Cover stories: issue 18.6 – Alejandro Valverde by Timm Kölln

If you plan to shoot a series of photographs of someone, it is highly recommended that you have a clear idea in advance of what you want to do. 

In principle, people who are extremely used to being photographed couldn’t care less whether you just travelled 2,700km to meet them, or indeed if the magazine you work for is published in England, Mexico or Timbuktu. 

This is why you have to be prepared for any eventuality. For example, a racing cyclist showing up on the agreed date 45 minutes late, bonking with hunger and his wife expecting him to pick up the kids from school as soon as the shoot is done. Or even before the shoot is done. Equally normal behaviour is the bullfighter scheduled for the same appointment who rocks up another hour later and then takes half an hour to change into his special clothes. 

For members of the general public and those not in the know: a photo shoot should never take more than five minutes, in contrast to the subsequent meal which may easily stretch to over three hours. 

Most importantly, at the end of the day, you should hug each other and promise each other: “Anything you need, I’m here for you…”

I hope you enjoy meeting Rafa and Bala, the two fenómenos from Murcia, the city that was formerly best known as the vegetable garden of Spain.


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