Champion’s Forge is the oldest and largest amateur boxing competition in Brazil, taking place for several weeks between February and April every year. In 2012, São Paolo, Brazil-based photographer and director of photography Luiz Maximiano attended the event with a different mindset than the other photographers. Instead of focusing on the action in the ring, Luiz was there for the inner spirit of the fighters, portraying their raw emotion by photographing them in his makeshift studio immediately after the fight.
Although Luiz has extensive experience in photojournalism, he loves the idea of telling “a bigger story of the human condition” through portraiture:
I came into photography with a strong desire to become a documentary photographer, a photojournalist, which I’ve devoted a lot of time and investment. Later on I became equally attracted to portraiture. Especially the kind of portraiture I could intervene and stage the scene. That’s totally different from the photojournalistic commitment of the past but for me, what is really interesting is to tell a bigger story of the human condition. Sometimes the documentation of it without any interference does the job, other times, a staged portrait will represent better an emotion that will also do the job. Nowadays I’m doing a lot more portraiture.
The work earned Luiz a spot among the winners of the Latin American Fotografia 2 competition.