Javi Pérez, the rarity of a photographer specialized in climbing: "The rock hurts, but there is no better place to take photos"

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The climber Patxi Usobiaga He ascends a wall and in his eyes you can see that he has been trying to ascend that route for months and his feet support him although they barely touch the rock and his arms underline the effort and in the fingers of his right hand, right in the fingers, in full grip , a ray of sunlight falls that relieves so much tension. It is an image of Javi Pérez López-Triviñonicknamed Javi Pec, one of the few photographers specialized in climbing in the world.

“I have a special memory of that photo of Patxi in Oliana, near Lleida, one of the best places to climb in Spain. When he started trying that route he had already been world champion, he just got injured at that moment and then, at to climb again, he became obsessed with completing it, he was crazy, either he did it or I gave him something. He needed to close the circle. We went for months and months until he built the route and the truth is that I had a very cool photo,” Pec recalls. in conversation with EL MUNDO about a profession so specialized, so specialized, that it has almost no competition. Of Adam Ondra a Alberto Ginesof Chris Sharma to the brothers Forof Jacob Schubert a Jorge Diaz-Rullo, the best climbers have passed, pass and will pass their objective. “If I count those of us who live off of this, I don’t think there will be ten in the whole world,” he admits.

Pec says that he climbs with a backpack weighing between eight and 10 kilos in which he carries his Canon camera and three lenses, including a long zoom and a wide angle, and that he has suffered the occasional accident. “Once I dropped a lens, but luckily it was a cheap one. In the end, if you are on the ground and you drop a lens, it is still damaged. In my case it is shattered, because it falls from several meters high, but the problem is the same,” reveals the photographer who carries a shoulder bag to have his tools at hand at heights and who assures that he has never feared for his life, if anything he has had to reinforce a rope almost stripped due to his continuous movements between shots.

“I have to stay in shape, but I really like climbing and I have friends who are over 60 years old who continue to climb. I think I can retire doing this,” says Pec, 46, who began selling his snapshots to magazines. climbing and now works mainly on the brands that sponsor climbers and on the events and competitions that are organized all over the planet.

Pec, already adapted to video and the immediacy of social networks, plus working with celebrities like Ondra, who has a million followers on Instagram, still has to do pedagogy among climbers, special athletes who dedicate themselves to their connection with the rock rather than the obligations of his job. “It has always happened, especially with young people. The climber wants to climb, they don’t want to waste time taking photos, but the brands pay them for it. Many times, for example, they want to climb without a shirt and I have to ask them to put it on.” because that logo will appear in an advertisement and from there will come your salary. Although there is more and more competition, the romantic part of climbing is always there,” summarizes Pérez, who also takes photos in climbing walls, many photos in climbing walls, every once again, although he recognizes that there is nothing like the mountain.

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