A World Championship that feels like home

Rome | 2009


Photo management, full photo coverage and website.




Enshrining  the World Aquatic Championship of Rome 2009 in the public’s memory.

More than just a challenge.

Photographing a World Championship is a serious challenge, and doing it in your hometown makes it something personal. So when Giorgio was assigned the role of official Photo Manager for Rome 2009, he knew it was important that his most trusted photographers join forces. That was the essence of the job: not only to create a brand-new team, but also to take on an important professional milestone with a group of photographers who had never worked together before,  somehow  creating the team spirit essential for managing one of the biggest aquatic events in the world.

Once you start solving problems positively, you start enjoying it.

Giorgio Scala

Once the professional team was assembled (top professionals Andrea Staccioli, Giorgio Perottino, Guido Cantini, Guido Barbagelata, and Matteo Xxxxx) it needed to combine its experience and artistry to solve minor and more urgent issues that might arise along the way. One example: there were no lockers, so the photographers would have no place to stow their equipment at night, forcing them to carry everything to their hotel and back every evening. That’s a big deal. Professional photographic equipment is heavy and awkward. Since moving it every night was not an option, we had to figure out something else. We decided to use the tennis lockers. One night we moved 300 lockers to our village on-site, changed all 300 locks and so had our official lockers for the event. Once you start solving problems positively in this way it can be very satisfying.

Nobody panicked when another problem came up. We had to have a shot of the swimming stadium from above, but drones were not an option back then. We had to use RAI TV’s 40m crane, meaning that some brave photographer had to go up that high on the crane to get the shoot. Luckily, we had someone courageous/irresponsible enough on our team (thank you, Guido Cantini!) and we got the shot we needed. Summing up at the end of the event, we knew that our team had been impressively flexible and creative in their work, not something you find every day in a team. We didn’t know it back then, but those five brand-new teammates would soon become the heart of the official DBM team. Their unique strength is an attitude of enthusiastic problem-solving, and it has become their unmistakable signature.

A result with no way back.

So when Giorgio was assigned the role of official Photo Manager and coordinator of the LOC (Local organising Committee) photographers, he knew that the real challenge did not lay with coordinating 320 photographers from all over the world ( the highest number ever at a FINA World Champs) but his most trusted photographers join forces.
Rome 2009 was one of the most successful projects in the history of our team, which resulted in more than 15,000 photos and hundreds of iconic shots that made aquatic photography history in this century. We set an indelible benchmark then, meaning a level of quality that we have never compromised.
Last, but not least it gave us our most precious result to date: the beginnings of the DBM team.

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