Yesterday, we were closer acquainted with a group of blind people and how they “see” Palmeiras. Today, you will get a glance at the man who further enhances our vision and etches Palmeiras into the realm of timelessness: Cesar Greco, the club’s official photographer. I hope you enjoy this first part of the interview, as well as, of course, his images – specially selected by Cesar himself from his 2015 batch.
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Anything Palmeiras: Tell me a little bit about yourself, Cesar.
Cesar Greco: I come from a family of palmeirenses, an Italian family. My great-grandfather left Italy and the war that was ravaging his home country. He arrived in Brazil, became a Palestra supporter, and his club preference were passed on from generation to generation: my grandfather, my father, cousins, uncles and the whole family.
I believe I am, both privately and professionally, a team player, an observer and someone who is always willing to learn. Someone who invests in opportunities body and soul.
I am rather emotional and dreamy, but without abandoning reason and professionalism. That is how I see life and live life, especially in relation to Palmeiras.
AP: I was going to ask if you are a palmeirense, but…
CG: Haha, well yes, very, very palmeirense. Palmeiras is an intimate part of my life. I was born and raised in a palestrino setting. It was something natural, a heritage, something in your skin, in your veins, a love that not even I understand where it comes from but is there, in my heart. I am very proud to be palmeirense.
AP: Since when do you take pictures?
CG: I started in 1999, as an amateur and for fun. In fact, I say I started that year because it was when I bought my first reflex camera, but already as a child, I experimented with compact cameras, trying to obtain impossible images. It was an interest that came naturally. So natural, in fact, that I learned to photograph by myself.
AP: How did your career develop?
CG: I graduated in journalism in 2003. Ever since my college days, I wanted to write and do photography jointly. In my early career, I worked for small weekly newspapers and Internet portals, writing and shooting, gathering plenty of experience.
I started doing local and regional football games, third and fourth division, then slowly approached the main competitions. In 2007, I started working for an agency, which gave me the opportunity to cover major events – both top division football and other sporting events. I had certain freedom to choose which events to cover and never hid the fact that I am a Palmeiras supporter. When in 2009 Palmeiras went out in search of an official photographer, their crosshairs rapidly locked on me. I use to say that because I am a palmeirense, and exclusively for being one of those passionate about this club, I work for Palmeiras.
AP: You work exclusively for Palmeiras, or do you also take up other work?
CG: I work exclusively for Palmeiras, from Sunday to Sunday. My work agenda is that of the team’s. All my time is dedicated for Palmeiras. Occasionally I can take on smaller assignments on the side, but only if Palmeiras’ agenda allows for it. Normally, I pass assignments on to other professionals.
However, when time permits, I try to develop my own stuff, keeping it ready for some time in the future.
AP: Cesar, describe a “normal” week for you at Palmeiras
CG: Well, if we take a week with two games, one at home and one away, it will be something like this:
I shoot the first training session of the week, Monday, for example. I will focus on players that might have given a press conference, the coach, looking for pictures to illustrate articles that will feature on the Palmeiras website. I also constantly look for nice photo ops for Palmeiras’ social media – instagram, facebook and twitter – or that could go into the club´s magazine, or even be used by the club in commercial settings.
The following day might be very busy, if we have an away game on the Wednesday. I shoot the training session, then scramble to edit the pictures and send them to the webmaster. I get on the plane with the team, always with a camera ready “from the hip” to capture anything that might interest. As we arrive at our destination, I capture the disembarking of the delegation, the interaction with local supporters, edit and send it to the webmaster.
On game day, I spend a day’s worth of energy in only a few hours, it’s very intense. I head for the stadium some four hours in advance, together with the crew that prepares the players’ uniforms and stuff. I organise my gear, get my credentials and wait for the arrival of the team. A do some images of the activities in the dressing room, edit, send it, then head for the pitch. A capture images of the game, edit and send a first batch during halftime. Same procedure after the final whistle, editing, sending, and also preparing pictures for the club’s instagram, while collecting my stuff and making sure I’m not left behind. I continue working in the bus heading for the hotel, or the airport.
That’s the routine, more or less the same also at home games. When Palmeiras train or play, I am there. In addition to when there are special needs surging from Palmeiras or somewhere else. A lot of work, I promise you!
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End of part I, stay tuned for part II.