Photographer Who Lost His Sight Now Covering the 2016 Paralympics

João Maia is one of the many photographers covering the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. There’s something that sets him apart from most of the others, though: he lost his sight over a decade ago.

The Indian media outlet First Post reports that the 41-year-old started his working career as a postman, and he took up photography after losing his sight at 28 to uveitis, an inflammation of the eye. These days, he can only see things as vague shapes and colors when he’s close up.

“You don’t need to see to take photographs. My eyes are in my heart,” Maia tells First Post. “Photography is about sensitivity. I think it’s marvelous to be able to show how I perceive the world, how I see it, sense it.”

João Maia at the 2016 Paralympics
João Maia at the 2016 Paralympics

After starting in photography with a traditional camera back in 2008, these days Maia mostly shoots photos with his smartphone and uses the sounds around him as a reference. The photos are then passed on to helpers that assist Maia in editing them and sharing them with the world through social media.

Here are some of Maia’s photos from the Paralympics:

You can find more of Maia’s work on his Instagram.