Art History Meets Football Kit Royalty in Louis Bever’s Intimate Portraiture

“The more you shoot, the more it’ll make sense over time.”

You typically reserve your kits to vintage shirts, such as those from the 1980s to mid 2000s. Why so?

Because they make me feel nostalgic. My dad grew up with football in the ’80s and ’90s, so that era of football surrounded me. I’m 28, so I grew up around football in the late ’90s and early ’00s. These are all kits that remind me of my childhood. Also, the older kits just look great when being shot. Many shapes and colors resemble clothes in paintings that I have used in my work.

If you could, how would you define your approach to visual storytelling?

It’s important to be stubborn with the identity in your work. If you enjoy stamp collecting and have metal, then try and connect it. If you have two interests and find a way to make a project out of it, you’ll constantly want to work on it. I tend just to shoot because I enjoy the process of photography and having to wait for an image that I got an excellent gut feeling about.

When you’re following trends and you shoot things that Instagram thinks is cool, you’ll quickly get bored of it. This results in you not taking pictures as it feels like a chore rather than something that makes you feel good. With the storytelling, I’m wondering what I can say there; however, there will likely be a reason for doing it over time. I always feel that the more you shoot, the more it’ll make sense over time. Please just be sure to be patient.

Are there any upcoming projects you’d like to share, such as exhibitions or client work?

No exhibitions, I’d love to do one for ‘Flat 92’. If there were an opportunity, then I’d jump on it. I thoroughly enjoy my client work too. It’s lovely to have a commercial and a personal side to photography because if you spend a lot of time on one, you’ll inevitably miss the other. It’s a healthy conflict. Keeps you sane!

What would your kit hall of fame look like…say if you were to pick your five favorites in order?

This a challenging question, but here is my list:

1. Arsenal 1995 Home and Away (I have it tattooed on my leg).

2. England 1996 Away (Gazza era and just beautiful).

3. Spain 2000 Away (lovely shape and just class).

4. Bayern Munich 1999 Home (colors and shape – reminds me of a rugby shirt).

5. Marseille 1999 Away (color and shape – reminds me of the Taxi French films).

All photos courtesy of Louis Bever for Hypeart.

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