Paulo Whitaker

Paulo Whitaker

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil
“My biggest lesson is that when you really concentrate on the work at hand, the pictures will come to you.”


I cover general news, sports, soccer, Formula One, features and fashion.

One Shot

. Saint-Denis, France. Reuters/Paulo Whitaker
Zinedine Zidane of France (centre) celebrates scoring a goal with teammates Emmanuel Petit (right) and Christian Karembeu during the soccer World Cup final against Brazil.
“My favourite image was taken during the final match of the 1998 soccer World Cup in France. The picture, which shows three French footballers hugging after a goal scored against Brazil, is simple, but it represented the theme of the tournament – three players from different cultures celebrating together. It was printed on the front page of Le Figaro.”


My first memory of photography is bringing my camera to take some pictures when I went to watch the Formula One Grand Prix in Sao Paulo as a spectator. I jumped the fence, got very close to the track, and the cars passed right by me. I used three rolls of film, but when I saw the pictures – what a disaster! Not much of the cars, but a lot of the track had ended up in my images. The cars were very fast…

I started to develop an interest in photography when I was studying journalism at university, and I began to practice. I think that was the best thing I learnt: practice, practice, practice.

My first assignment was for the local newspaper where I got my first job. I accompanied a text reporter to an interview with a band, and on the way I asked him if we could use a photograph of him speaking to the musicians. He laughed and said “no way”. As a newspaper reader I had always wanted to see a shot of the reporter who is writing the story. Back then in 1985 my idea was rejected, but nowadays it’s common to put a picture of the reporter in with the text - so I was right!

The 1998 World Cup in France made a big impression on me because it was the first big event I covered for Reuters during my first year with the company. I had the full support of our photo editors in France.

I like covering sports stories most of all. We normally use zoom lenses when shooting sporting events, and we stay far from the action, which requires lots of concentration and discipline. The results can show great expressions and wonderful flexibility.

My biggest lesson is that when you really concentrate on the work at hand, the pictures will come to you.

Behind the Scenes

. Sao Paulo, Brazil
Reuters Photographer Paulo Whitaker checks pictures on the back of a motorbike while shooting a feature story in Sao Paulo.
. Sao Paulo, Brazil
Whitaker sits on the bike with his camera.