Ricardo Moraes

Ricardo Moraes

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil
“I love to shoot contrasts, different realities, lifestyles and cultures that are juxtaposed…”


In Rio de Janeiro we handle a great variety of themes. We can cover a shootout and a samba parade on the same day. But we usually cover sports, culture, religion, social themes and violence.

One Shot

. RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
Residents look at a body found inside a supermarket cart in the Morro dos Macacos slum in Rio de Janeiro. The man was suspected to have been killed by rival drug gangs, locals said.
“It’s a very dramatic image that says a lot about the times we live in - about people becoming things.”


I was born into a family of photographers, a tradition that started with my grandfather. I always loved seeing my relatives’ work and I also remember when they gave me my first "toy" camera (it was actually real). I was about 6 years old, and it was one of my favourite things to play with. Some months ago, I found a “book” about a square in Rio that I made using that camera with a friend, with his texts and my pictures.

At the age of 14 I got work as a studio assistant, bought a Nikon FM2 and started to learn photography. In 2003 I began accompanying photographers at work in the streets and started to learn about photojournalism. The following year, I became an apprentice at the newspaper “O Dia”.

My first assignment was the trial of the son of a famous singer in Brazil, who was accused of murder. He didn’t spend even a full minute in court, just seconds... I only took about four or five pictures, and learnt to be careful not to lose a single chance, it could be the last one...

I think the story that affected me the most was when a gunman killed 12 children at a Rio de Janeiro school in 2011. It was really painful to cover the saddest story that we’ve ever seen in Brazil. We never had a crime like that before, the shots were fired at young children.

I love to shoot contrasts, different realities, lifestyles and cultures that are juxtaposed, stories of people’s lives, religion and its rituals... But if I had to choose just one sort of assignment, I think it would be conflict, violence and its consequences. And travel, I always want to travel!

Today, information gets to unimaginable places incredibly fast. Sometimes when we cover bureaucratic stories, we only aim them at Reuters clients. But when I’m shooting stronger stories, I think of everyone, from the simplest person in my neighbourhood, to change makers, to anyone else who cares.

My grandfather, Jose Antonio, is my idol. He was a great photographer and was really important to the history of photography in Brazil. A master.

Behind the Scenes

Reuters photographer Ricardo Moraes hangs on a zip line to take pictures of the crowd at the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro.
Moraes takes pictures while covering the "Expedicionarios da Saude" medical expedition to the Cartucho community in Santa Isabel do Rio Negro, in Amazonas state, northern Brazil.