Searching for A-list Olympic spectators – not as easy as it looks!
Editor’s note: On the ground at the London 2012 Olympics, our VP of Public Relations Alison Crombie caught up with Getty Images photographer Pascal Le Segretain, whose red carpet images of celebrities are known for connecting people with the tastemakers of our time. Here’s what he had to say about shooting from the Games, the challenges and what has surprised him so far:
What is it like shooting an Olympic Games, as opposed to the big showbiz events?
This is my second summer Olympics after Sydney in 2000, and I am very excited to shoot such a massive event like this and of course being part of such a great team! It is just amazing for me. The Olympic Games are a very special event, completely different than shooting red carpet. It’s organized differently with different people, different photographers and different rules. Covering the games is like doing a marathon — going from one venue to another with a lot of equipment to carry, long lenses, heavy bags, miles to walk during the day and short nights.
Are there any particular challenges?
The challenge here is not to miss any celebs in the tribune at an event. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize a celebrity in the middle of a packed tribune, especially when someone wears sunglasses with a basket ball cap on his head … At the opening ceremony in a stadium with 80,000 people, spotting celebrities is a real challenge!
How easy is it to know who will be here – and where they will be?
We get the schedule of the Royal Families from the Royal houses’ press offices for the duration of the Games, which gives us a better idea on who will be at what event. That doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to be there; sometimes the office calls me at the last minute to change my plans.
What are you doing to try to get interesting shots – is it hard with so many of them seated at events?
The key point for making interesting shots of people sitting in the tribune is just to be patient and wait until something happens. The Duchess of Cornwall struggling to get her raincoat on, for example!
What are you looking forward to shooting during the Games? Any highlights so far?
Surprisingly, there are not many celebrities at the Games so far. I hope I will have the chance to see some more celebs for the athletics – I am sure they will come to watch the 100-meter race. I have a nice set of pictures at Equestrian events of Kate and William supporting Zara Phillips. It is an opportunity to see them in a different light, supporting a member of their family like hundreds of athletes’ families.