Stuart Freedman September 9, 2011Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
Capoeiristas, Rio de Janiero 2007
Stuart Freedman (b.1967, England) has been a photographer since 1991. His work has been published in Life, Geo, Time, National Geographic, Der Spiegel, Newsweek and Paris Match covering stories from Albania to Afghanistan and from former Yugoslavia to Haiti. Stuart’s work has been recognized through many awards from Amnesty International (twice), Pictures of the Year, The World Sports Photo Award, The Royal Photographic Society and UNICEF. In 1998 he was selected for the World Press Masterclass and the following year for the Agfa Young Photojournalist of the Year. His work has been exhibited widely. Solo shows include Visa Pour L’Image, The Scoop Festival in Anjou, The Leica Gallery in Germany, The Foire du Livre (Brussels), The Museum of Ethnography (Stockholm) and The Association and the Spitz Galleries in London. Stuart is currently based between the UK and India.
About the Photograph:
“The story was on Capoeira, the martial art/dance once the (banned) preserve of African slaves, now a national symbol of Brazil. It was shot on assignment for a car magazine – Lexus – with whom I’ve photographed and written travel pieces on and off for nearly a decade. My fixer had arranged for five models – all expert Capoeiristas, and the idea was that in addition to photographing some Capoeira classes in the city, we’d make the main images on Copacabana and Leblon beaches. I remember it rained for a couple of days so I had to shoot the beach twice before I was happy. Initially I shot with two portable strobes but that felt too ‘fashioney’ so I went back to a much simpler set-up – shooting at dusk with available light and couple of fixed lenses: a much more traditional reportage feel. I’d worked in Brazil only once before in 1999 as part of a five country reportage about the Politics of Hunger. I’d shot a piece with the Landless Peasant’s Union (the MST) on squatted land in the far north: the Capoeira story was far removed from that and some of the images have formed the basis of a lifestyle folio that sees me work on ‘lighter’ stories away from pieces in Africa and Asia that I am perhaps more known for. A good balance, I think.”