Following Sam’s Post-WCBU interview we asked a few others on the VC/Lookfly team about their time at the World Championships of Beach Ultimate in Royan in June 2017.
Andraž Kramberger, one of our photographers, and his partner Alja Sitar, who worked at the VC tent, give us a good behind the scenes perspective of WCBU and working on photography at an event like WCBU!
So tell us about yourself, in a few sentences, Alja
My name is Alja, I’m from Slovenia and I am very new to Ultimate. Andraž is the one who introduced it to me (our relationship is as old as my knowledge of Ultimate), so I’ve seen some games, but to tell you the truth I’m even bad at throwing the disc, that’s why I haven’t tried playing Ultimate yet. Otherwise, I’m an art therapy masters student, I play flute in an orchestra and love chocolate and Andraž. 🙂
Andraž, I won’t delve too much into your relationship with Ultimate, that has been covered in a previous interview with VC and that you played for your local team around a year and a half before turning to photography. Do you still play Ultimate?
Andraž: I don’t play anymore, I just love to shoot top players from around the globe!
Ever get the urge to play when shooting?
Andraž: Sometimes, when I shoot some really intense games with really good spirit I would definitely jump into the action if I got the chance.
Was WCBU like what you anticipated?
Andraž: It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be and the town was much prettier than Google images showed before coming here (I did my research beforehand).
Alja: Yes, pretty much. I haven’t seen much of Ultimate yet, so I’ve built my expectations around Andraž’s descriptions which were quite spot on. But still, seeing the vast beach and all the excitement, it was an amazing experience.
What was it like seeing all of the teams in Lookfly gear?
Andraž: To see five teams rocking Lookfly at WCBU was amazing and it only shows there are good things to come for the company.
Alja: It was great, especially because I had a feeling they connected people in a different way when I passed a team in Lookfly gear I instantly felt like “This is our team”. Even though there was no Slovenian team, they felt “mine”.
So Andraž, how many photos in total did you take?
Since I also worked at the VC tent the number of shots I got was a bit limited, I only managed to take about 5000 shots in the week.
Alja, how fun was it watching Andraž go through all the photos, all night, every night? 😉
I actually really like observing Andraž when he is working. I usually snuggle next to him and fall asleep watching and I’m so used to it that it somehow feels very comforting and homey. Sometimes he asks for my opinion or tells the story behind the shot or we debate about things. Also, I wasn’t able to see many games so this was the closest I got to most of them. Of course, I really like Andraž’s work, and this way I have VIP access to all of the photos, even those that don’t make the cut. That way I feel very privileged. 😀
So, we have to ask, what were some of the best uniforms on the beach?
Andraž: I really liked the Danish, Canadian, Dutch and Czech uniforms.
Alja: I really liked the Czech uniform, I liked the colours and the idea behind the design. Nice and Simple. Between the Lookfly kits, I would have to go with the Danmark one, the women looked great!
What was life as part of the VC Lookfly team?
Andraž: It was a pleasure. The whole team was very nice and the atmosphere was warm and it felt like home pretty much instantly.
Alja: Incredible. I was a tiny bit worried before arriving because I was new to the team and new to the whole Ultimate scene. Especially on this level, but the worries were gone straight away. Every single person I met was as incredible as the whole experience. Combine wonderful people and great spirit and you get our VC Lookfly team. SOTG to us! 😀 Everyone made you feel very welcome and you felt like a big part of the group. I loved our evenings together because the atmosphere was very laid back but the work still got done. And I think we did a great job.
How did you find working WCBU? The players, the locals, the venue?
Andraž: It was a delight to see how many locals and other non-ultimate people came to watch some of the games and even buy discs or other gear. It really felt like the whole community of Royan was involved in the championship in some way.
Alja: It was wonderful. I loved how Royan’s locals got involved, from young volunteers who were also a massive cheerleading group, to groups of older people taking photos of the French team and cheering loudly and proudly – You always knew when France was playing – although I don’t think everyone was even familiar with the sport. Older gentlemen were buying matching jerseys for themselves and their wives and when they discovered the price was too high, they still took one for their lady. Young families were buying discs and now probably every family in Royan has one. Maybe Ultimate will get some new players now!
So guys, any funny stories from your time at Royan?
Andraž: One funny story for me was when I started using our Neckies on my camera as a protection from the sand which was blowing all over. Then after Adriana told one of the other photographers about the ‘hack’, soon a lot of other photographers came for their set of the now rebranded “Lensies”.
Alja: Maybe not that funny, but they hold some humour for me.
Once on a break in the lounge area I saw two Danish girls kicking a** on table football, they were really loud; screaming, singing, laughing and dancing. On the other side were four quite young volunteer boys, they were silently and desperately taking turns on the other table, obviously not as successful.
On my other break, Andraž was taking photos of the game that was happening in front of the lounge area, that’s why I took my lunch there and wanted to take a seat in front so I could watch. The Philippine guys were there, waiting for their game, one of them came over to me straight away and started introducing everyone. He obviously wanted to have a conversation, he was asking a lot of questions, but his English was not that good. Once I mentioned a boyfriend in one of the answers, he stood up and left.
Also, for those interested in photography, or those who just enjoy awesome pictures, check out Andraž’s Instagram @krambergera