Tuesday 7 September 2021

Photo of the day - 7: Catching up with sports photographer, Pauline Ballet

I first met cycling Pauline Ballet in March of this year when I was writing for a project on inspirational women in cycling. She was one of the 31 women featured. As with practically all meetings at that time we chatted via Zoom from our homes (She's in Paris, while I'm in London). She was buzzing as she'd just got back from photographing the Strade Bianche professional cycle race in Italy, which she described as "rock 'n' roll". I enjoyed chatting with her so much as she was quite a laugh - and it was good to get in some practice speaking French too. We said we'd be in touch again, but all various commitments meant that we couldn't get together until today.

Talking to her, it's been non-stop - what with Tour de France, the Olympics, the Vuelta a Espana and many other smaller events. I must say the life of a sports photographer can be pretty full-on hearing what she has to do - long days, walking around carrying heavy equipment, sometimes on the back of a motorbike speeding down the hill following a rider descending a mountain pass, then packing up to do another race in another country etc. So I can understand why when she has the odd break between her assignments she is totally "off" - away from work conversations and her computer. 

Pauline also photographs other sports like the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium, and football matches with Paris St Germain at Parc des Princes. What I found funny was that she's not a massive football fan and she just gets on with the job professionally. The footballers, including football megastar Lionel Messi, are just professional athletes. Yet meanwhile, gazillions of football fans around the world would give their eye teeth just to get within 20 feet of him!

I hope to see Pauline again, who know - maybe even in person at a race. Hopefully I won't have to wait six months.

This is the first-person feature I wrote about Pauline earlier this year.

No comments: