It’s the fourth day of my RG experience today, I genuinely feel like starting this article by saying how thrilling it was, but that would be redundant. Every Day in here is electrifying, I wish I can duplicate myself so I’d be in every court, every VIP lounge, and basically everywhere at every hour. Today in particular was quite “marathonic,” I was running through the stadium, trying to keep up with accredited photographers rhythm. No words can actually describe their intense hardworking and passionate job, but I’m going to highlight some of the behind the scenes moments, with an inside look to places only an FFT accredited photographer can access.
My day started by having some chats with the Celebrity/ events photographers at the village. They come here with special accreditations to photograph the VIPs invited to the partners lounges.
Cyril, a photographer for Best Images Agency, comes to the village from 11am until 2pm. Like all his fellow photographers, they have a secret list of the stars and VIPs who might be attending, they stay posted by the photocall waiting on the celebrities to arrive.
Same scenario for David, who selects and retouches his first round of photos on his lunch break. He spends his afternoon in and around the courts, so he can spot the ones attending the matches, and hoping to come across some star players in quirky unusual situations.
It’s lunchtime. Few stars came in, their names are shouted loudly by the photographers, they pose with their partners, kids or on their own for a minute or two, then they are escorted to the lounges.
In the afternoon, I moved to the Media Center, and had a quick coffee with Christophe Guibbaud, the person in charge of the accredited FFT photographers. Minutes later, I find myself following him in the hallways of the media center, situated under the Philippe-Chatrier historical court. We pass through some space called the coworking where tens of photographers are sitting in front of their laptops, making phone calls, checking their cameras, some are running in every direction. A major game just ended, so I suppose they are in a rush to upload the photos on the servers. Few stairs down, we finally arrive to this magical location, called “la Fosse du Chatrier.” A pit reserved for photographers, tv and a couple of ball kids! It’s dark, messy, filled with red RG clay dust, tennis Balls make their way through from time to time, but what a stunning view! A place where you can see it all but can’t be seen!
Now straight to the rooftop of one of Chatrier’s wing, we are literally 1 meter far from the results big screen. We end up arriving to the highest platform, “The Photographers Tribune,” the views from here are breathtaking! 4 professionals are lined up documenting the on-going game, the maximum capacity goes up to 19. Quite little when we know that 200 photographers are credited at the beginning at the tournament.
The RG tournament produces an untold number of images, an increasing collection through every year’s edition. Professional tennis players, events, stars, incidents… Everything, everyone is photographed. But how can it be that this visual repository, common to all the editions of the tournament, continues to surprise?