A night out in London in the late 1970s changed the course of David Liam Kyle’s life. Kyle, then a professional basketball player in The Netherlands, was in England for the European Cup when he agreed to join teammate Jim Woudstra as he photographed the bustling city after dark. In a matter of minutes, Kyle, a former Cleveland State University All-American, was hooked. Back in Holland, the two started going to different towns, photographing people, places and moments in time. Shooting NBA Kyle has been the team photographer for the Cleveland Cavaliers since 1991.
“I started seeing the world differently,” Kyle says. “I loved the challenge. It was artistically – even spiritually – stimulating.”
And his images stood out. Today, Kyle is a nationally-recognized photographer who has captured awe-inspiring images of landscapes, people, nature, news events, professional sports and more in a career spanning over three decades. Kyle has seventeen years of photojournalism experience winning numerous awards for his work as a staff photographer with the Sun Newspapers. Kyle has photographed over 700 assignments for Sports Illustrated covering MLB, NBA, NFL,PGA and NCAA action along with feature stories and portraits.
David has photographed over 1500 NBA games and is the official photographer of the Cleveland Cavaliers since 1991 and a contract photographer for NBA Entertainment. Kyle has drawn critical acclaim for his environmental portraits and nature photography in the publications of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, one of the nation’s leading land trusts. His work is regularly on display on ESPN, TNT, SI.com and NBA-TV, and on shows such as “Pardon the Interruption,” “Sports Nation” and “Sportscenter.” His images have appeared in the "Year-in-Pictures" editions of Sports Illustrated, SLAM Magazine, several Sports Illustrated and SPORT Magazine covers, and the player coveted NBA 2K15 EA sports video game cover (featuring Kevin Durant).
David Liam Kyle shooting at Blue Hen Falls for the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. To see photograph that he captured click HERE. (Photo by Ken McCarthy).
The 6-9 Kyle, a graduate of Cleveland’s James F. Rhodes High School, had realistic dreams of an NBA playing career when he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1977, one year after finishing 14th in the nation in scoring and ninth in rebounding as a collegian.
Shooting HoopsKyle set ten school records and is Cleveland State's first basketball All American in 1976.
A ruptured achilles tendon cost him a roster spot and prompted him to play in Europe, where his second career blossomed.
Kyle admits having an advantage when photographing basketball. “I can see the play developing and anticipate the player’s next move.”
Kyle’s knack for capturing life’s rich moments — whether they be painful, amusing or heartwarming — has defined his style. “I try to capture that decisive moment or feeling that tells a story in a single photograph.” Kyle says.
He has a deep, almost spiritual fascination with nature and the compositional elements of the earth and sky. Kyle captures the vibrant colors, artistic patterns and textures that create a unique image in every photograph. His abstract nature images create a relaxing feeling to the viewer and the textures flow together like a fine art painting.