Today we have news on our blog: we have been able to steal a little bit of the busy life of Chechu Arribas (@fotografiadeaccionchechu) between trips so that he can answer a short interview in which we will be able to meet a little better, both his exciting and challenging work, and him personally. But before we begin, we are going to put you in context (very briefly) of who Chechu Arribas is.
Chechu is from Ciudad Real, but he has been away from home since he was very young, when he decided to embark on an adventure and combine his two passions: photography and extreme sports . Because, in addition to being a professional in photography, with which he manages to convey to us the difficulty and adrenaline that is felt at all times, he is a very intrepid athlete. He practices sports like climbing, base jumping, skydiving and many more, and he doesn't do it anywhere, but in exotic places like China, Turkey and Thailand among many others. Bringing his motto to reality: “If you don't do what you enjoy, you're doing it wrong”, he has left us fascinated with his responses:
ULLER: How did you start in the world of photography? How long have you been working in this profession?
CHECHU: Well, it was a bit by chance. A fellow photographer saw that I was taking photos with my mobile that seemed good to him and encouraged me to buy my first camera, with it little by little I evolved into the photographer I am today. Professionally, I have been dedicated to extreme action photography for about 9 years.
ULLER: What aroused your curiosity to do this type of sport? Since when do you practice them? We know that this question is very difficult, but… if you had to choose, which one would you choose?
CHECHU: I practice almost all the sports I photograph, and this is something that helps me a lot to be able to anticipate key moments when carrying out an action session. I have been practicing climbing and mountaineering for almost 25 years, and today, if I had to choose one in particular, I would tell you that Drytooling and base jumping would be my favorites.ULLER: You have mentioned on many occasions that action photography is the one that motivates you the most, why?
CHECHU: For two reasons, the first is that it makes me work 200% of my capabilities; the second is because of how challenging it is. It really seems like a challenge to get to many of the places where each sport is practiced and be a direct witness to the development of a climb, a jump or a descent... it is a sensation that cannot be described.
ULLER: As of today, do you have any reference point or have you already reached the point where you wanted to be?
CHECHU: I could tell you that there are many photographers that I look to for their tenacity, creativity, talent and fighting spirit. Some are Davis Nieto, Yabril and Lorenzo Holder, but there are so many others who put everything on the spit in each of their disciplines, something I admire.
ULLER: Pending photographic challenges? Any other discipline you'd like to try for a while?
CHECHU: I have many personal projects to develop and some have been in my head for a long time, but the exact moment in which I will be ready has to be given. Regarding photographic disciplines, I honestly only like action photography. What's more, if I had to work another, I think I would leave it and continue with my life focused on something else. Although hey, nature photography wouldn't bother me either.
ULLER: In 2019 you participated in a documentary, how was the experience? Did this make you curious to want to touch some video too or are you faithful to photography? We are clear that you would be crazy.
CHECHU: During my career I have had the opportunity and the good fortune to collaborate in some documentary projects, both base jumping and climbing, but I am clear that photos are my thing, I do some video, but only to mount my own videos of personal adventures and activities.
ULLER: You are an adventurer through and through. What is the destination that you have enjoyed the most? Why?
CHECHU: There is no better learning than being able to travel around the world and get the most out of each and every one of the situations that you find yourself in, what destination have you liked the most? I couldn't tell you why I've had a good time in India on an expedition, in Thailand climbing, in France and Switzerland jumping, and in so many other places... I like to LIVE with capital letters.
ULLER: When preparing your luggage, tell us your three essentials that can never be missing, in addition to the camera, we know that today that is like an extension of your arm.
CHECHU: Buffff… Only three! In addition to everything that the camera entails, I always carry a utility knife (which I use from opening a can to fixing the camera tripod), my caps and my sunglasses of course.
ULLER: If the sports you practice are not easy at all, the plus of taking photographic material complicates them even more. What is the most risky situation in which you have been involved due to your work? ?
CHECHU: That's exactly what gives many of the sessions their value. I've had moments of tension in almost all disciplines, but I'm very methodical when it comes to carrying out dangerous maneuvers and I measure my limitations very well... But hey, nothing serious at the moment.
ULLER: Next adventure or pending goal? Both experiential and photographic level.
CHECHU: My next adventures, at an experience level, include jumping on the Rento wall, in Italy (it is a wall of almost a thousand meters where base jumping is practiced) and chaining my climbing projects (ice, rock and Dry) . Photographically, being able to live solely and exclusively from my action photography.
ULLER: Traveling constantly must be a bit difficult to combine it with other things like friends and family, how are you coping with this? Although we know that being a nomad has been in your DNA since you left Ciudad Real!
CHECHU: I love to travel and have been doing so for many years. When I was alone I traveled less, but with my wife we traveled halfway around the world climbing and now that we have a daughter we haven't stopped. We combine all the activities and tastes of each one to be able to feel complete. For example, last July, we were all over Europe and we did everything: touring, bouldering, long routes, sports, cycling and base jumping. The point is to have fun and if it's with the family, all the better.
ULLER: What advice would you give to someone who wants to get started in action photography?
CHECHU: My advice is very clear: you have to be autonomous, so if what you like is climbing photography, climb, train yourself in ascent and descent techniques, all of that will help you. On the other hand, if you want to be a freeride photographer you will have to have a very good level of skiing to be able to reach the locations and if you like base jumping. Well in this case you better find a good angle and stay on solid ground hahahaha
ULLER: On a more personal level, what do you highlight the most that this job has given you?
CHECHU: The possibility of traveling and meeting motivated people in many sports disciplines that have made my motivation feed back with theirs.
ULLER: Finally, to finish, looking back, is there anything you wish you had been told? something you would change? Some crazy decision that has put you in difficult situations, whatever.
CHECHU: I am lucky to have a family environment and friends who have created in me from the first moment and have encouraged me to continue when I was slack... At the beginning, it is true that I was less aware of the dangers and sometimes I have been in situations that I did not control as much as I would have liked, but I have learned a lesson from all of them and I have learned something.
Thank you Chechu on behalf of the entire Uller team for making a little hole for us. We know that your life is anything but calm!
And if you have been captivated by his photographs as much as we have been, you can see more of his work on his website .