I’m back in Stockholm after spending a week in Kiev, Ukraine covering the Eurovision Song Contest. Last year the contest was held in Stockholm and I had the opportunity to cover it for Getty Images. This year it was held in Kiev as Ukraine was last year’s winner. I jokingly had asked Getty if I could cover it again thinking there probably had a local photographer, but much to my surprise they did not and they were happy to have me go and cover the event.
As far as big events in Europe go, I think covering Eurovision is a fantastic assignment and a lot of fun. The organization is top notch and it’s one of the few jobs were you can feel secure leaving equipment in the press room and running off to take pictures or have lunch.
This year’s winner was Salvador Sobral from Portugal. It was not much of a surprise to me. He along with Italy was tipped as one of the favorites. I saw immediately during the first semi-final that the people loved his song and his story. Ultimately his winning was a bit of a disappointment as he was a rather reluctant winner. He showed little interest in celebrating or posing for pictures with the trophy. After a week’s hard work it’s really disappointing to not have a winner who really gives you a great celebratory shot, this is especially true when I look back on the shot I got of last year’s winner Jamala. So with that in mind perhaps Francesco Gabbani of Italy would have been a more gracious winner, but such is life and such is the nature of this job.
Next year the contest will be held in Portugal and there is seems rather unlikely that Getty will send me as they have several regular photographers throughout the country, but you never know so fingers crossed.