We interviewed the beautiful and talented photographer Irina Kazaridi. Polo Lady congratulates Irina with her new photo book ‘La Dolfina Horses’ which 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 have been an artist since childhood and 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 have traveled a lot.
“My exhibitions took place in various cities in Europe, Russia, and Argentina, and my photos were published in different international magazines.”
What came first—the interest for polo or photography?
“Photography is always firstーit’s my way to look at the world through the camera. But to get the true photos, I have to live true emotions and 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ー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?
“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 family lives. It was like going back in timeー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, and 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, 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. When I’m looking at them, even after some years, I can say to myself that it’s not bad! I live with themー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. Once you have a solid background, you have to develop your own individual style.
Where can we admire your work?
“In the last couple of years, there were exhibitions in Monaco, Cannes, St.Tropez, Barcelona, Sotogrande, Geneva, St.Moritz, Deauville, Chantilly, and 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 one’s career. At some point, it’s good to reassess things in order to understand what I want to keep and what to change in my work. For sure, the 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 meeting women in the polo community worldwide and to share the passion for polo and horses.