You’ve covered a vast number of UEFA Champions League matches and finals with so many photographic contributions. What elements make for a great match photograph? How do you best capture moments as beautiful photographs in such a fast-paced environment?
Yes, and I am proud to say that until the pandemic struck, I was and still am the only Maltese to have covered 14 UEFA Champions League Finals to date.
The elements for a great match photograph defer sometimes from the clients’ requisites – what the client needs when you are commissioned to do the job. But in general, I go for an exciting “capture” – something unusual which when you just look at it you just say “wow – awesome capture”
I am always challenging myself to the limit in each and every event I cover. I just go into it saying to myself “I want something better this time round”.
Getting to know the event participants, choosing the best position in order to cover the best athletes/teams involved in the event, etc, are all fundamental factors in our trade.
Of course, you have got to learn the art of “anticipation”. You have got to anticipate what is coming next in fast action sports disciplines. So, getting to know both the sport discipline and the athletes involved is a must. Just to give you an example, you have to guess what athletes like Ronaldo or Messi will be up to in a fraction of a second.
I then go into concentration mode and give it my all, vowing to myself that I want to get home with a couple of capture winners. If not, I will not be feeling well!
That is my way of doing it. I always challenge both myself and my equipment.
Was it always an aspiration of yours to photograph these events and football in general?
Yes, it was, though to be honest I never dreamt I could go this far. Football remains my “forte” in sport disciplines and I do guess this is why I get the best captures from the lovely game.
But of course, I have covered most exciting disciplines like boxing. In boxing I used to search for that elusive punch-to-face capture which is such a rarity – I only got it once but what a capture that was! Swimming and water polo are Malta’s number one sport in summer and in particular water polo is very much a fast paced action sport, sometimes very difficult to follow and capture. I had my fair share of other sport events like the “Shotgun World Cup” series staged in Malta a couple of years ago.