Laurence Griffiths is one of four recipients of the internally awarded Getty Images Editorial Fellowship. The Editorial Fellowship offers staff photographers the opportunity to have a proposed project funded by Getty Images.

With the countdown on to the World Cup 2014 in Rio, Laurence wanted to document football in Brazil to show what it means to the people in the favelas there.

When the news came through that I’d been selected for a Getty Images Editorial Fellowship, I was ecstatic and then the full scale of the task started to hit home.

With the World Cup approaching, I had submitted a project idea which would focus on street football in Brazil. I’d enjoyed photographing the kids of the townships in South Africa at the last tournament and I really wanted to explore the legendary passion for football in the favelas around Rio De Janeiro.

I’d put together my proposal for a multimedia piece. It involved a short film and a photo essay. I have to admit, I had sat at home with a glass of wine or two as I wrote my ideas down and I may have got a little carried away. All of a sudden the difficulties of planning a film (a medium I was still getting to grips with), in a notoriously dangerous place (which I’d never even been to) on the other side of the world was an overwhelming thought.

I think that’s the point of the Fellowship however, to take us out of our comfort zone and challenge us. And it certainly did. When I finally arrived in Rio I couldn’t foresee the adventure that lay ahead. From the top of this spectacular city to the bottom - the famous Christ the Redeemer statue to Ipanema beach and everywhere in between, I spent 7 days relentlessly capturing as much of the different layers of Rio life as I could.

I met incredible people (some much more intimidating than others) and saw a side of Rio that is rarely seen. I hope you enjoy the video and photographs as much as I enjoyed shooting them.

 

Watch more videos from Laurence Griffiths here.

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