Family portraits are meant to evoke pleasant memories. M&C Saatchi UK’s Lost Family Portraits for charity, CAFOD, jar against that expectation.
There are very many charity campaigns in support of the Syrian crisis. Finding a new way to appeal to potential donors is an M&C Saatchi coup. The agency’s idea was to recreate the classic studio family portrait – but with obvious vacant spaces where missing family members would have been.
“The portraits take the warmth and happiness we expect to see in a studio photograph and place them against the stark reality of life in a refugee camp. This aims to bring home to us the acute feelings of disruption, sadness and loss that countless people who have fled from war face every day,” CAFOD wrote on its website.
M&C Saatchi commissioned Dario Mitidieri, a former British Photographer of the Year, to take the shots at the Syrian refugee camps in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.
The portraits are also housed in a website where the families’ stories are told, with the sights, ambient sounds and children’s songs from one of the refugee camps in the background.
The campaign for the Catholic Aid Agency for England and Wales (CAFOD), aims to show “the emotional impact of war on normal people – wives, husbands, farmers, taxi drivers, teachers, shopkeepers and students – who have run from their homes in Syria.”
“While farmers and even restaurants in this famed region continue their work, our church partner in the country, Caritas Lebanon, estimates there are approximately 1,500 camps now in the valley home to an estimated 400,000 women, men and children,” CAFOD explained.
The site is also a donation centre where people can give to help Syrians in need.
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Creative director: Simon Dicketts
Copywriter & art director: Chris Ross-Kellam
Designer: Andy Harris
Photographer: Dario Mitidieri
Photographer’s agency: Process Photography
Media agency: Blue 449
Client: Jen Corlew. head of communications, Cafod