Andreas and Michael Raelert stand on a frozen jetty on the Baltic Sea in Rostock, Germany for cover shoot for Ironman’s LAVA magazine on November 29, 2010. (Donald Miralle for LAVA)
I had the unique opportunity to experience winter and the full holiday spirit in Northern Germany a couple weeks ago on a cover shoot for Ironman’s LAVA Magazine. Writer/Editor/Photographer and all-around cool guy Jay Prasuhn and I had a whirlwind trip to Rostock (two hours outside of Berlin) on the frigid Baltic Sea to shoot two of triathlon’s rising stars Andreas and Michael Raelert. The Brothers Raelert have both shown a dominant gene for the sport – with Andreas finishing 2nd and third at the Kona Ironman World Championships the past two years respectively and Michael winning the 70.3 World Champs two years in a row. Other competitors better look out, these boys are the real deal, train with each other, and the sky is the limit especially with Michael bumping up weight class to the full Ironman distance in 2011.
Not only were these guys great to work with but true gentleman, insisting to carry my gear for most of the shoot and touring us around all their local spots in Rostock, the town they have called home for most of their lives. Some of my favorite memories of the trip are seeing the Brandenburg gates where the Berlin Wall once stood to separate the East and the West, walking on my first beach with snow instead of sand, watching Jay almost get blown like a kite into the Baltic Sea as he battled 50mph gusts with a profoto softbox, warm mugs of gluwein we imbibed, and the good company of the two brothers.
The opening spread which shows the frigid scene of a German Winter as the brothers Raelert stir up some frozen birds on a snowy beach. (Photo by Donald Miralle for LAVA)
Here’s a gallery of some of my favorite images from the shoot, hope you enjoy and as always your feedback is welcomed and appreciated!