Venezia FC – dubbed “the world’s most fashionable football club” by GQ magazine – are redefining what it means to be a football club.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Giacomo Cosua, the man documenting this iconic club through his photography.
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
My name is Giacomo Cosua and I work as freelance photographer and editor. I started working as journalist back in 2007 for a local newspaper, writing mostly about crime reports, culture, and all the things happening around Venice. Then I focused more on photography and that’s what I’m currently working on full time.
In 2017 after several years abroad I moved back to Venice, and Venezia Football Club asked me if I wanted to work for them as official photographer. I didn’t do much sport photography at the time as I worked more on portraits, reportage and fashion, but I discovered that I was really into the job and season by season I studied a lot to become every game a better photographer.
Last year also I started with some friends “Positive Agency”, a company focused on producing digital contents and PR for football players and media in general.
What do you do in your current role?
I work as Venezia FC photographer, covering all the first team games, the trainings, some marketing events, but I also shoot when I can the youth sector and the women team.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
Every week is different. One week we play home and one week away, so when we travel far, usually I move with the team the day before the game together with the Media Office.
When I’m not shooting for Venezia FC during the weekend, I’m on some other Serie A stadium following other games. During the week usually there is the training to shoot or some press conference, or when I’m not working with Venezia FC, I have meetings with my partners at the agency working on strategies, new shootings, video production etc.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
Actually, sport was never my first goal. I always wanted to use the opportunity to take photos to travel and discover the world and for a period I have been traveling a lot, working mostly for Parley For The Oceans, one of my best clients, which has been able to give me the opportunity to travel like everywhere.
But then back in 2017 Venezia FC offered me the position as photographer, I thought it was a great opportunity to follow the Team of my city, as I’m a football lover.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
I think it’s important to be able to deliver photos which represents you and your style, to stand out from the others. There are so many photographers out there doing exactly the same things and I think the only way to be recognized is to go on the pitch looking to shoot in a different way.
It’s not always easy as the situations might be similar, but if you are a good photographer at the end of the season you can show that you did your best to confirm you are working there for a reason.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
I think there are very good chances that you do a mistake every single game. Football is so fast, things happens in a very short amount of time and the best is to work before and put you in a condition to minimize possible errors.
You need to have your gears always ready and never distract yourself from the game. Sometimes is hard to be always focused but every game I’m trying to improve on that.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
I think the possibility to shoot for a club is very unique, because it’s like living constantly on the backstage, very different from usual sport photographers which are going to the event, shoot it and then going back home. You share they joy, the sadness, the stress, the tension of the game with the players as you are in close contacts with them week by week.
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
I think in Italy the leagues are still thinking as photographers in a very old way. The industry around the globe is evolving fast, but they are at the moment struggling to be ready for new challenges. For example, the Italian football leagues (Serie A, B, C) are not allowing photographers to publish their work on their private social medias, something which is totally outdated today, in a world social-media connected.
Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?
It’s very hard to switch off. During the seasons you have always some fixed holidays like the players, unfortunately things are always evolving as the player market is on in winter and summertime.
You have to be ready to shoot a new player coming on a New Years Eve for example. But randomly happen you have a lot free time, and I try to spend as much time I can with my friends, even if it’s hard to avoid to speak football as it’s one of the main things here in Italy.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
If you want to start, the best is not thinking to shoot immediately the best leagues. It’s a job which require a lot of practice on the field, so first start with lower leagues which are more accessible and sometimes you don’t need a press card.
Try to shoot many different things as possible, the fans, the players, the buildings, etc. Sport photography is amazing because it might include Architecture, Portraits, Fashion, Actions all in 90’.
Another thing I suggest is to invest your money step by step. Sport photography is incredibly expensive if you want the best gear. When you start having not the best cameras and lenses is a limitation but also a challenge: when you prove yourself you can shoot with any camera, it’s the time you can think to improve your gears.
How to connect with Giacomo Cosua…
You can include my IG: www.instagram.com/giacomo_cosua and my website: www.giacomocosua.com
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with Giacomo Cosua! If you want to read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.