We love our job and this shoot was testament to that.
Last week we were based in a small village called Kardamili, Greece. It literally touches the Med and is surrounded by high mountains and within these mountains are a scattering of tiny ancient villages and pathways. We couldn’t have hoped for a more perfect location. We were there to shoot Episode 1 of our series for Salomon this year, as well as a range of product-based content.
It was impossible to escape the history of the area – the houses, the monasteries, the stone trails, all linked and relatively unscathed by the centuries that have passed. The dichotomy of shooting all of this modern running equipment and prototypes on the backdrop of trails where sandals and donkeys have been the chosen mode of transport for centuries gone by was ironic to say the least. It was ultimately something we explored in our interviews with the athletes.
The actual population of full-time residents in the area is less than 200 – that allows you to consider what a place like this once was, but more importantly, how much of its simplicity has been retained over the centuries.
Apart from solar powered geysers on walls – the architecture, the roads, the people themselves, they all lean to this self-sustaining way of life that has survived for centuries. We would pass the elderly in their groups sitting around trying to work out who we were – these foreigners with cameras wandering their streets.
In their eyes, in the way they were around each other, you got a sense that they were all lifelong friends, inhabitants of this ancient place that had not allowed the modern world to infect it too much. The only other people we saw were kids, kicking soccer balls and running in the streets – there were no iPads or Playstations around here – just kids being kids making mischief like they should.
Their closeness translated to the group of athletes we were filming. Being able to get together and plan a year of races, test the latest in running equipment and share experiences is very rare in the trail running community, and the team really seemed to appreciate the opportunity. From all corner’s of the world, the Salomon Team’s lives are so different to the locals of Kardamili and yet for one short week it was all absorbed into one, and for us these were unique moments to capture on camera.
Shooting people run can seem like quite a basic task. With some of the world’s greatest athletes in one of the most picturesque parts of the world, perhaps it ought to be. But its the story though that counts – and in Greece we found just that! In a place like Kardamili its evident that simple virtue still exists in parts of the world and at the core of this experience you find just a group of people celebrating the things they love.
Droz Photo is a French based photographer and is part of the media crew on many of our trips with Salomon – click here to link to his website