MAMA 2016: 4 photographers for 10 000 photos!

Question: Amandine, you just stepped off the red carpet, after one week in Johannesburg for the MTV African Music Awards, aka MAMA 2016. Appetizers and champagne… you can count your blessings!

Amandine Jouan :

Actually, I didn’t have much time to enjoy it all. Once I got there, everything went really fast. I had to meet up with the client, brief the photographers, scout the venue, cover rehearsals and prepare interviews. For example, on the day of the Awards, I got to work at 8am and I went home at 6am the following day, so that was 22 hours overall! I was lucky enough to have the client with me –who was actually the organizer of the event- throughout it all. For them it was the outcome of a very long and demanding work. My contact worked all the time and slept very little as the day grew near.

The pace was quick for everyone though.

Yes. I coordinated 4 photographers who produced around 10 000 photos. They each had a ‘runner’ who was supposed to bring me their memory cards as soon as they were full. I often had no time to empty one card and edit the photos before another one was brought in. One of the photographers was geared with a new tech device: he had a wifi transmitter on his camera. I received his photos online, directly on my computer! That was very helpful. In total, I delivered 8 000 photos during the night!

Did you get to meet any celebrities?

I got to interview Patoranking and Sarkodie, who were nominated in the Best Collaboration category, with Thibaut Drapier who was with me to manage the video part. But there were so many celebrities at the ceremony, it was difficult to recognize them all. At one time, there were 4 guys behind me in the press room who pointed them out to me on the screen so I could write the captions.

Were you able to use the AFP resources there?

Absolutely. And with the help of the local AFP bureau’s network, I was able to work with local resources who knew the field very well and who gave me their insight on things I wasn’t aware of. I also really enjoyed the AFP infrastructure in Johannesburg, which made my assignment very comfortable. The internet was always accessible so I could be connected all the time. The cooperation between AFP and AFP-Services is one of our strengths.

© Amandine Jouan -