The goal of this campaign was to create a published book of portraits of São Paulo’s most famous nightclub hosts, to be titled Absolut Nightbirds. They would eventually print 5,000 copies and distribute these books to Absolut’s top clients across Brazil.
Once they contacted Claus to be involved in the project, he was granted complete freedom to come up with a concept pitch for the book, which the client loved! Claus’ idea was to create three different sets and story arcs, to accompany the three primary states of water: liquid, gas and solid.
I worked very closely with Brazilian set designer and painter Ana Lu Araujo to develop the concept and build the three sets. Then, we contacted the nightclub hosts, asking how they would like to be photographed: in a solid, liquid, or gas state. They were very amused and curious about the proposal after that.
Coming up with the ways to represent the different states was the biggest challenge he faced in this project.
The underwater images were easy to conceptualize but difficult to shoot. The steam/gas state was simple all around, but the solid state was difficult. We ended up using a lot of reflections with water and glass to achieve the ice effect.
Claus broke down the shoot into three days, one for each segment of the shoot. The hosts would arrive at each location and then discover how they were going to be portrayed. Throughout the shoot, the Nightbirds and crew had a great time swimming, dancing, and posing.
The reaction to these images has been extremely positive, and some select photos were exhibited in December 2016 in a show featuring 30 years of Brazilian advertising photography.
People get very curious when they get the theme and go through the pages, seeing how we developed the concept and how the Nightbirds were featured in these sets.
See more of Claus at clauslehmann.com!