Photographers at the Olympics work just as hard as the athletes — here's a behind-the-scenes look at the quest for the perfect photo

Business Insider | 2/22/2018 | Caroline Praderio, INSIDER
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Being a photographer at the Winter Olympics is tough but rewarding work.

INSIDER spoke with Getty Images photographer Al Bello, who's currently at the Olympics, about what it's been like to shoot photos in Pyeongchang's frigid weather.

Bello - Layers - Sticks - Pads - Clothes

Bello said he wears up to four layers and sticks adhesive heating pads to his clothes just to stay warm during seven-hour workdays.

He also said photographers ski, climb, and hike to get the best shots — all while lugging 70 pounds worth of gear.

Weather - Pyeongchang - Olympics - Start - Games

The weather at the Pyeongchang Olympics has been unforgiving. At the start of the games, temperatures dipped below zero, and whipping winds caused both event postponements and nasty wipeouts. But athletes aren't the only ones enduring the cold. Olympic photographers spend their workdays out in the frigid air, too.

Getty Images photographer Al Bello, who's currently in Pyeongchang, can't remember working an Olympics as cold as this one — and he's been to 12.

Bello - INSIDER - South - Korea - Share

Bello, 49, spoke with INSIDER from South Korea to share what it's like capturing images in such extreme conditions. Here's what he had to say.

Staying warm requires lots of layers — and heating packs.

Bello - INSIDER - Arctic - Weather - Gear

"I'm not going to lie — it's very cold," Bello told INSIDER. "I tried the best I could to prepare with warm, Arctic weather gear ... I've never worn [so] many layers."

It really is a lot of layers. Bello wears four on his upper body, plus a jacket and a neck gaiter. He wears a hood underneath a hat underneath another hood. He wears two pairs of long underwear beneath his ski pants, and two pairs of socks inside his boots.

Mountains - Bello - Events - Plethora - Layers

But up in the mountains, where Bello has been shooting ski and snowboard events, even a plethora of layers isn't quite enough. He supplements his outfits with hand and foot warming packets, plus adhesive heating pads stuck...
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