Street Photography, Featuring ‘The Girl from Ipanema’

I’m going through a strong street photography phase, which makes for a nice change from architecture and illustrative editorials. I quite enjoy street photography, probably because it’s a bit of an adrenaline shot and unpredictable.

I’m still in Rio, with lots going on. I’m flowing with different ideas to turn my stock photos into cash, and having some fun.

The Girl from Ipanema

I was walking along the promenade of Ipanema, enjoying a coconut as one would while there, when I noticed this dark-skinned athletic woman confidently walking down the promenade. I noticed that in the space of a few minutes, at least three men flirted with her.

I immediately thought of the iconic song, Garota de Ipanema. Here are the lyrics translated into English:

“Tall and tanned and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes goes: A-a-ah!
When she walks she’s like a samba that
Swings so cool and sways so gentle,
That when she passes, each one she passes goes: A-a-ah!
Oh, but I watch her so sadly
How can I tell her I love her?
Yes, I would give my heart gladly
But each day when she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead not at me
Tall and tanned and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes I smile, but she doesn’t see
She just doesn’t see
No, she doesn’t see”

–  Antônio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes, released 1964

I followed her for a bit and just about managed to get a few shots. The following being my favourite:

Garota de Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Check out the dude’s reaction!

A great shot and would be a pity that buyers won’t find it, so I did my best to caption it and keyword it to the best of my abilities:

Caption: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Jan 6, 2018: Man checks out beautiful Afro-Brazilian woman walking down the promenade at Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Keywords: african, afro, Afro-Brazilian, attractive, beach, beachfront, beautiful, beauty, bikini, brazil, brazilian, bum, butt, cat calls, checking out woman, copacabana, copacabana sidewalk, female, fit, fitness, flirting, from behind, garota de ipanema, girl, healthy, hot, ipanema, ipanema beach, ipanema sidewalk, lifestyle, man, mating ritual, model, mulata, ocean front, oceanfront, rio, rio de janeiro, rio de janeiro brazil, runway, sand, sea side, seafront, seaside beach, sexy girl, sexy legs, summer, swimsuit, woman, young

LGBT Posto 8

Ipanema beach is divided into different sections, with one of them being being gay-friendly. Again, taking advantage of the opportunity, I caught another story of two men heading down this section of the beach.

I think this is a strong & versatile shot that should feature heavily in all sorts of travel media.

LGBT section of beach in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Capturing the not so pretty side of Rio

Just wondering around, I stumbled upon this tragic story. A wonderful and simple metaphor for what is really behind the city’s beauty.

In the spirit of street photography, I didn’t hesitate to capture the scene, even if the man was half-awake.

Due to its powerful message, I’ve decided to license this exclusively as Rights-Managed with Robert Harding, which I trust will be featured on their newsletter to their respective clients

A Drug Raid?

Today I was on the roof of a shopping centre in the Leblon district capturing a panorama when I noticed some noise coming from a nearby building. I saw some police officers outside a residence ready to raid an apartment. Nightcrawler-style, I captured a few shots and have submitted them to Alamy Live News and Rex Features. I then got the hell out of there!

Rio de Janeiro police operation in Cruzada São Sebastião Compl
Tropa de Elite!

Neighbours Gossiping

On the other side of the shopping centre’s rooftop I saw a funny situations of people talking outside a window. More of a cartoon than editorial. It’s a really tight crop so most agencies won’t take it, unfortunately. I have submitted it to Photo4Me though (which they have duly accepted), a Print On Demand Agency I’m actively submitting.

Chatty Brazilian Neighbours
What do you think they’re chatting about?

Stand Up Paddle

An apparently growing trend is Stand Up Paddle. This is an off-shot of where paddle boarders stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. Looks quite fun.  I managed to capture quite a few of these adventurers with the following being my favourite since it has such an iconic background:

Pure wanderlust as two men on a Stand Up Paddle on Copacabana Be

Key Takeaways

I’m pushing the envelope lately trying to capture some of these shots and I’m well aware that I’m taking a few risks here and there. But that’s what street photography is all about. Here’s some more key pointers:

  • Capture the story: What is the relationship between the actors in your play?
  • Crop accordingly:  Hopefully you have a powerful-enough camera that if you do crop you won’t lose that much resolution. To reinforce the message of your story, you would do well to consider eliminating distracting/irrelevant subject-matters with a tight crop.
  • Submit as editorial: Tell your story with a detailed caption and accurate keywords. See example of Girl From Ipanema above as an example.
  • Be Patient: Often it’s a matter of being at the right place and right time. Stay at a busy place and observe carefully.
  • Be Ready to Run!: Take your running shoes since you may need them in case of trouble. I think I’ll calm down a bit as I have been pushing my luck…




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