The Girl Scouts of the USA are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. Founder Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout Troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, and today the organization is as strong as ever with 3.2 million Girl Scouts—2.3 million girl members and 890,000 adult members— working as volunteers.
To honor this achievement, a special campaign was created by the RUTH Agency (New York office) to promote the message that the Girl Scouts of the USA, an American institution, helps to encourage and empower young girls to become our leaders of tomorrow.
Creative Director Andrew Dalsass and Sr. Art Director Vandna (Cheena) Jain of RUTH needed a photographer with vision and energy to match the needs of their client and found those talents and more with Atlanta-based advertising photographer David Stuart.
Award-winning Stuart has a lengthy client list that includes Puma, New Balance, Coca- Cola, Mercedes-Benz, Georgia Aquarium, Children's Healthcare, Compugroup, Grady Hospital, United Way, Earthlink, Simmons, BBDO, Atlanta Magazine, ESPN Magazine and many more prestigious advertising and editorial clients. He has been ranked in Luerzer's Archive as one of the 200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide, and his work has been featured in PDN, Communication Arts, Picture, Digital Photo Pro, After Capture and F-Stop. He is known as a photographer who faces challenging situations with ideas and energy and produces final art work that always delivers.
RUTH found their way to Stuart through an earlier campaign he did for the United Way. For that campaign, Stuart showed situations that demonstrated acts of charity that would help enlist support for the United Way. The campaign had a warm lifestyle approach that the creatives at RUTH thought fit the style they wanted for the Girl Scouts. They wanted to present the concepts of strength, courage and sound decision making with compassion — values that the Girl Scouts have always promoted for strong leadership in tomorrow’s world. With that in mind, Stuart created images that show the girls projected forward in time, but still as young girls in leadership positions, such as a law enforcement officer or political debater.
Stuart’s biggest challenges were budget and time, but he is used to these constraints and knows how to be fast and efficient. “There wasn't a budget to build sets, and everything had to be pre-lit and shot the same day, so we had [to] find the locations for both sets very close to each other to make it happen,” says Stuart. He also had to do the scouting the week after Christmas, which made getting in to see locations a bit difficult since people were gone for the holidays. For talent, he used real Girl Scouts, who happened to be great at their acting jobs. For equipment, Stuart used Profoto lighting and shot with a Canon 5D Mark II.
The Girl Scout images are now being used for outdoor, print and online venues. "Dave achieved the style and vision we set out for. He considered both the direction on set as well as the work that needed to be done in post to achieve a dynamically crafted image that was versatile and served our campaign needs," says RUTH’s Sr. Art Director Vandna (Cheena) Jain.
David Stuart can now add a legion of Girl Scouts to his list of admirers and clients. You can see more of Stuart’s still and motion work at his site, www.davidstuart.net and read his blog for more ground-breaking campaigns.