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The Basement Tapes: Sarah Meysonnier from Issue 104

Interview by Tim Schamber with images from Sarah Meysonnier

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In issue 104, our 10th annual Photo Annual, we showcased 12 photographers and 1 collector that are at the top of their game in cycling photography. Here’s the extended interviews from Peloton magazine: The Photo Annual.

Lille, France

Sarah Meysonnier.

Our last photo annual was right in the heart of Covid. How has the last year been for you in terms of getting out and photographing? It has been quite difficult to have the same race calendar as usual because before Covid I went to cyclocross without accreditation and this year they were all without public; so I haven’t done any cyclocross race since 2019. It’s really sad, but otherwise I turn myself to other types of photography. I work more on football games or tennis, and since January of this year, I have been working as an intern at the Reuters press agency, which has opened up a lot of new fields like breaking news, politics or even the fashion industry!

So much of cycling focuses on suffering and pain, which is great, but in your selection this year it’s more about the day-in, day-out of a race…. Yes, I like to focus the photo selection on what we don’t see a lot in cycling pictures—everything besides the race itself, like before and after, the fans, the landscapes. Cycling is not just a sport, it’s a way of life, a whole culture, and I think it’s what I like the most in it.

Romain Bardet gets a haircut.

You tend to steer toward black and white. What is about this that draws you to it? I think there is a little bit of nostalgia, because I hadn’t gone to a cycling race since January 2020, and I am really sad about it. But also because I really like the projection of our eyes on a picture in black and white. There is no color to distract the eye away from the action. You only focus on the emotion of the picture; you clearly see the movement, the faces, without being distracted by colors. It’s like pure emotion.

Of course, you photograph many other sporting events, including football and rugby, but lately your feed has featured fashion. How’d this go for you? In fact, at the press agency, I really like to change my photography subjects every day. One day I can be with the French president, the next day on the front row of fashion week and the next one at Roland Garros—it’s really enriching and exciting for me.


It seems that photographing football is hit or miss. Is it harder than shooting cycling? If so, why? I think every sport has its difficulties and it’s hard to tell if there are some more difficult than another. You always have to be full-time focused on what is happening in front of you.

As you move along in your career is there a specific sport or event that you desire shooting more than another? If so, which sport? I am really interested in shooting athletics [track & field]; there are a lot of struggles in shooting multiple sports at the same time and in the same stadium. You can play with lights and speed to get really original pictures and I really would like to give it a try!

Twitter: @SarahMeyss
Instagram: @sarahmeyssonnier

From issue 104. Buy it here.