MAAP In The Field: Chiara Redaschi
There’s a lot to like when you see a photo of a rider in some incredible landscape, climbing an epic road in new kit, but have you ever wondered who was behind the lens? Chiara Redaschi is one of the key members of the MAAP family and our photographer extraordinaire.
Hailing from Novara, a small city tucked into the northwest corner of Italy, she grew up surrounded by a close-knit family, including a father and uncle who were both also photographers.
She’s self-taught, having first started to take cycling photos only five years ago. Following an ex-partner on the Red Hook Criterium, she bought a camera to stay busy while the race was going on. From there to the World Tour, she’s taken photos of all types of cycling along the way, and gone all across the globe to do it.
MAAP sat down with Chiara to talk about her life outside of cycling, what makes people connect with a photo and why cycling is special. This is MAAP In The Field.
Q. Chiara, so what do you do when you’re not taking photos or riding bikes?
A. I like to spend time with my Grandmother and family, basically she’s my other mum. I love to hear all the stories she has from when she was young, and in the war. I like to watch documentaries, about photography, or about the second world war. I’m really into history, because I grew up with my grandmother telling me all these stories, and I have all these images in my mind. So I’m really into documentaries, books and so on.
Q. You’re close with your family then?
A. It’s an Italian thing!
Q. What do you think makes cycling so special to photograph as opposed to other sports?
A. For me, there’s a really deep connection, because it’s such a tough sport. I hate football, watching these guys that are running for a ball and not so engaged. Cycling, that’s a real sport – they are riding 200 kilometres! Two hundred! It’s crazy what they can do, and I really want to show what these guys and women can do. I think it’s really something next level, there’s nothing like cycling.
Q. What’s the thing you love to capture most in a photo? Is it human emotion? or landscapes?
A. Human emotion. You can take the best photo technically, but if there’s no connection, no emotion in it, then it’s not a good photo. If you have a magazine in your hand and you’re still looking at one picture for a long time, it’s because there’s something in that picture.
Q. You’re Italian, so you must be seeing lots of beautiful races all the time. What’s your favourite race to photograph?
A. I think Strade Bianchi; it’s something unique. If you’ve never been there, you should go there. The end of the race is in this beautiful square in Siena, in the centre of the city, and the roads are so beautiful. It’s so tough and brutal that race.
Q. You spend a lot of time on the road following races. What’s a day following a race like for you
A. It’s not easy! Everybody says “oh, what a beautiful life,” or in Italian “Bella vita,” but actually it’s not always. It can be really frustrating to try and get the best shot that you can. Maybe there are problems so you can’t get to the spot that you want. At the finish line, it’s always crazy, and you need to get the shot of the winner when everybody is hugging each other. It’s the best job in the world, but it’s not easy.
Q. What sort of planning goes into finding the perfect shot? How do you go about scouting out locations?
A. For Strade Bianchi I was in the car with one of the organisers, and we decided to drive and we found a nice spot with climbing and it was perfect. Sometimes you don’t need to scout the location before, just go and when you find the spot that you like, stop there. Sometimes you just get lucky.
Q. What’s it been like working with MAAP? You’ve shot the photos for a lot of our new collections?
A. It’s amazing, we are a family basically. It’s just so easy. It’s like we know what we have to do, so it’s just like hanging out with family. I love it.
Check out Chiara's work below:chiararedaschi.com, @chiara_redaschi