It's not often that a photographer shoots for TIME magazine, global brands as well as being the Creative Director for a semi-pro soccer team. Jared Soares is that photographer, a master of his craft and probably one of the most humble too.

Jared's work has featured for the soccer culture elite, such as Soccerbible and adidas and we've been in love with some of his imagery for some time now. We were lucky enough to share a few shirts with the Washington D.C. based photographer for a private shoot.

The results, (as we expected) only emphasised our admiration for his work and talent, and we were able to catch up personally with Jared, to hear about his process, his thoughts on this years kit releases and what to expect from Virginia Dream FC.


Cult Kits: OK, so first things first, (we like to get this one out of the way early on) who do you support?

Jared Soares: Arsenal FC and Sporting KC. I grew up in Kansas City, so Sporting is the hometown club. And it was a kit worn by a youth team that I played against that wore the full Arsenal kit that got me into the London club.

CK: what's your earliest footballing memory?

JS: Probably about 5 or 6 and getting dropped off for a practice at my school. I believe we were called the Tigers.

CK: Do you have a favourite jersey?

JS: My all time grail would have to be Arsenal 94/95 away. When I was growing up, there was a youth team that wore the full kit and I remember being obsessed with it because I had never seen anything like it and this was also around the time when Nike was starting to have more of a presence in the US for football. I was also starting to pay attention to uniforms more during this time. Additionally, this kit introduced me to the Premier League. Still on the look out for this shirt.


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CK: What do you make of the latest international jersey releases?

JS: It was the away kits that got my attention specifically, Belgium and Portugal. I always appreciate it when the design teams are able to weave in a story as well as nods to history and culture. With Belgium, I enjoyed how parts of the kit were inspired by Tintin. And being half-Portuguese, I’ve always wanted to see a shirt design take on elements of the azulejo tile.

CK: How did you develop a love of photography?

JS: My Mom introduced me to photography since she documented our family and also had a subscription to National Geographic so photography was always around me in some way. It wasn’t until, I suffered an ACL injury where I started to look beyond football and became enamored with photography through skateboarding and music. Also, it was something that felt fun to do as well.


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CK: What best describes your style of photography?

JS: My photography is rooted in the documentary tradition and influenced by all of the things that shaped me as a person. The snapshot aesthetic of family photo albums, magazines like SLAM and Thrasher, community newspapers and Flemish portraiture are a just few of the things that have informed my style.


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CK: Can you give us any insight into your process/approach to work?

JS: I like to do a lot of research beforehand and I’m attracted to projects where I have some sort of connection to the story. It’s the in-between moments that really do it for me and that’s what I’m trying to find with my work. My hope is that the images that I’m making can describe a genuine story. Before I start making photos, I’ll spend some time speaking with the individual, this will help inform me of a specific direction that I should go during the process. Also, I prefer the session to feel collaborative, so I like to ask the person if this is something that they would normally do or if they have any ideas- creating this space has often led to more interesting images.


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CK: You've shot some pretty high profile people for some incredible institutions, has there been a standout?

JS: A couple years ago, I had a string of assignments that had me photographing a really diverse set of notable people. In the same week, I photographed- separately, noted American director, John Waters and rapper, Pusha T. Both sessions took place at their respective homes. I look back and think about how fortunate that I am to be using a camera to earn my living as well aswhere photography has taken me the past few years.

Another standout would be photographing the 2023 Major League Soccer All-Star kit launch, this was my first ever jersey shoot for a pro league and I was able to hire and cast all my collaborators from Virginia Dream FC for the project.


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Shop ALL MLS shirts here.

CK: Do you have a wishlist of clients you're working through?

JS: I would love to find a way to collaborate with the Washington Spirit, DC’s NWSL club in some capacity. Also, I like what Kappa is doing with lower league clubs and it would be interesting to put together a project with them as well.

CK: Is there a fellow photographer/artist whose work you admire/inspires you? 

JS: The work that my friends are doing always inspires me and everything that Virgil Abloh created has had a significant impact on me.

CK: What do you make of the rise of soccer and it's related culture in the US?

JS: It’s really an exciting time. I am old enough to remember that the only time that I could find matches on TV would be via Univision, which broadcasted Liga MX games and ESPN2, who would occasionally show Ajax games very early in the morning on weekends. So being able to watch Premier League, Serie A and La Liga with ease is pretty incredible. Not to mention, MLS and NWSL’s streaming presence too. Finding coverage is pretty easy now. Also, we have the World Cup, Copa America and the World Club Cup all coming up in the next couple of years, so I feel like it’s going to explode even more and it’s an interesting time to be connected to the sport. And also, Messi too. My hope is that this interest in the global game leads to further support of lower league clubs and youth organizations that are working to grow the game in underserved areas.


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Separately, it’s also exciting to see the creative part of the game emerge. There are a number of people and groups, like Neighborhood Sports Club, Kit Boys, Systemrosa and Stade among others that are using the sport as an entry point to tell stories from their experiences.

CK: Any exciting projects you have coming up?

JS: I do but I can’t talk about them. Insert the Jose Mourinho quote about talking and getting trouble.


You can view more of Jared's work here and follow his work over on his Instagram.


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