Tag Archives: São Paulo

Faces of Brazil

I’m usually shooting video on assignment. Too often, stills are second priority and I never have enough time. However, when I go out in the streets, I have this compelling desire to capture the essence of the street–documentary style–a story in every frame–a thousand stories in a single image. I don’t consider it stealing, although, I try to take the spirit of a place with me.  I try to be invisible so that I and my camera don’t interrupt the realness of the moment. I rarely succeed. At least, that’s how it feels. Sometimes I get lucky and freeze the moment I was seeing in my mind.  People are my favorite and hardest to shoot. I love to capture the stories that are written in the lines of faces and hands, or, deeply etched on the soul through the eyes–stories I can only invent–stories you will see differently. Perhaps our own stories are written by the ways and means with which we see the world.

Brazil is exciting, vibrant, constantly moving. The scenery is diverse and beautiful. So, too, are the people.

Strikes in Brazil

Fish for lunchWorld cup was still a few weeks away. We were eating lunch in a little cafe in Recife. The food was delicious. My new Brazilian friends were delightful. The lights in the restaurant went out and the cafe owner approached our table. He spoke rapidly and seemed agitated. I don’t speak Portuguese, but my friends look concerned.  I looked around and noticed that the cafe was empty. It wasn’t, just a moment before.

São Paulo PolicePolice Strike.

Gangs were coming. People were rioting. The situation was dangerous. The cafe was closing and we needed to leave.

São Paulo public transportationA few days later, in São Paulo, our taxi driver told us the bus drivers were on strike. We were so close to the hotel, just one block left to go. Traffic stopped.

Let’s walk, I said.

Too dangerous. With your equipment, the taxi is the best option.  Cars stopped. Buses blocked roads. It took us  an hour to go one block. The city was in turmoil.

São Paulo PoliceThe next morning, another strike. The Police, again, in eleven Brazilian states. We may not be able to get the shots we were looking for. Crowds. Riots. Craziness.
Street MusicianStreet performers playing cool jazz. Just another crazy day in Brazil.

I stood on the roof of an old hi-rise building,in downtown São Paulo,  taking pictures and shooting B-roll video of the city. Police Strike, Sâo PauloBelow me I could see Police–all of them. On Strike. When I took their pictures, they were friendly and seemed rather pleased. They had nothing else to do, World Cup was still a few weeks away.Sã Paulo Police

Street Musicians