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Photographers of Eurovision: snap to it!

02 June 2021 at 14:30 CEST
Inflating the Spanish prop during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 NPO/NOS/AVROTROS Nathan Reinds
It’s a good job the camera never lies because this year our photographers were more important than ever in relaying the full story of the Eurovision Song Contest to the fans back home.

So, for the shutterbugs among us, looked beyond the lens and spoke to our photographers (Nathan, Jordy and Andres) to find out what it’s like to have such intimate access to the world’s biggest music event.

Stage crew and TIX getting ready for the Norwegian performance during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Nathan Reinds

Nathan Reinds, the Netherlands

Gear: Canon 5D Mark IV in combination with the lenses: Canon 8–15mm F4L, Canon 16–35mm F4L, Canon 24–70mm F2.8L II, Canon 70–200mm F2.8L III, Canon 100–400 F4.5–5.6L II.

Manizha from Russia getting ready for her performance NPO/NOS/AVROTROS Nathan Reinds

'This was my first Eurovision Song Contest and hopefully not the last. I love the show and spectacle, it really fits my type of photography: big, bigger, biggest! I was commissioned by the Host Broadcaster NPO/NOS/AVROTROS.

Stage Crew (Canon 5D Mark IV + Canon 24–70mm F2.8L) Nathan Reinds

When you are the biggest TV production in the world and you’ve got a lot of live performances you need a superb stage crew. Luckily we have enough of those here in the Netherlands. They managed to do change-overs in 40 seconds during the postcards and I had the pleasure to join them during the live shows to capture their energy.

It’s Showtime! (Canon 5D Mark IV + Canon 16–35mm F4L) Nathan Reinds

The first time we went live on TV it gave me goosebumps. I was up in the roof to capture the whole arena and beautiful lighting while the hosts said the famous words: “Good evening Europe and good morning Australia!" It was surreal to imagine that 200 million people from all over the world were watching this.

Emotional rollercoaster (Canon 5D Mark IV + Canon 16–35mm F4L) Nathan Reinds

While other press where escorted out of the arena, I kept waiting on the stage besides Måneskin for a glimpse of genuine emotion. It didn’t take long for Damiano to collapse to the ground and start crying. The other band members gathered around him and gave me this pure moment of realisation and emotion.'

Stage crew in the prop of Bulgaria during the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Nathan Reinds

More of Nathan’s work can be found on his website.

Måneskin leaving the trophy unattended for a moment NPO/NOS/AVROTROS Nathan Reinds

Jordy Brada, the Netherlands

Gear: Nikon Z6ll and Nikon D850 with the following lenses: Nikon 300mm 4.0, Nikon 70–200mm 2.8, Nikon 8–15mm F/3.5–4.5, Nikon 14–24mm 2.8, Nikon Z 50mm 1.2 & Nikon Z 35mm 1.8.

Fyr og Flamme Jordy Brada

'My favourite memory of Eurovision was The Common Linnets finishing 2nd in 2014 and for me that moment was the first moment I really started to watch Eurovision.

Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Jordy Brada

But also Eurovision truly came alive in 2019 when Duncan Laurence won the competition and we found out the Contest would be held in my hometown. I’m from Rotterdam, and as an event photographer this was a major bucket list thing and I’m so thrilled that I have been able to experience this.

Jordy Brada

One of my favourite photos is the one I took of Barbara Pravi right before the start of her performance (my personal favourite song), completely in focus with one single light lighting her up.

Jordy Brada

Another is one of the little backstage portrait moments at the MoroccanOil booth – this one is of Spain’s Blas Cantó and the shots here with the artists were a real highlight.

Jordy Brada

Finally, I love this shot of lead singer Damiano from Måneskin completely tired and filled with emotions lying on the ground. An amazing moment to share with the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest just minutes after winning.'

Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Jordy Brada

More of Jordy’s work can be found on his website.

Andres Putting, Estonia

Gear: I use Canon lenses and 1DX Mark II and Mark III. These photos were taken with a Canon L-series 300, 2.8 aperture lens, with 2x extender. So with the COVID-19 protocols, I can safely stand another part of arena and still get beautiful details.

Barbara Pravi Andres Putting

I take photos on behalf of SCRN for the Eurovision Song Contest. My first Contest was Tallinn (2002), since then I’ve worked at Belgrade, Baku, Copenhagen, Vienna, Stockholm, Kyiv, Lisbon, Tel Aviv, Rotterdam, and also Junior Eurovision in Amsterdam, Minsk and Malta!

Barbara Pravi Andres Putting

The draw for me is the positive vibes which I get for some months after, and I enjoy seeing the team-work in practice: to see how the Contest is built and how sharp and perfect the outcome is on TV screens. For me it’s the highlight of the year. Honestly.

Barbara Pravi Andres Putting

My favourite photos this year are these of France’s Barbara Pravi: it was simple, plain and very emotional song and as photographer it was very nice and creative to shoot. The lighting and this beautiful singer made for a perfect match as you can see on these pictures above.'

Eden Alene, Israel, Second Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 12 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

More of Andres’ work can be found on his Instagram page.

Blas Cantó, Spain, Backstage, Rotterdam Ahoy, 13 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

There are heaps of photo galleries to work your way through on, covering every aspect of the Contest from the backstage and fish-tank, through to the rehearsals and Grand Final!