Stanislav Solntsev is a photographer based in Dubna, a city roughly 80 miles north of Moscow, Russia. He is good friends with Petr Goltsov, owner of the Moscow-based production house GPS. They have collaborated on many projects over the years. So when Sportmaster, the distributor of the FILA and KAPPA brand in Russia and Eastern Europe, approached GPS to produce their next campaign, Stanislav was a great candidate and submitted bids for FILA and KAPPA brand projects.
Stanislav won both bids and agreed with Creative Director Konstantin Shipov and the agency Contrapunto BBDO to shoot concurrently in Lisbon, Portugal. There were two key reasons to produce this shoot in Portugal – diversity of talent, location, and beautiful, sunny weather.
Each brand had a separate creative style: the FILA photos were intended to feel more upscale, with a sport-fashion vibe, set on tennis courts. The KAPPA brand would instead be more associated with urban youth street style and include breakdance elements on a set meant to look like the seedy outskirts of a big former Soviet city. With only one scout day scheduled, the pressure was on when they reached Lisbon!
Upon arrival, we jumped in our production van and started cruising across the hoodlum areas where “normal” civilians don’t want to show up normally. We almost lost our hope to find the right one and this was about the sunset time when I suddenly saw the right location with the playgrounds, graffiti walls and…the high rises just like we needed.
However, there was a final snag before the production could really count on this location. Their local producer, Luis, had to check with the locals before they could consider the location appropriate. Over dinner, Stanislav asked Luis for the details of this conversation.
Luis explained: “See, this is the most hoodlum area of all of the City’s places controlled by the street mafia who can be very aggressive if you step on their territory without permission. I spoke to the guy and explained that we are desperate to find the right spot to shoot. He asked what is it about and when I replied that this is for KAPPA he said that he loves the brand and they won’t mind at all!”
The team had a lot to accomplish during their stay and had rented a big, comfortable house near the beach to ensure restful downtime.
We rented an awesome house on top of the hill in a luxury area outside of the City overlooking the Ocean. We all love to surf but we barely had a chance to get some sleep due to the tough schedule we had.
In addition to the rush to secure a location, the team had to finalize model casting for both shoots. For the FILA casting, many of the production team’s regular fashion models were out in Milan or Paris for other fashion projects. So, all new casting was necessary. Adding in lead-time for the client to approve the casting choices, there was a serious bottleneck when it came to making a casting decision. The KAPPA casting was comparatively easy.
We found an extraordinary street dancer from Brazil and the prominent break dancer from Bolivia and few cool guys from Portugal and Spain too. In order to reveal the energy flow and level, I had to put some funky music loud in the casting studio and make them dance and chat and have fun.
After jumping all these hurdles, the shoot was relatively easy. Of course, there are challenges associated with any shoot, especially in a hot climate like Portugal. Hours were limited by the models’ overtime restrictions, so production had to be as efficient as possible.
The heat was very intense but we had a great local crew by our side and my main assistant Ricardo Cruz is a very knowledgeable guy who has a lot of intense experience in the industry. Whatever technical challenges we were running into he was always coming with solutions so I did not have to worry and could concentrate on the main things.
As soon as shooting wrapped on the final day, the team packed their gear and headed right to the airport.
Everyone was hungry and exhausted but very much satisfied with the results when we finally got on the plane. I was really happy to spend a week in Portugal as I love this country and its very cheerful and hospitable people too.
These images went public in September 2017 in point-of-sale, Internet, Outdoor and Indoor prints across Russia and Eastern Europe.
I always find deep satisfaction when we gather as a tight team and achieve the ultimate result in a very short time frame overcoming step by step any obstacles and situations that come our way!
See more of Stanislav at stanislavsolntsev.com!