We interviewed the beautiful and talented photographer Irina Kazaridi. POLO LADY congratulates Irina with the new photo book “La Dolfina horses” that seems to be a big success and great contribution to the promotion of polo worldwide .
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m an art photographer. I was an artist since childhood & studied art in St. Petersburg before going to the European Institute of Design in Milan. Some years ago I turned to photography. Since that time I had traveled a lot, my exhibitions took place in various cities in Europe and also Russia and Argentina, my photos were published in different international magazines.
What came first – the interest for polo or photography?
Photography is always first – it’s my way to look at the world through the camera. But to get the true photos I have to live true emotions, feel the scenario deeply.
How and when did you get into photography?
I was always photographing everything around me since the first smartphones started to have a camera.
One day I got a gift from my friend, it was the Nikon of my dreams – my first professional camera.
How did you get into polo?
I live in the south of France and often come to St-Tropez. I saw my friends playing polo there, and one day I said – I will come and make a series of photos, polo will be my new project.
How can you describe your style?
It’s art photography. I find the polo and horses’ world very inspiring, and I would love to show its beauty through my photographs.
Which photographers influence you, and how did they do that?
Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, I learn from their work, as I’m an autodidact in photography, I believe the best way to learn is to contemplate and observe…
Your photography of polo has obviously allowed you to travel extensively – what has been your most memorable trip?
It was amazing to discover one little estancia where a gaucho families lives. It was like to go back in time, a fairytale. And It’s always impressive to photograph Cambiaso in action, I consider myself a very lucky person to have this experience in Argentina, Palm Beach, Windsor, Sotogrande…
Where and what is your favorite place to take photographs?
I love to photograph in places where I can be relaxed and feel at home. The places where I can stay and literally move between the players and horses. In Sotogrande being with my polo friends and around the stables creates a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere for me.
Which is your favorite photograph that you have ever taken?
I love my photos, its mean when after some years I’m looking at them, and I can say to myself: not bad! I live with them -it’s like a part of my family.
In my home walls are covered by my photos from different times, printed and
framed in various sizes. I believe my favorite photograph is one I still have to take.
Polo Photography is very competitive, What advice would you give a budding polo photographer who is contemplating a career in it?
I think it’s good to learn about art and photography, and once you have a solid background you have to develop your own individual style.
Where can we admire your work?
My collection Polo&Horses traveled a lot, in the last couple of years there we exhibitions in Monaco, Cannes, St.Tropez, Barcelona, Sotogrande, Geneva, St.Moritz, Deauville, Chantilly, Buenos Aires. Now you can see all these photos in my new Book Polo&Horses.
What are your future plans?
I believe the creation of a book for the photographer is a very special chapter in ones’ career.
At some point it’s good to make a reassessment of things in order to understand, what I want to keep and what to change in my work. For sure, polo series will remain one of my favorite projects and will be continued. On the other hand I would love to dedicate more time to study equestrian photography.
What is your opinion regarding our magazine, Polo Lady?
It’s a great platform for meet women in the polo community worldwide and to share the passion for polo and horses.