Oral health problems are on the rise today for New York City’s kids. One out of three children who have reached the third grade in New York City suffer from untreated tooth decay and already have had a cavity. Untreated tooth decay can cause infections, great pain, difficulty in eating and speaking and a loss of self esteem, and it is largely preventable.
With these alarming statistics, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene took on a campaign to educate the public on the risk factors for tooth decay and to give parents and caregivers of young children tips on prevention and good guidelines for life.
Ad agency Rivet Global, working with Caroline Wallace, Marketing Manager and Dr. Cynthia Summers, (now at the Guttmacher Institute ) but both of the NYC Department of Health at the time of production, joined forces to produce the latest campaign. Rivet’s Director of Production Noreen Pero contacted Doug Truppe, photo rep for one of the top commercial children’s photographers in the country, Jade Albert. Truppe and Pero have worked together on previous projects, and Albert seemed to be an ideal choice for this campaign
Albert has established herself as one of the most successful photographers working with advertising agencies, corporations and major publications. She is known to clients who need to produce images that capture the many faces and facets of childhood. The New York Times and Advertising Age have recognized her for “gaining a reputation as one of the nation’s leading commercial children’s photographers.”
With these advertising kid credentials, Albert was hired to produce images that capture and show the concepts for promoting good oral health and the information parents and caregivers of young children need to make healthy, smart decisions that can guide them for the rest of their lives.
There are always challenges working with kids on any assignment and this campaign was no exception. “Some of the challenges were finding real talent. They didn't want models they wanted everyday people,” says Albert. Albert tends to work with talent from smaller modeling agencies when she is looking for a “real people” look. She had to create a homey environment in a studio that would make kids feel comfortable. Her photography list had to cover dental information that showed the importance of daily brushing, avoidance of sugary snacks, cleanliness of pacifiers and not using them as bottles, limiting the drinking time of juice, soda, milk or formula from bottles and sippy cups and regular dental checkups.
© Jade Albert
“We had to get the perfect juice color for the bottle shot, so we had to buy lots of different juices and mix them with each other,” explains Albert. She even had to teach an 18- month-old to brush her teeth and had to get one of the babies to fall asleep in a noisy studio.
Albert shot with a Cannon Mark II and worked with Peter Tak from Metro Digital as her digital technician. To get the lighting to have a more natural look, she shot through a silk.
The images are eye catching in their detail and the extremes that the health community is facing in children’s oral hygiene today. The campaign launched in February and posters could be seen in all the New York City subways. It has been very effective and the NYC Department of Health and Rivet could not be more pleased with the results. “I received several emails today about how smooth the day went, how beautiful the photography was as well how flexible your team was with adding the sixth shot. The day would not have been such a success without your team's talent, creativity and professionalism," says Rivet Account Executive Maleika Cole.
The key to Albert’s success is that she allows children to act as they do in real life, no matter what the project. She shows enthusiasm and they pick up on that and respond naturally. Albert continues to work for a variety of companies. She recently completed ads for pharmaceuticals Deflux, and Norditriopin and is moving into a new area with healthcare and pharmaceutical photography. She believes the key to healthcare shoots is production and plans to direct campaigns in the near future.
You can see the NYC Department of Health campaign that appeared in the NYC subways here, and to see more of Jade Albert’s kids, lifestyle and portraiture, visit her site at www.jadealbert.com. She is represented by Doug Truppe.
Health Department Ad Campaign Oral Health for Young Children Credits
Client: NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Agency: Rivet Global
Andy Zuckert-Managing Director
Noreen Pero- Director of Production
Maleika Cole-Account Executive
Margaret Artley-Creative Supervisor
Photographer: Jade Albert