Realistic Red Cross Photo Campaign Behind-the-Scenes

Millions of people around the world are affected by violence against health care. A carelessly aimed bomb might destroy a local hospital. An improperly trained police force might deny the passage of medical workers through a barrier. Countless lives are lost or threatened because of inability to access emergency care during times of unrest.

In a campaign to raise awareness and find a solution to this tragic problem, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Reportage by Getty Images are working together to create powerful images for their Health Care in Danger campaign. Learn more about the campaign’s development and how the images were made with this behind-the-scenes look at the latest shoot:

During the first phase of the Health Care in Danger campaign, images were produced to show the ways lives are lost because of barriers to treatment in war zones and areas of instability.


The behind-the-scenes video above tracks the second part of the project, entitled Towards a Solution. This phase of the project puts a more positive spin on the issue by portraying incidences where lives were saved thanks to access to quality care.

The goal of this campaign is to bring back the memory of a tragic reality and add to it the possibility of a change for the better. Each phase of the project begins with a written brief. It is then discussed and sketched. Experts help to edit and adapt the ideas so they can be turned into believable images.

Because time, budget, and safety did not allow for the photo shoot to take place in Afghanistan or Sub-Saharan Africa, the campaign’s team had to seek out a location that would work to recreate the scenes. Once they found a suitable location, the then had to make the shots look realistic and in-the-moment. To assist with this goal, a former war surgeon was on hand to advise on the medical authenticity of the shots.


Commercial photographer, Tom Stoddart, who has a background in advertising photography and photojournalism, was selected as the photographer for this project. His experience in the two different genres helped him to stick with the campaign’s message while inserting his own artistic vision into the images. Stoddart’s keys to success are being prepared, surrounding himself with a good team of people, and communicating throughout the photo shoot to make sure his clients are getting the images and portraying the messages that they intend.

Towards a Solution consists of four campaign images, each produced with hours of time and commitment from a panel of experts and models. The precision and detail that went into the photographs is evident in the finished work:



“The devil is in the detail, but when you get the details right, that’s what makes fantastic pictures.”

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