Behind a brand there should always be a concept, a mood, based on an insight, transmitting value to its receiver. It should inspire and transmit a customized message and experience expressing the core of a brand. Creatives and their work have become brands, and as a result, an ordinary portfolio no longer works to captivate and move the spectator. Following the new rules within the communication field, we created a personalized concept for photographers Bèla Adler and Salvador Fresneda allowing them to present their newest work in a new and experiential way. We called it The Smokers.
The Smokers is an experience of Bèla and Salvador’s work through the creation and use of viral content with an attitude, adaptable to different media and communication channels. It is an editorial series of photos and videos revolving around the social act of sharing a cigarette in between photoshoots. Bèla shoots famous and emerging models during this intimate moment, to showcase both her own and Salvador’s talents, as well as the B side of the characters she portrays. The interviews, photographs and videos were used to catch the attention of clients and other visitors, alongside a personalized newsletter we designed to send out to the photographers’ network.
We first met photographer Bèla Adler when she was collaborating with Metal, a magazine founded, conceptualized and designed by Folch. Over the years we saw her blooming within the high fashion photography scene, working for clients such as Burberry, Vanity Fair, Loewe, Spanish Vogue, Elle (Dutch), BMW, and Nike, amongst others. She now lives and works between Barcelona and New York alongside her partner Salvador Fresneda, who combines photography with interior design, transforming second hand industrial objects to rent or use them for his own productions.
Bèla and Salvador’s portfolio had to become a concept, a brand that was easy to remember. Drawing strength from their romantic and professional relationship, we turned their work into a brand in itself and named it AdlerFresneda. On the website, we put personal projects like The Smokers on a top level, introducing the photographer’s portfolio on a secondary level and enabling space for freedom and creativity. We treated videos as if they were pictures, creating a visual platform and used a combination of Akzidenz Grotesk and Freight for an elegant and modern feel. The website was ultimately featured on siteinspire (+34k followers on Twitter).
FOLCHHow would you define your aesthetics as a photographer?
BÈLAI’m quite simple and direct, classical. I love natural light and almost always use only one source of light, like the sun. I’m also not very into retouching: I need things to stay authentic and to tell a story.
FOLCHHow do you see the social act of smoking a cigarette?
BÈLAI used to love smoking. It made me feel more secure and cool. I now know this is ridiculous, but smoking gave me time to relax and to think. It was something I did for myself. I thought I would never be able to stop, but when I got pregnant I finally could.
FOLCHWhich relationship exists between the models and your work?
BÈLAThe Smokers gives me another approach to the models: they open up and I get to discover how they are in a more private way. It’s about forgetting what they represent and being able to be themselves. They don’t have to pose as in commercial work. To me, on the other hand, it’s also a way to express myself without being subject to editorial or commercial demands.
FOLCHHow do you and Salvador complement each other as creatives?
BÈLAWe’ve been working together for a very long time, but since Salvador started with industrial and vintage furniture he became more focused on that. He sometimes does set design for campaigns and editorials but is focusing more on his own design projects.
FOLCHWhat is happening in the future?
BÈLAI’m currently working on a new project called “The Unexpected Present”. Salvador is also opening a new store in Poblenou, Barcelona, a place where it all started for us. It will be something different, but it’s still a secret for now.