Latin American Fotografia: Eduardo Almeida

By David Schonauer   Wednesday April 13, 2016

Eduardo Almeida  knew little about MMA fighting in 2013.

That, however, is the year when the Rio de Janeiro-based commercial photographer began documenting the world of MMA in Brazil.

Almeida specializes in shooting food and portraits for businesses, but he also loves working on personal documentary projects. “I try to do it as much as I can,” he says. “Among my projects is one on Rio Street Carnival that I named ‘Carnivalization.’”

His MMA project began when Almeida got in touch with a friend he hadn’t seen in years. “We attended high school together but had lost contact afterward,” Almeida says. “He became a professional MMA athlete. He is not very famous yet, and not rich so far, but he is beginning to get enough money from a few small sponsors to make a living from it.”

Though not a fan of the sport, Almeida was intrigued by its rising popularity in Brazil and thought it might be a good subject for a documentary project.

“So I called my friend and ended up photographing a few of his training sessions,” he says. When his friend got a chance at an important fight scheduled to be broadcast on television, Almeida went along to shoot behind-the-scenes photographs.

“I followed him from the moment he got to the arena until the time when he left after the fight, and I tried to show everything — the warmup, the massage he got, the bandaging of his hands, the sparring training, the coach’s instructions, the fight and finally the reaction afterward,” he says.

His friend lost the fight in a split decision, adding poignancy to the photographs. Almeida’s work was later named a winner of the Latin American Fotografia 4  competition.

“I still don't know much about the sport, but I was impressed and curious by how much people love it,” he says.


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