Night session with Elena López Benaches, Olympic silver in Rio 2016

Night session with Elena López Benaches, Olympic silver in Rio 2016, professional photographer Spain

(Puedes leer este post en español: https://www.archerphoto.eu/sesion-nocturna-con-elena-lopez-benaches-plata-olimpica-en-rio-2016/)

It is possible that taking many photos and writing sometimes seems like much more work than is worth doing. But it is also true that sometimes you build things without realizing it. I had wanted to take pictures of rhythmic gymnastics for some time. But I do not have too many contacts in the sector, so I left it as a wish that had been left pending. And one day there is the opportunity to take pictures of Elena López Benaches. Perhaps the name, does not ring a bell. But she is an Olympic medalist: with the Spanish team she achieved silver medal in Rio de Janeiro (the Equipaso, that’s how they are called). Of course, my doubts were between zero and none. We warned Nadia Alba to help us with makeup, hair and a little assistance in costumes, and she came with her brother, Salva, a classic dancer, who agreed to collaborate as well. He helped us in this night session with Elena López Benaches.

Elena López Benaches, athlete, jumping with elegance in a black and white picture in Valencia by Sergi Albir photographer Valencia

Interrogating Elena López Benaches

Curiosity moves me, so I asked her many things during the session, even though she has a very extensive and well-documented Wikipedia page .Elena has had an ankle injury from which she is recovering during this year of rest from the competition. She was on vacation in Valencia – she lives and trains regularly in Madrid, but she’s from Turís, a Valencian town), so we took photos here, in the capital of Turia. But I asked her about life in Turís, because in her hometown she even has a street named after her and even the municipal gym is dedicated to her. “The truth”, she confesses, without an apex of arrogance “is that in the town they behave very well with me”. It’s funny because almost never get such remarkable recognitions in life. But it seems that “not being a prophet in your land” is not something that affects Elena.

Elena López Benaches, Olympic gymnast, by Archerphoto, sport photos Valencia

“I’m still not 100%”, she explains when we are preparing some plans. But the elasticity, the precision and the capacity is incredible. Normally, when doing jumps and pirouettes, there is a factor of luck for the pose to go well. It is not the case. It does not fail a single time, but when she sees herself in the photo, she becomes extremely self-critical. “In that pic I do not have the foot completely OK”. And it’s not that position it’s wrong, it’s that it’s not perfectly stretched. In addition, she excuses himself for not being able to hold for long in positions that she performs perfectly and that are almost impossible to perform. The flexibility is amazing, but his naturalness in the pose is even better.

Night photos session with Elena López Benaches, Olympic silver in Rio 2016 by Archerphoto, photographer Valencia

Rhythmic gymnastics in a deserted Valencia 

Our idea of ​​the night session with Elena López Benaches was to make different looks for an almost deserted city on a mid-August night. The idea was not to mount large sets with flashes, but to capture, especially the movement, and the contrast with some places in the city, to look for the urban texture, instead of the coldness of a studio. With the LEDs combined with the streetlights of the city we were slightly low in light, but we did get the desired atmosphere. For this session, Nadia Alba took care of the hair and makeup. “Normally we have to take care of ourselves,”Elena explains to me, when I ask her about the sponsors and the support they have.However, he confesses to me, the atmosphere with the team is very good. “We leave all the negative issues out,” she says, very sure.

Night session with Elena López Benaches, Olympic silver in Rio 2016 photos

Another aspect that we comment on is how such a visual sport does not have a greater, and better media difussion. They had a TV ad,  with Freixenet (an important cava company in Spain), that was seen and well valued. There is even a very interesting little documentary ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnjX5xD8f28 ), but rhythmic gymnastics do not have a big pull. “There was a lot of glitter on the set,” she recalls, “and it was very uncomfortable, because it got everywhere.” Sometimes in pursuit of the image professionals press a little more than necessary.

Night session with Elena López Benaches, Olympic silver in Rio 2016 valencia photographer

I’m Sergi Albir, professional photographer. If you need photos you can send me a message to sergi@archerphoto.eu or a Whatsapp to +34 644459753 today. I make photos, videos and contents both for the Internet and for other media.

Carrusel Deportivo: pictures of radio people

It’s been many years on the radio. I just love it. I have done many hours and I have had enough fun. I walked around Madrid and called Miguel Coll to lunch. Bad luck, because he was leaving for Alicante. But he asked me if I wanted to get to the studio to taking photos the next day to Carrusel Deportivo, which in case anyone does not know, is the most important sports program in Spain. Actually, probably the most important program in Spain. Period. And, uh, I had never been to the studios of Gran Vía de la SER, so I did not hesitate to go see the team led by Dani Garrido. Juan Ochoa, Ponseti …

Dani Garrido in SER studios, in Madrid, by Archerphoto, professional photographer in Spain.
Dani Garrido.

I love taking pictures of people working. And especially with radio people, because, in addition to being very expressive and intense, they can not escape. They’re sitting around doing stuff, buddy, and that, that’s great for a photographer. You know they will fall, at one time or another, in an interesting gesture, a look, a hand, a breath, a smile … Like fishing in a barrel. Well I think. Fishing and I run parallel paths. I have never been interested and the times when, as a child, they tried to make me fish, the failure was discouraging.

Anyway, I went to the studios of Gran Vía to Madrid to do a lot of photos on Saturday, February 18, 2017 and I really enjoyed watching both these cracks work and shooting freely there. Both they and the technical team are undoubtedly the best of Spanish radio, and also people who have a splendid work environment, despite how complicated it is to run such a program.

Carrusel Deportivo: pictures of radio people

As I told you, here you have the pictures, all of the processed in black and white just because I felt like that.

My name is Sergi Albir. I’m a professional photographer. If you want to contact me, sergi@archerphoto.eu, o +34 644459753.

Copyright Sergi Albir 2017

SuamSport

SuamSport

If someone asks me, I usually say that “running is cowardly”. A few months ago they helped me with the phrase, complementing it. So now I say that “running is cowardly and guilty”. Well, once the inevitable joke is made, I can tell you that I was working with some friends, writing content for SuamSport, its application, which is really interesting.

SuamSport

SuamSport

The application consists of several parts: on the one hand is an exhaustive race search engine in Spain. Not only you can look for them, but you have the right information and filter them according to our needs. So far it would not be bad, but the app will train us. It will recommend us adequate exercises to be competitive in these races or just to get in shape. Don’t say goodbye! We’re not finished yet! It will teach us how to do those exercises properly with athlete videos developed and supervised by professionals, which focuses on critical points (but only in them, avoiding us a huge speech about the critical importance of psoas stretching related to the fourth vertebra). A couple of phrases per exercise and a short video that loads VERY fast on your mobile (they are optimized precisely for that), and you are ready.

SuamSport

SuamSport, iOS and Android

SuamSport is available for iOS and Android and you can try it in beta already. What have I done? Videos and photos. What should you do? Install the app now and try it out. After that, surely you will end up telling a friend that whenever you see is running from one side to another, preparing a marathon or something worse. And, uh, they also have a website with additional content.