USA.

“I would visit their Brooklyn site where I was raised and talk to the kids along with assisting them with any resources that are not available for inner-city children,” Peters said.

After graduating from Saint John’s University with a bachelor of science degree in public relations and communications in 2010, he pursued a graduate degree at the New York Film Academy.

“I bought a dslr camera and used it for small work videos,” he said about his transition into photography.

“I started out shooting photos of all my friends and they were like, I really loved their photos and they were posted on social media, showing all their friends,” Peters said.

“Then the attention, it just spread like wildfire. People were like, ‘I want to know who this photographer is.’”

Peters recently discussed what goes into capturing the perfect photo. “I would say two things: your heart and your imagination. If I could imagine what the subject is going through or what they’re thinking or what is it they’re trying to tell me, and I could capture that from my point of view, is the most important part,” he said. “Through these photos, I want people to actually see them, say to their selves, ‘Wow, I need to appreciate everything I have, especially the roof over my head.’”

Peters also works with the Kenneth Cole “Look Good, for Good” campaign, as one of three photographers documenting the work of three organizations that KCP has long supported: the Sundance Institute, St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, and HELP USA. Peter’s work with the campaign is to create rich images showing the real impact of the organization’s work.

Because of his connection with Help USA, Peters makes a conscious effort to emphasize the profound impact Help USA’s programs have on people, capturing portrait-style photos that tell  stories.

“The first thing I saw when I arrived was the kids, and that just brought it full circle for me,” Peters said in a previous interview. “I know people don’t think they can change things, but you’d be surprised how much you can change the mindset of other people. I’m sure when Kenneth first started his social change campaigns, he probably didn’t think it would be as big as it has become. But they changed people’s minds and moved them to do something.”

To learn more about the “Look Good, for Good” campaign, click here >>>>