As I'm sure some of you have seen, I started to do a #storytime series on my Instagram. I've been getting questions about what exactly it is, so I wanted to share what I've been creating these past couple of months.
I had an idea to take a series of portraits, but not just serious black and white portraits. I wanted to create a bio-series so to speak, where I follow people who are pursuing their passion and creating a positive impact on their community, network, and ultimately, the world! I started this series to praise the unsung heroes of our communities— to give them a voice. They’re your acquaintances, friends, brother, sister, mom, dad, neighbor, business-partner, hell maybe even a stranger that I talked to for less than 10 minutes. They can be anybody. The thing they have in common is their humility, hustle, gratitude, and positive impact.
I started this series by photographing people that had a huge impact on my life. It's not every day that thank you comes top of mind. In the beginning of this portrait series, I wanted this to be my own version of appreciation. My own path of photojournalism-- to tell these incredibly inspirational people how much I appreciate everything they've done to help or assist me in my journey. And, on top of that, how they have positively affected an entire community stretching even farther than one's direct circle.
I'm excited to share this series with you all. First up, my biggest role model, my brother: Peter Oswald, CEO of Darwin Clothing.
Now, the reason I chose him as my true first edition to this series is simple: I’ve looked up to him my whole life. He’s more than just my brother— he’s a best friend, an adventurer, a go-getter, an entrepreneur, a guiding light, and the most positive person I know. Honestly, it’s uncanny how positive this kid is. I’ve never met anyone like him. He’s so hyper-aware of his mentality to the point that he can change negative thoughts on the spot and turn them into opportunities.
When I was younger, everything Pete did, I wanted to do. He had this aura about him that could make his competition (on and off the field/ ice) like and respect him. He was a natural born leader and that could easily be seen since he was young— a trait that continues to shine through on a daily basis. He was a trailblazer to create his own path, and that’s not to say it wasn’t without struggle. That’s how Darwin Clothing was started. He took an idea his senior year of college, and realized that he could run with it. I always appreciate his journey because he knew little to nothing about the men's clothing industry except that it needed to be disrupted. He spent countless hours researching, trying, failing, trying again, and absorbing everything he could to become a leader in his niche. He grew what was an idea in a classroom to a full-on functioning, profitable business. I owe it all to him because he showed me what courage it really takes to be not only an entrepreneur, but also how to be a down-to-the-core good human.
I am so grateful to have Pete in my life. He was always my protector. He had my best interests at heart, and even if I didn’t agree, he knew what was best. It’s not an exaggeration when I say I don’t know where I’d be without him. Pete continues to be my role-model, my go-to for advice, and I’m incredibly lucky to have such a strong sibling counterpart to carve the way for me. He started out as the trailblazer for all things new, but now I think I’ve taken over that role since my move out West! It has been incredible to watch you build Darwin Clothing from an idea to fruition. You truly live in the present and bring those around you to a higher level. Thanks for being a dope soul.