Maxim Shemetov

Maxim Shemetov

Moscow, Russia
Moscow, Russia
“It is a mystery to me how I learnt photography because I didn’t do anything in particular to study it.”


I typically cover all sorts of news and stories.

One Shot

. Saur-Mogila, Ukraine. Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
A Pro-Russian separatist stands near the damaged war memorial at Savur-Mohyla, a hill east of the city of Donetsk. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Russian forces had entered his country and the military conflict was worsening after Russian-backed separatists swept into a key town in the east.
“War is awful and changes everything in your life, dividing it into before and after. But when you are there, covering a war, you learn to value the small, good things that sometimes happen amid the indifference and horror.”


My elder sister is a photographer too, and my earliest memory of photography is when she gave me her old Canon 10D after she bought a new camera.

It is a mystery to me how I learnt photography because I didn’t do anything in particular to study it. My sister and her ex-husband gave me some lessons at the beginning, and a few months later I started to work for a little local newspaper.

For my first assignment I had to photograph a lesson at a school. I was so nervous that I forgot my CF card and had to buy one there!

After one and a half years at the local paper, I switched to working for the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS. As I worked side by side with other professionals, I started to examine their work and analyse my own.

A story I shot about soccer fans left a big impression on me. It was the first long-term piece I did myself, the first project of mine that I've produced entirely from beginning to end. While working at TASS I absolutely had no time to work on such stories.

My biggest lesson? I was once covering the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament in Moscow together with Reuters photographer Grigory Dukor and I didn’t get a shot of the cup winner Domnika Cibulkova’s very emotional jump because it was my first time covering tennis and I wasn’t expecting her to jump that way after her victory. After the game, Grigory asked me whether I got the picture. I said no, I didn’t. He looked at me slyly and said: "Ah Maxim, Maxim. One shot and you are king of the hill."