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Martin Seras Lima

Solomoni Biumaiono
Sunday, January 29, 2012

Amongst the local photographers who were covering the recent Uprising International Sevens was a Spaniard. His presence wouldn't probably make anyone take notice except for the fact, that he is a big fan of Fiji rugby.

He is Julio Martin Seras Lima and he is the International Rugby Board's photographer and his close association with the HSBC IRB World Sevens Series made him travel a long way to Fiji.

"It surprised me to see two Fiji teams playing in the Uprising tournament and nice to see other Fiji players playing for their club teams," Lima says.

In sharing his story with the Sunday Times, Lima's chosen career path sounds just like the way Fijians play rugby, so full of passion.

He first picked up a camera as a university student in Spain while studying for a degree in tourism in a Barcelona university. As he had to do a lot of travelling, Lima learnt how to take his own photographs for travel magazines.

The bug finally bit him when he went to England. He was supposed to go and learn how to speak English but instead, went back to Spain as a fully fledged professional photographer.

His choice of subject however, is his first love, rugby! Coming from Spain and soccer mad Barcelona, it's surprising that Lima is not one bit interested in Lionel Messi or the La' Liga.

His first ever rugby assignment was taking photos of his friend Oriol Ripol, the first Spanish rugby player to play to level rugby in England with the North Hampton Saints in 2003.

He began taking photos of rugby games in England and also when he returned to Barcelona in Spain.

Lima prefers shooting rugby and sports than spending time with fashion models or taking portraits and landscapes.

"I have done a lot of other types of photography but I chose to do rugby. It's my passion. I love rugby and I love photography and it's a great combination," Lima says.

His newfound passion earned him many accolades back and he finally became an international photographer when he got published in Argentina in 2006.

His big break came in 2007 when he joined the International Rugby Board as its photographer.

For the last six years, he has been part of nearly all IRB sanctioned events, beginning with the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

He also covered the 2011 RWC in New Zealand where he took photos from 19 matches, including all quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final


In total he took more than 25,000 photographs in the tournament.

Lima is now a regular face on the IRB World Sevens Series, even outlasting some coaches and players.

But the way for him was not paved with gold. He at times had found himself sleeping in quirky places like caravans and eating junk food just so that he can cover his assignments.

"But I had to make a lot of sacrifices along the way. Sleeping in low cost motels and travelling economy class apart from all the travelling that I have to do. In fact I have stayed at nearly all types of accommodation. But as the years go on, it has become easier," Lima says.

All that, simply for the sake of rugby and photography.

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