Few recent portraits from Sao Paulo streets and its people. D800 + 35mm and 85mm 1.4

Started Mar 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP malabito Senior Member • Posts: 2,157
Re: keep your DSLR at home, while at Sao Paulo

marcio_napoli wrote:

Hi, just wanted to add a bit further about flashing around a DSLR in Sao Paulo.

Yes, it is extremely dangerous. PERIOD.

No Brazilian folk in this forum should be defensive and say otherwise.

I'm Brazilian too (although from a completely different region, I'm from South Brazil - which is like a different country anyway...), but I've been more than a million times to Sao Paulo.

Whenever I'm there, and walking around with expensive gear in public, I feel nervous.

Depending on the area, I feel tremendously nervous, and on other places, I just wouldn't risk at all.

I prefer my gear (and myself) safe to a good shot.

I'll exemplify:

In center downtown, there's an infinite number of interesting things to shoot. It'd be a street photographer dream!

It's such an exotic, distorted and chaotic place... would make a Leica photographer cry and beg for some shots.

But I've never been there with my gear in 10 years, as there's huge risk of theft everywhere.

About 6 years ago, I've shoot a beauty session with a girl in Santos (an old, beach city in Sao Paulo's coast line).

To this day, I still remember the scary things that happened on that bizarre afternoon 6 years ago...

I'm fine, nobody robbed me, but I've never felt so unsafe in a shoot in my entire life. It was really SCARY (to say the least).

The bottom line is: while at Sao Paulo (or any other poor major city), use tons of common sense, and 99% of chance you'll be alright.

For example, while at Sao Paulo, I just shoot in completely safe places, like Paulista avenue (Sao Paulo's Times Square).

Places where it's obvious nothing bad will happen.

For anywhere else, where common sense would make me uneasy, forget the shot and keep your gear.

And as I know Rio de Janeiro is a common travel destiny, the same speech is valid.

In fact, I believe Rio de Janeiro is even more dangerous, by a larger scale.

I'd say they declared non-official civil war, as that forgotten place is actually a war zone.

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Marcio Napoli


Hi Marcio, I am not Brazilian nor being defensive,  I am just saying that it can be done. I shot sessions as street photography in the city center not 10 years ago, but recently and things have improve. It's unsafe yes of  course as most of all city centers but not as bad as you make it sound. I been all around the place shooting, and if you avoid the place after 4pm you will probably be find. As you say there are other safer places, like Paulista where you indeed se a lot of people with dslr. In regards to rio which I shot as well I indeed felt less safer.

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