Save a Life

July 7, 2017

If you live in a community or watch the news- you know that opioid addiction is a big and growing problem in our country.  In the tri-state area death by opioid overdose his at an all time high.  Personally, when I visit my family in NJ, I have been shocked by the amount of 19, 20, 23, 24 year old people in the obituary section of the Asbury Park Press.

It is shocking and sad.

I was asked to cast the campaign by the NYC Dept of Health’s ad agency; to find people who had personal stories.  Not professional EMTs, Doctors or Nurses, but folks who “saved” friends and family.  I listened to a lot of stories, some broke my heart.

The people in this campaign are not actors/models.  They are 100% real New Yorkers like you and me.  Their stories are true.

If you would like to be trained on what to do if someone is overdosing and to get a FREE Naloxone kit check out this site:

Photographer: James Weber

Stylist: Mindy Saad  Grooming: Mahfud Ibrahim  Backdrop: Oliphant  Studio: Go Studios

GREAT campaign- Just in time for PRIDE NYC!

The casting was so much fun!  “Are you ready to strip???” some folks weakly said “yeah?” but most said “HELL YEAH!”

About the campaign:  People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) deserve to get the most out of their health care visits. That means working with providers who affirm who they are and incorporate their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression into care.

“Bare It All” is a citywide campaign encouraging LGBTQ patients to have open and honest discussions with their health care provider.  Speaking of health care provider, our own Assistant Commissioner of Heath Dr. Demetre Daskalakis was part of the campaign!DOH_Bare_It_All_DrD2


Photography by James Weber

The “BE” Project

June 5, 2017

The Print & Broadcast campaign for “BE”; The Neighborhood Health Action Centers in Central Harlem, East Harlem, Tremont and Brownsville have everything you and your family needs to stay healthy!

When I was delivered the casting details, the NYCDOHMH was very clear they would like to focus on casting people from the following neighborhoods (and corresponding zip codes). Manhattan: Central Harlem, East Harlem  Bronx: Mott Haven, Hunts Point, High Bridge, Morrissania, Crotona, Tremont  Brooklyn: Bed Stuy, Bushwick, East New York, Brownsville.

So, we needed folks over 60, African American/Hispanic men over 60 who are Korean or Vietnam Veterans, B-Boys & Girls, Kids, West African young men, a young pregnant Latina with a toddler and Middle Eastern family with a kid under 12.

A challenge for sure, especially given I have to consider WHERE they live!

I actually live in the Central Harlem zip code in a housing complex built in the late 50’s/early 60’s. One of many complexes in the neighborhood that were marketed/advertised at that time to middle class African Americans living in the south- offering them better opportunities in the north. The average age of my neighbor is 70, and so many men here are Vietnam Vets. I hung fliers in all the laundry rooms AND even though many folks here don’t know my name, at the bottom of the flier I put: “Desiree aka the White Lady with the Little White Fluffy Dog”. BINGO, I got calls & emails!

The NYCDOHMH also likes me to reach out to Community Based Organizations; I made an amazing connection with Bronxworks!

They have programs for seniors, young moms, etc. They have centers in all the neighborhoods in the South Bronx where these health centers will be operating. Between the workers, volunteers and participants of Bronxworks programs we had a great showing!

I also hit up every livery cab driver I rode with up in my neighborhood since the majority are West African, but the language barrier was tougher than I thought.

It was a successful shoot; we experienced the wonderful farmers market at the beautiful Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx. Joyce Kilmer wrote the very famous poem “Trees” with the line:  “I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree.”  Good stuff in the Bronx! Our second location was East Harlem.

Photographer: (stills) James Weber    Director of Photography (video) Larry Baglio  Wardrobe: Mindy Saad  Hair/MakeUp/Grooming: Mahfud Ibrahim  Crew: Duck Feeney, Sebastain Beckmann & Rico Elvina  Casting Crew: Justin Wilson, Drew Tobia & Jesus Baez


December 21, 2016

It is EVERYWHERE in all five boroughs! There was “Be Sure” and then “Play Sure”, now there is “Stay Sure”!  We cast Gay, Straight, Trans, Gender Non-Conforming,  HIV+, HIV-, Caucasian, Asian, Latin and African American.  These shoots are always a lot of fun and great camaraderie happens between all the talent!

Photography: James Weber

SUBJECTS: Trevon Haynes, Joshua Keith, Xavier Smith, Richie Moo, Elliott Sailors, Peche Di, Sherise Powell, Kouryou Ngin, Raven Lopez, Caliph Jones, Anais Almonte, Anthony Varrecchia, Achilles Tsakiridis, Alisa Murray

Growing Up NYC commercial- 5 boroughs, 10 locations and lots of kids! All kinds of kids that represent this amazing city of ours!

Growing Up NYC Print Campaign

November 15, 2016


NYC Plays Sure Commercial!

October 26, 2016

So, I no longer call myself a “print” Producer! I have been producing and casting commercials for the NYC Dept of Health and the Mayor’s office! Very proud!

SAP Image Library

August 9, 2016

I love working on image libraries! This is the latest for SAP Software Solutions with Art Producer Marc from RAPP.

1 day, 2 locations and 13 talent!

Photographer: Shaun Fenn   Rep:

Casting and Production by me @ Desiree Kennedy Productions




SAP_IC dry erase



SAP_IC_AAF Meeting




Take Care/Take Pride

April 21, 2016

Last year the agency that does all the wonderful ads for the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene approached me about the second part of their “Take Care/Take Pride” campaign for Trans Health.  The focus this time around was FTM Trans/Trans men.

I thought in a panic, “I’m a middle aged, boring, straight white lady. What do I know about the Trans community!!??”  I am not someone to back down from a challenge.  I remembered a former co-worker of mine dated a Trans man a few years back and I took her to coffee and asked her to point me in the right direction.

I needed 8 talent of all ethnicities for this shoot and we had 68 people show up for the casting!

I am also happy to say this and other castings & shoots for NYC DOHMH have made me a friend & advocate of the Trans community, they are my brothers & sisters!

I am a better person having met all of you!

Photographer: James Weber 

Casting/Production: Desiree Kennedy Productions