The current Barcelona team have reached iconic status, their achievements on the field are unprecedented. However, the mesmerising skill and talent of Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and co are matched by the creativity and ingenuity of the dynamic duo Diver & Aguilar.
The photographer and designer partnership of Englishman, Mike Diver & Spaniard, Pedro Aguilar has garnered much success in creating a unique visual identity for FC Barcelona.
In their latest project for the club, Diver & Aguilar were given a brief to shoot a collection of contemporary images of team which will be reproduced in a series of vintage football cards.
In association with our good friends at www.totalbarca.com, our readers can view some of fantastic art work shot for the campaign and read extracts from the “Exclusive” in-depth interview with Diver & Aguilar.
The duo discuss what it’s like photographing the most revered players in the world and the creative process of capturing a special era in the clubs history.
Tell us about the brief from FC Barcelona for the current marketing and advertising campaign.
I think this year the brief was quiet different from what had been conceived of in the past. For the last few years the work and concepts were much closer to those of typical advertising, the very powerful graphic images of campaigns for Nike etc. There has also been a trend in advertising which has started to explore a more documentary style of approach. This is something you can see in our “In Adoration” project and this year we took this style further using a lot more colour photography. The imagery is less two dimensional and really feels like you have something interactive in front of you, you’re becoming part of the game, it is very filmic.
The slogan of the campaign is “Long Live Barca, Long live entertainment”. Keeping this in mind, what moments were you looking for?
So adopting this style of approach for the campaign we were shooting live match footage from three different camera positions at the stadium. The campaign was to emphasize the style of football that Barcelona play. This is not anti-football, it’s almost like an opera or a beautiful piece of orchestrated classical music. We had to capture moments that really illustrated that unique mastery of this great team. Drama and particularly emotion was what we were looking for.
Is language a barrier for you while working with the players most of whom have little knowledge of English? Or does Mr Aguilar take care of the talking?
I think there is a universal understanding in language when it comes to taking pictures. Yes some of the players do have a good command over English, others we can speak Spanish or Catalan with as there is always someone around to communicate with the players the ideas and concepts. Normally, we also have drawings and illustrations of what we are looking to achieve and as the saying goes “A picture tells a thousand words” and that breaks down any barriers of language or creed.
Tell us about the experience of shooting live as opposed to working in a controlled studio set-up? Do you enjoy the first as much as the latter which clearly is your strength?
It’s a completely different experience. As I mentioned before, luckily it is not our job to cover the match in the same way as a sports photographer has to for a newspaper. When we first started working live at the match, it was certainly a stressful experience but when we realized the same production values could be applied to working in this environment, things became alot easier. We started to work out a shot list, if you like a storyboard. What were the important moments we really wanted to capture ? Where was our focus going to be? So we have really started to build this into more of an art form.
Any plans to put them on sale any time soon?
As this is a “Art” project, it won’t be a mass produced piece of merchandise. We will discuss with FCB the possibility of a limited edition signed box set. Maybe we are going to make one to put into the museum. We recently shot some of the Manchester United players and the images can be seen in the museum at Old Trafford depicting the historical timeline of the evolution of the players club strip.
If you would like to find more about the work of Diver and Aguilar please visit:
If you are fanatical about FC Barcelona – then check out www.totalbarca.com to keep up to date with team news, transfers and much, much more!
Read the full in-depth interview - http://www.totalbarca.com/2012/interviews/totalbarca-exclusive-diver-aguilar-on-their-new-barca-work/