The city of São Paulo is a cosmopolitan city and the melting-pot of South America. As Brazil’s biggest city, its skyline sports new skyscrapers, and its streets are populated by people from around the world. One aspect that aids this city in its modernization is the greenery of its city parks, which showcase the rich biodiversity of Brazil’s subtropical flora.
Commercial photographer Claus Lehmann returned to this unique metropolis after ten years of living around the world. In an assignment for Allegra, Claus took to the streets of his city to discover the beautiful everyday spaces, both indoors and out, where plants and pollens grow in abundance.
Claus was contacted by Annette Fausboll, a producer at MRM London, to see if he was interested in photographing a global campaign for Allegra in São Paulo. Together with the agency and client, Claus discussed the locations, the style of the portraits, and how to incorporate the brand’s vibrant purple hues cohesively.
We had a long period of concept creation and pre-approval with MRM London and Allegra where we decided on each aspect of the shoot.
For this project, Claus collaborated with Zohar International Films, a production company based in Brazil, who was also handling the cinematography for Allegra as well. At each location, Claus found himself working in tandem with the videographers to maintain consistency throughout the campaign.
We decided that I would shoot the images alongside Zohar Films, so we could use the same location, dress, and talents.
The team discussed a matching wardrobe, with each subject styled in Allegra’s signature purple color. Then Claus and the videography crew headed to the street to scout locations that would speak to the allergens São Paulo residents routinely encounter.
The film crew and I worked together to scout locations and we were able to collaborate on spaces where the light and setting would fit both of our needs.
Thanks to the city’s expansive park systems, the team found a location that offered a natural landscape to illustrate the allergens that one is exposed to when enjoying outside spaces. To provide variety from one subject to the next, Claus edited the images to portray summer, fall, and spring. This also worked to highlight different seasonal allergies, while the sunspots in the images show the audience the bright world that awaits them outdoors.
I found it challenging to bring the “morning light mood” to the photos, given some of the shoots occurred at 6 p.m., but I thought it was essential to tie the series together.
Claus felt the time on location was spent effectively because everyone involved had aligned on the overall creative direction of the shoot beforehand. For Claus, the light atmosphere on set enabled everyone to start their days with positive energy that carried them through the long hours of shooting.
I really appreciated working this way. Thinking about everything prior to the shoot is helpful so the day of we just need to bring the talent, set the mood, and find the right shots.
Throughout this series Claus brings his distinctive lifestyle portraiture to each subject, crafting a relatable scene for each subject. The relaxed energy that he maintained throughout the project set the tone for a campaign intent on helping the world breathe a little easier.
Photographer: Claus Lehmann
Producer MRM London: Annette Fausboll
Executive Producer Zohar Films: Fernanda Rossi
Photo Assistant: Paulo Borgia
Photo Assistant: Fernanda Pinheiro
Photo Assistant: Vlad Rapchan
Photo Assistant: Leo Sombra
Retoucher: Rodolpho Mello