How can you find a good photographer?

Everybody can post he is 'the best sports photographer' or 'shooting experience over 100 years'. But this is subjective value. The thue indicator of photographer’s work are facts.

Cases are the real examples of real job done for the clients.


Tokyo-2020 Olympic games

The task:

Capturing climbing competitions at Tokyo-2020 Olympic games on behalf of IFSC — International federation of sports climbing — in a team of three photographers.

The solution:

Working at Olympics is a true sign of photographers’s professionalism and confident relations with the client.
It’s a huge responsibility for photographer at the same time too. For a good result, there are not only photo skills needed, but a good planing too
The planing of the whole trip to Tokyo and every shooting day’s planing.
Covid-restrictions brought some extra difficulty.

Скалодром на Олимпийских играх  Токио-2020 в лучах заката

As a team of three photographers, we could split the tasks, capture the competitions from all angles and send live photos to IFSC press team.

Победительницы и призёрки Олимпийских игр по скалолазанию в Токио на подиуме – Miho Nonaka, Janja Garnbret, Akiyo Noguchi
Призёр Олимпийских игр по скалолазанию надевает серебряную медаль
Соревнования по боулдерингу в рамках Олимпийских игр по скалолазанию в Токио
Соревнования по трудности в рамках Олимпийских игр по скалолазанию в Токио

Besides capturing competitions my task was to make pictures of officials and vip-guests, inc. IOC president Thomas Bach.

Президент международного Олимпийского комитета Томас Бах наблюает за соревнованиями по скалолазанию на Играх в Токио

The outcome:

Pictures of the first ever climbing competitions at Olympic games.
The whole climbing comunity in the World followed the Games.
Pictures were published all around the globe. IFSC used pictures for press-releases, news, social networks, announcements, on their web.
Photo of Olympic champion Janja Garnbret took silver price at Russian olympic committee photo contest.

Болельщики поддерживают победительницу Олимпийских игр по скалолазанию Янью Гарнбрет

Photo projects for 'Skalodrom.ru' company

The task:

The task was to make good images of new projects for 'Skalodrom.ru' company, who builds climbing walls. The client had no special idea for the shooting, but an only wish to make something 'f*****g amazing'.

The solution:

There are coloured lines used in the desing of the walls. So I offered a minimalistic style of pictures with empty walls, when the climbers would hould on this lines.

The shootings took place in Moskow, Kaliningrad and Perm. National team athletes Anna Tsyganova, Stanislav Kokorin and Luisa Emeleva were invited as models.

The outcome:

Remarkable photos, which bekame a brand makr of the company. Images were used for the web desing, print and social media.

The review from 'Skalodrom.ru'

We started working with Leonid, when our project was still under construction. Thanks to his ideas, we got the first portfolio images straight away and used them for all our needs to prepare the opening of the gym! Leonid did the job extremely fast, huge thanks to him! We keep on working with Leonid for photo projects and for events coverage too. 100% recomended!

How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov

Sports shooting for an international corporate magazine

The task:

Media agency from Helsinki (Finnland) requested to capture the employers of St.Petersburg’s office of a huge international corporation for their company’s magazine. Each issue of the magazine had a spread dedicated to sports activities of the employers. The team of St.Petersburg’s office used to play volleyball.

The solution:

The agency send me a brief for the shooing. I had to keep in mind the format of the magazine too. I drew few sketches according to the brief. The client approved my concept and we started shooting.
According to the contract, unfortunately I can’t show the final images, but I can show the sketches.

Эскиз для корпоративной спортивной фотосессии
Эскиз для постановочной съёмки волейбольного матча

Coverage of the Cycling World Championships  in China on behalf of UCI

The task:

To cover UCI Cycling World Championships accoring client’s brief, which took place in Chengdu, China.

The solution:

A trip to China is something differen to 'common' trips to Europe, due to long distance, linguistic and cultural features. I started planing the trip several month before and took care of getting the visa and accreditation in advance.

The photographer has to guarantee the result in every situation. Baggage loss, stolen camera or broken lens should not influence the outcome. I backed up my gear to guarantee the delivery of the pictures in every situation.

Location check on arrival. The shooting was going according to the client’s brief. I had to cover three disciplines — BMX freestyle, trials and XC eliminator — show the atmosphere of the Championships, the action, sponsor’s activities, official ceremonies, etc.

An extra difficulty for a fast picture delivery was internet restrictions in China.

The outcome:

Images were used in official press-releases of UCI and their web/media, for banners and future events' announcements, graphics, design, illustrations, yearbook.


How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov

Photographer at sports federation

The task:

To produce all photo-content for the Russian climbing federation: reports from competition and training camps, indoor and outdoor, portraints of the athletes and officials, photo shootings and commercial shots.

The solution:

Besides being good at photography, you need to know the sports to make good sports photos. I practice climbing as an athlete myself, and know this sports from the inside.

I capture all official competitions all around Russia. This are about 10 event per year. Each event takes from 4 to 7 days. Those shootings are very stressfull und you need to keep on concentration and deliver the images in a short time. The press team gets the winners shot before the medal ceremony. There are several international events each year in Russia, where the level of the coverage is even higher.

I do the photography and taking care of the archive. I deliver some particular images from the archive on request of the press team.

The outcome:

The full supply of CFR with photo images, which are used for press publications, new, posters, social media, commercials, etc.

How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov

Shooting for a sports brand

The task:

Shooting of a new Red Fox skiing outfit. Red Fox is a Russian brand for outdoor and alpine wear and gear. They produced a new XC-skiing outfit.

The solution:

For a sports shoot you need to know the discipline and feel the moment. It’s important to show the correct phase of motion, otherwise the viewer will be in doubt, if the athletes on the photo are professionals, if the gear is proffesional and if the brand is saying the truth.

During location scouting, I wanted to show the athletes on a sports track, but outside of the stadium in a natural enviroment.

How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov

The outcome:

Images were used on the company’s web page, in catalogue and advertisments.

How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov

Athlete shooting

There are also request to make shooting not for a sports federation, but for an athlete himself. Athlete shooting are possible in the gym or on any street locations: stadium, forest or urban environment

How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov

F.e.: athlete shooting for Trials World Champion Thomas Pechhacker (Austria) in Salzburg city center.

Time for the session was limited. I could not check the locations in advance, so I had to research them by google maps. We managed to capture lifestyle and action shots within a couple of hours.
The outcome: images from athlete shooting were published at athlete’s social media and used for his sponsors.

How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov

Shooting of the Finnish national football team for the Finnish press

The task:

I got a request from Finnish press to capture the training sessions of the Finnish national football team before Euro-2020. The team was located on a trainings base near Saint-Petersburg. Due to the covid-restrictions some of the media could not attend the trianing sessions.

The solution:

I’ve captured some training sessions and press-conferences. Working together with a Finnish journalist, I set the focus on the tasks and players he asked for.

The outcome:

Regardless covid-difficulties, I delieverd images for Finnish press. The readership saw the athmosphere of pre-games trainings during Euro-2020.

How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov
How to find a good photographer?. Sports photographer Leonid Zhukov