Noel Hendrickson, a portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Vancouver, Canada, was one of five candidates (from various countries) asked to submit treatments, proposals, and budget estimates for an assignment with Invisalign Global.
The agency, Publicis New York, was already familiar with Noel and his team – as well as their ability to solve budgetary issues – having worked on other campaigns with them in the past. Noel’s Vancouver representative Nancy Grant and producer Amy Jones assisted with the proposal and bidding phases, which took about a month and a half.
We put out about five to ten treatments/proposals for larger jobs each year. These treatments take a lot of time and energy; the length of time varies but is proportional to the scale of the project.
Once Noel and his team were awarded the project, Publicis New York and Invisalign Global involved them in every step of the way, from shot-lists, to casting, to locations, wardrobe, etc. Pre-production was done remotely over the course of a month, involving global clients in eight countries, as well as the agency which spread across several states. The time differences didn’t stand in the way of anyone’s involvement; the clients and agency were present for each part of the photoshoot, even if it meant logging on to Zoom in the middle of the night.
The client and agency were seeing a live workflow feed from my digitechs monitor. We also had feeds of the main set and the wardrobe area. My producer Amy had them in her ear every moment of the shoot, patching the creative director or client through if they wanted to go over something.
In total, there was a local cast and crew of 45 people on-site, which Noel described as “an ultra-positive, well-oiled machine.” While adhering to COVID protocols, the team worked tirelessly to accommodate real-time changes in wardrobe and propping, with Angelyne Martin, the production designer/prop stylist, and Jess Avery, the set director. Prop assistants Aaron van Dyck and Brett Correll were also hands-on throughout the process.
In addition to the talent, there were ten extras, four people from the agency, one lead client, and seven regional clients. Also part of the crew was Global Cultural Consultant Felicity Wang.
The photoshoot spanned nine days, and took place at various residential properties in Vancouver. Noel and his team utilized location scouts, providing them with specific parameters for what they needed: large homes that would provide enough space to accommodate the shotlist, while making sure the crew had enough room. Each space needed to suit a specific regional request from the client.
For example, our home used for Latin America was quite different from the home sourced for Northern Asia. We had specific requirements for these homes which ultimately helped us with propping and wardrobe to ensure the imagery passed peer review for each region.
Noel had to be mindful of the rules for each area. Prior to the photoshoot, all twenty of the models – who were cast by Legends cafe – were fit with actual Invisalign retainers. As the brand name suggests, the retainers were almost impossible to see, especially in photos. Some of the Global regions prohibit the wearing of this product in an advertisement so Noel needed to be aware of this when shooting talent for these regions, ensuring that they were only holding the retainers, not wearing them.
The stylist on the project, Sarah Danniels, shared that she had to research clothing trends and customs of eight different global regions/countries:
What was culturally appropriate in one country was not necessarily appropriate in another. From fit, to colors to climate, each place had their individual needs and requirements. I had to become the expert and authority on cultural appropriateness relating to clothing– Sarah Danniels
Sarah had to consider the way each garment fit in collaboration with the colors and the climate of each place, in order to fulfill the needs and requirements. Not only did she have the challenge of learning what all those were, but she had to source everything in Vancouver – during a pandemic. She added,
Stores were still operating at low capacity at this point. No one had any stock. Not to mention it was November and half of the countries we were shooting for were perpetually warm countries and needed summer type clothing. My team must have stepped foot in every single store in Vancouver, multiple times. We fit and re-fit several times. I think I had about thirteen racks of options for our final fitting. It was intense! That being said, we nailed it. And now we have work published all over the world from this shoot!
Noel is not a stranger to working on large productions. He tackles them by spending as much time in pre-production as possible, working with his producer and crew to problem solve any potential issues ahead of time.
The more confident we get in our plan the more we relax and the better the product. Once on set I try to convey positive energy and aim to be as supportive as I can for my team. I have a self-deprecating sense of humor and I think that it is disarming and lowers stress.– Noel Hendrickson
Noel’s positive mindset and preparation beforehand enabled the project to unfold successfully. He strives to maintain clear and honest communication with his cast and crew, delegating when needed, but without micromanaging.
It was an incredible opportunity to collaborate on an extensive, beautiful global campaign that needed complex problem solving to help align the various needs of the client.
Photo Editor: Chris Hendrickson
Digital Tech: Rob Seebacher
First Assistants: Sean Best, Richard Amies, Geoff Neufeldt
Second Assistants: Nik Molson
Wardrobe Assistant: Angela Cooney
Hair and Makeup Artist: Sonia Leal-Serafim
Hair and Makeup Assistant: Atefeh Shojare
Casting: Mila Franovic, Legends Cafe
Location Manager: David Pink
Locations PA’s: Lee Dalmazzi, David Vassilliev
Aligner Assistant: Victoria Chan
COVID Officer: Steve Lang
Lighting and Grip: Flashpoint Rentals, Whites
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