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Photographers at Cannes - 6/8: "I'm fatigued and stressed... but fine!"

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Photographers at Cannes - 6/8: "I'm fatigued and stressed... but fine!"


Media coverage of the Cannes festival requires an army of photographers. Some stand on duty alongside the red carpet while others are sent on sorties in the town’s streets and alleys. Away from the action, their editors sit in darkened rooms working furiously on images that will be seen across the world. But what is it like being at the front line in Cannes? What goes on behind the camera? euronews is following a team from Getty Images to get their unique perspective of life on the Croisette.

Ian Gavan, photographer:

“I had to work the Grisogono party last night and didn’t get in until past 5am after starting work at 11am yesterday. This morning I’ve been doing a portrait session with a director and an actor from a movie with a very long name which I can’t even remember because I was concentrating on the photography!
“The party was opulent, in a beautiful location at the Hotel de Cap. Leonardo DiCaprio was there as well as Naomi Campbell and a plethora of jewel-laden women. It was tough, very long, very arduous and very stressful. There was a lot of security there which made it very difficult to manoeuvre. The Black Eyed Peas were there doing a show, which I managed to cover successfully but then the PR people who have to approve the photos just said ‘no’ to all the photos of the whole set apart from one picture. So when you slave all night trying to get decent photographs in the most ridiculous lighting circumstances and then the PR people just says ‘no, you can’t use them’, it is slightly infuriating!

“I didn’t have to get up too early today but I’m sharing a room with another photographer who was out the door at nine o’clock and he woke me up so I’ve not had very much sleep.
“I’ve only done the London Film Festival but never Venice or Dubai or any of the others. London is similar to Cannes but much less hectic. It’s also in a more controlled environment whereas here at Cannes you’re constantly running around all over town.
“This is probably one of the hardest two weeks of the year because it’s relentless; you just don’t stop for 14 days straight. It’s really tough and demanding; you’re just fighting through the fatigue a lot of the time. But then again the sun is shining and you’re on the coast. You even get to see the sea from time to time!

“Yesterday I did the portrait of Linda Cardellini, who is a rather lovely American actress. You just have to get your creative head on and conjure up good portraits from out of nothing. I basically had to shoot from outside the lift, where the lift enters out onto the roof terrace and there was a little bit of stained glass which I used as an element in the portrait. I was happy with the vibe; she is a lovely, warm gregarious character and I tried to make that come across in the photos. I think I managed to capture some of her spirit.
“You have to be opportunistic, think quickly and work quickly and it’s rewarding when you get the right results.
“The worst thing that can happen is equipment failure at the moment of truth: if you’ve got Brad and Angelina standing in front of you on the red carpet and your flash pops that would be an utter catastrophe.”

Ian Gavan

Ian Gavan comes from Lancashire, England and is now based in London. A photographer for Getty Images, this is his third Cannes festival.

The Cannes festival on the Wire Image website

The Cannes festival on the Getty Images website

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