This week, Ukrainian based Vitalii Kliuiev talks to us about his connection with sports photography and how his chosen profession has helped him out in more ways than one.

With beautiful lighting and alternative angles, his latest work showcases new and emerging names in sports, connecting viewers with both their identities and movements. He tells us how he got into photography, what he hopes for the future and how rock and roll he really is.

 

Read this week’s IMAGO Meet the Contributor article:

Let’s kick off, how did you get started in photography and why?

I am a rock ‘n’ roll photographer. I stole a camera from my parents. It was one of the most valuable things in the house. I took pictures of flowers and friends and then I won a scientific competition in chemistry to get a personal camera. 

 

What was your first experience with a camera?

The first camera is Zenith E, the second Skina 107. It all started with ordinary documentation of family photos, holidays, travels…

 

What five words describe your photographic style or captured message?

In my photos there is no protest and no consent, there are only forms. I like to break the frame into geometric components. When I shoot weddings, I repeat to everyone that I photograph beautiful people. But this is commerce. And people like it. Maybe not all are beautiful, but one hundred percent are photogenic. Each in a different way.

IMAGO / Vitalii Kliuiev
Photo: IMAGO / Vitalii Kliuiev

What is the best element about being a photographer, and most challenging?
The photographs bring me vivid impressions and are a way to communicate with people. Photography helps me to fight against my aerophobia. The number of flights I have taken has increased dramatically since I started sports photography. And I like it. There is only one drawback for me, that being the lack of support from Nikon in the Ukraine and no Sigma services at all. I constantly have to use local services for photo equipment maintenance and sometimes they fail. 

To you, what is the role photography has in the world?

If you need to show a story, collect evidence, you will instantly start looking for pictures on the internet. A picture is a weighty argument in a dispute or as a part of our memory. Without photos, it would be harder to share experiences and knowledge with later generations. 

What one important lesson has your work taught you?
Responsibilities. Photography has taught me self-discipline and self-organization. After all, now it is my business. You need to be careful, attentive, responsible and determined with it. Although my rock ‘n’ roll character conflicts with it sometimes, I try to learn. 

What is currently really getting you frustrated or annoyed?

I am irritated by inadequacy and carelessness. And also laziness. After all, in the 21st century, with all the crazy progress, where knowledge and practice is more accessible than ever before, people are still able to stay home and google to gain experience.

“A picture is a weighty argument in a dispute or as a part of our memory.”

VITALII KLIUIEV

If you could photograph any historical event, what would it be and why?
I would like to shoot the first Olympic Games. I think it would be a fantastic report. Like the songs of Queen.

What does success look like to you?
How I will reach it. So far, a lot of work before it. But in any case I will be embarrassed and blush. 

What’s your go to album to listen to when you’re working right now?

The playlist is playing now. A lot of punk rock!

Sum 41 “45”, Metallica “I Disappear” and/ or Linkin’ Park “Till it’s Gone”.

Visit our IMAGO site for the full collection from Vitalii Kliuiev.

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