The process of the City Lights project

Recently Ritaflowers launched a new product line: City Lights. During the autumn of 2019 I photographed and filmed the publicity campaign.

We set out as a project to research how flowers can visually improve life in the city of Barcelona, and how flowers can improve one’s life in general. Additionally, we hoped to raise awareness regarding the aesthetically bland and unhealthy situation in Barcelona city.

The idea was to have Ritaflowers’ floral products contrast with the city’s decor. We were looking to make a statement and to support recent efforts of town hall to make Barcelona greener.

In 2009 I had already briefly investigated what flowers mean in people’s lives. The inspiration came from Chaplin’s movie City Lights. Now, 10 years later, Ritaflowers gave me the opportunity to map this out in a more focused way.

We photographed and filmed Miel, Patrizia and Inés on various locations in Barcelona. Reflecting upon the imagery that resulted, we came to the conclusion that rather than appearing as a contradiction, the two visually complemented one another so that the city can be a good match with the products of Ritaflowers. 

This particular creating process is showing us that our work as a photographer or filmmaker can give us new insights so long as the working method is profound and observant.

One might go forward despite the bleak and ugly situation, in this case the city of Barcelona, by always seeking to contribute as part of the solution as opposed to being part of the problem, and by providing an aesthetic that enhances the joyfulness of our circumstances.

Patrizia photographed by Ernst Lalleman for Ritaflowers

Series of 4 photographs by Ernst Lalleman for the Ritaflowers City Lights campaign

Still from Chaplin’s movie City Lights

Argun and Sine in 2009 photographed by Ernst Lalleman

Miel photographed by Ernst Lalleman for Ritaflowers

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