Isi Trapido was born on Sept 21, 1921 into Jewish family in Tartu, Estonia. His father, Susman Trapido, was the owner of Kalev leather factory in Tartu. Photography inspired Isi Trapido already in his late teens in 1930s in his hometown Tartu. He became a professional photographer after returning from the Second World War to Tallinn, Estonia, where he started working as a journalist in the field he loved most – sports. He was a successful basketball player himself, but after severe injury during the basketball game he focused on photography and journalism.
During four decades from 1950s to 1990s he photographed thousands of historic events and persons both in sports and culture. His photos convey a special atmosphere as he was skilled in capturing something essential about the person he was photographing.
Isi Trapido’s most awarded photo is Speed, 1964, depicting the olympic gold medalist in speed skating, Ants Antson, during the training. Speed is a remarkable photo from its era showing literally the speed and the face of the skater at the same time.