From the 2nd to 5th of February every year the quiet lakeside town of Copacabana comes alive with thousands of pilgrims and revellers, celebrating the patron saint of Bolivia; The Virgin of Candelaria. I was lucky enough to be there two years ago and here are a few of my favourite pictures.
While I was in Rio de Janeiro last month I met up and collaborated with stunning Monique. She had the idea of a fashion shoot, using the colours of a local favela as a backdrop. Inspiration came from a recent Vogue shoot featuring Cara Delevingne, in the same place – Santa Marta favela. We hired two local Rio guides to help out and look out for us.
Santa Marta favela was pacified recently as part of the clean up operation as the city prepares to host the World Cup and Olympics, a few years ago it probably wouldn’t have been possible to shoot here. I’m really glad I had the chance to visit it and work there, albeit briefly, and not as part of some tour group.
(All images shot with a Nikon D800E and Nikon f/2 135mm lens.)
More info and contact details for Monique here.
I remember reading about this venue, The Maracanã Stadium in ‘World Soccer’ magazine when I was younger. It is one of the most iconic sports venues in the world, up alongside Madison Square Garden, Wembley and the Nou Camp. Upgrades were recently completed in time for this years World Cup and the Olympics in 2 years, it now holds 78,000 spectators. In 1950 it had the 199,854 fans watched the World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay (which the latter won 2-1).
Getting there was easy – one change on the metro from Copacabana, and getting a ticket (90 Reals – £25) was simple with English speaking assistants at the ticket booths. After shooting Stadium exteriors in the late afternoon light I went for a couple of beers amongst the Botafogo fans, as the evening kick-off time approached.
As the teams entered the arena the atmosphere was electric, unlike anything I’ve heard at English grounds, so much noise. The away, Chilean side (Unión Española of Santiago) scored the only goal of the game, meaning they finished top of their group, and Botafogo 2nd. Both sides would go through to the next round of the Libertadores Cup (South American version of the Champions League).
“I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.”
Jose Luis Borges
Next stop, (and last stop): Rio de Janeiro
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
Jose Luis Borges
My knowledge of this country, with an unusually high ratio of vowels in its name, pre-trip, didn’t consist of much more than a little football trivia. It used to be pretty good – had won some world cups in the … Continue reading