CNN Photos

Scenes from Rio’s beaches

There is one word that sums up the essence of Brazil: rhythm.

From the singing sales pitch of beach vendors to the echoing roar of soccer fans at the Maracana stadium, there is a percussive quality to the everyday life in Brazil that is hard to miss but not always easy to photograph.

Two months before the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Italian photographers Edoardo Delille and Gabriele Galimberti traveled to Brazil with the intent to follow the swaying footsteps of Rio de Janeiro's residents, capturing their exuberance, vibrancy and uniqueness.

“The soul of Brazil is dancing,” Delille said. “It’s the same sort of samba dance you can find in the feet of a posh girl from Leblon to the feet of a girl in the favela.”

Hauling their gear through the scenic beaches of Rio, Delille and Galimberti didn’t have to go far to capture what they were looking for.

With a tender and cheeky approach to their subject, they gathered an array of visual specimens associated with the South American nation: the small bikinis and sport-crazed beach bums, the ubiquitous coconut water and, of course, Havaianas sandals, a Brazilian invention.

Each series of photos produces a pattern, like a musical score of bodies, products, personalities and all things Brazilian. With catchy titles for each subject matter, the photos are tiled together with the best picture on the right side.

Some of the photos were shot in a studio, some were shot on scene and some were taken with a high-definition camera that flew nearly 100 feet into the sky.

The photographers’ interest in these cultural patterns fits into their larger collective called Riverboom. The Riverboom project has traveled to places such as Haiti and Iraq, often taking on a playful and ironic view on political and cultural issues.

In Brazil, it took an interesting twist.

"We walked through favelas, beaches and hidden areas, everywhere possible to find those stereotypes. ... It was really fun, because you start off with an idea and realize the place is totally opposite,” Delille said.

What looked like a stereotype became a universal connection.

“As Italians, we always have a great time going to Brazil, appreciating their humor and joy for life,” Delille said. “They are very funny people with a great sense of humor.”

- Helena Cavendish de Moura, Special to CNN