Capturing The 2014 World Cup: A Photographer’s Guide

Words and Photography by Ryu Voelkel

It’s been a while. So forgive me. Por favor. And this is a long one so I suggest you make some tea or coffee before digging in.

I thought I would talk about my experience as a professional freelance photographer shooting the World Cup. Not the ones who work for an agency or a newspaper. Basically, a backpacker’s guide to shooting the World Cup. Beleza.


First of all, I was there to shoot as many matches as possible. I estimated 21 and fell 1 short and ended up with 20. Why? I got killed by the fog in Curitiba which grounded my plane until the match in Belo Horizonte started.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Belgium’s biggest match (in Belgium)

Despite a population of just over 11 million and a history of little prestige in football on the world’s stage, Belgium are considered the darkhorse by many to win this summer’s World Cup. With Hazard, Kompany, Courtois, Lukaku, and Vertoghen (just to name a few) leading the Red Devils in Brazil, Belgium have shown that they’re united and have the quality to perform against any opponent.

But before millions support an underdog’s hopes to win it all, Ryu took his camera to Brussels to capture the biggest match within Belgium’s borders: Anderlecht vs Standard Liege.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Embracing the game in Basel

Not every match can be a World Cup final, and it won’t be that way for another four years. So while we brace for a new season in Europe’s major leagues, Ryu Voelkel is already back in action, traveling the continent to capture the game unseen by most. He recently visited Switzerland to see Basel take on Luzern, and the kids, fans, and vibrant stadium stole the show.

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