“I draw inspiration from my travels and meetings with extraordinary people with whom I share a common passion—the love of horses,” says renowned female polo photographer Irina Kazaridi.
This adventurous woman has been all around the world, capturing photographs of the most beautiful moments of the sports of the kings—from Dubai to Argentina, America to Europe, and to other places where horses and polo players gallop and hit penalties and get together for fun and serious matches. Her work is a stunning collection of these magnificent beasts and stills of game actions that one may miss on actual play, but tell a thousand more stories in a single frame. It’s no wonder that Irina continues to be one of the most respected photographers in the scene, as her unique perspective on taking pictures is rooted in her deep passion for art, horses, and the beauty of both the glamour and rough patches in polo.
“Polo won me over from the first shooting—this is a story that can be shot forever and will always be photographed in a new way,” she tells POLO LADY. Her discovery of the sport came late into her career, an unassuming day when her friends invited her to drop by a polo match in St. Tropez. She’s always keen on recording artistic scenes, and Irina fell in love right away with its aesthetic, the atmosphere, the movements, and of course, the horses.
The photographer describes women’s polo as special—a softer and beguiling setting for storytellers like herself. And although like the sport itself, men dominate the photography field, she’s not interested in competing against them. Her focus lies in her work, constantly looking out for the best moments to snap a winning shot that her clients and the whole polo community would appreciate and love.
The Abierto de Palermo, which she has been covering since 2014, is one of the tournaments she always looks forward to. Irina is also thrilled to see the prestigious Argentine Open, where two teams of 40-goals each play against one another. She’s also achieved the feat of doing portraits of all the top polo players. But if you ask her, there’s one dream project she’s looking forward to doing in the future.
“My dream is to make a series of family portraits where father and son are playing high-goal—a polo dynasty. But the difficult part of it is to get them together,” Irina shares.
She’s staged several exhibits in various cities around Russia, Europe, and Dubai, but her art portraits of polo ponies and its people highlight her collection. It has been showcased in prestigious art galleries, featuring the spectacles in Monaco, St. Tropez, St. Moritz, Spain, Argentina, Dubai, and Palm Beach.
“If you truly love what you do, then there are no challenges,” Irina muses. While life throws in obstacles, especially when you’re dealing with art and the glamorous world of polo, she considers these summons as a way to find positive solutions. She’s almost at the peak of her goals, so there isn’t a stopping force for this accomplished polo lady—Irina is on the way to reach it, armed with a camera in hand.