Last Fall, 26-year old Portuguese freelance photojournalist Daniel Rodrigues found himself without income as the photo agency he worked for cut back its freelance staff. With no other option to pay bills and buy food, Rodrigues made the painful decision to sell his camera gear in order to make ends meet. Only a few months later, however, one of the images he had taken while volunteering with a humanitarian organization in Guinea-Bissau took first prize in the Daily Life category from the prestigious World Press Photo foundation. As a result of the ensuing attention, Rodrigues has been able to acquire brand new gear and resume his career in photojournalism.

Youths play football on a field that was once part of a military barracks, in the village of Dulombi, Galomaro, Guinea-Bissau. Photograph by Daniel Rodrigues.

His prize-winning photo, taken while playing an impromptu game of football with local youth, can be seen above. Rodrigues, now armed with a 5D Mark III, lenses and flash courtesy of Canon and a Portuguese bank, is currently working on a government project in Lisbon. He plans to return to the village in Guinea-Bissau where the life-changing photograph was taken to extend his thanks and offer the prize-winning photograph.

You can read more about this remarkable turn of events in interviews he conducted with the New York Times Lens blog and the Portugal Daily View.