Spending Christmas in a country where a few years ago religious displays and Christmas were forbidden is quite an experience – taking pictures of the new Cuba is a wonderful experience, since we will be witnesses to the small changes that year upon year take place on the island, with an increasing speed.
The Cuban Christmas and street photography will not be our only goals; photographic sessions with cuban ballet dancers, boxers, Afro-Cuban priests, and above all, the Cuban countryside will be as well.
At this time of year we can already see the tobacco plants in the Valley of Viñales, and the atmosphere that can be breathed in the valley is one of work and harmony: oxen, horses, cows, farmers; all of them working with a common goal: harvesting the best tobacco in the world.
As a photography teacher with over 10 years of experience guiding groups of photographers of all levels throughout Cuba, I am well aware that travelers are surprised by how easy it is to approach people to make good portraits. One of my goals is to show you how human and photogenic Cuba can be.
Photographic technique is important, and we will learn many tricks to improve the handling of our cameras, but cameras are not the most important in this trip. Instead, I focus my lessons on the following elements: light, composition, human contact, relationship with the environment, approaching techniques, photograph selection, creation of stories through our photos, etc…
I live in love with Cuba, I have been living in this country for years and I usually say that my mind is half Cuban and half European, so I think my mind is right "in the middle" (I am not a foreign photographer and I am not a Cuban photographer , I’m both things at the same time), I understand what foreign travelers traveling with their cameras to Cuba feel and think, I know what they are looking for because I also lived that first trip to Cuba and also know how Cuba really works and how to relate to the Cuban people Beyond the touristic topics.
One of the advantages of these photo tours is that after 8 days of photography, travelers no longer think about technical issues and focus mainly on telling stories with their photographs as writers do with their books.
First, I am a photographer and photography teacher and probably the #1 specialist in photographic trips to Cuba since I only do workshops in Cuba.
My photographic obsession is to show the way to my students to take beautiful photographs but that tell a story. Learning to be a good storyteller is one of the main goals of this trip.
In Havana, you will experience and photograph daily Cuban life, markets, portraits, etc. mixing and mingling with the locals at unique locations such as boxing gyms, colorful Afro-Cuban dancers. Outside of Havana you will witness first-hand the beautiful countryside and a rural Cuba not seen in the guidebooks: interior of Cuban farmer houses, tobacco houses, etc.
Our Photography tours are designed to take you to the most photogenic locations to shoot in the best light. They are also designed to help you visualize a scene before capturing that magical moment. We aim to enhance your creativity and raise your awareness, so you can leave Cuba with images that you will be very proud of for years to come. Furthermore, you will learn how to study a landscape and approach your environment, the cultural considerations of photographing people that are indigenous to the region and the challenges of photographing in a country that is foreign to you.
Because we run our photography tours privately in small groups (no more than 7 people per tour), we can be 100% flexible with the itinerary, taking advantage of any unforeseen events or developments that help provide the perfect backdrop for photographic opportunities. We think this flexibility adds to the adventure and the intrigue.
You will enjoy the best restaurants, as well as hidden paladares with our Photography Tour of Cuba. Even during meal time, you should always have your cameras ready to capture some unforgettable moments at the dining table. Besides, you’ll experience the Cuban family contact because our accommodation is in Cuban official houses
This tour is 100% focused on photography, people and culture.
- Take outstanding photos of Cuban people and activities away from the tourist scene.
- Learn about the forbidden pictures.
- Enjoy and work like a professional who knows how to choose the best pictures.
- Tell stories with your series of photographs.
- Visit an Afro-Cuban priest and photograph Afro-Cuban dancers.
- Discover a boxing gym of a former Olympic Champion.
- Find the Che Guevara Graffiti route in Havana.
- Capture the interior of Cuban houses.
- Get expert tuition on a camera´s configuration, proper lense use, etc.
- Cuban architecture.
- Get lots of surprises in our daily photo tour
- Rest in official Cuban houses.
- Take portraits of farmers, photos of landscape in Vinales village, visit to their special farms and "tobacco houses".
- Experience the Havana´s life and Malecon scenes, including sunset in the right place at the right time.
- Walk around agrifood colorful markets
Price : US$ 3,395
Individual supplement : 280 $
This exclusive trip is organized and sold by Locally Sourced Cuba; here you can find all the details, and information for booking your spot.
Whatch the experience !!
In order to clearly understand these photographic journeys and my style, you may see the videos recorded during my guided tours around Cuba.
CUBAN PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR - ITINERARY
Day 1 – ARRIVE IN HAVANA (D)
Today is the photo tour arrival day and we will organise an airport transfer to your accommodation in Havana. This will be your first opportunity to meet with Louis and your guide to discuss the itinerary.
This evening will also present the perfect opportunity to take a walk along the Malecon with your hosts, feeling the sea breeze and seeing all that the city has to offer.
B,L,D – denotes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Day 2 – HAVANA (B,L,D)
Today you will have your first opportunity to capture the lively street theatre of Havana Vieja. Louis and your guide will take you to streets not often frequented by tourists as well as the main squares and points of interest.
Today Louis will also share with you tips about taking photos in Cuba, including the Cuban personality with photographers and the people and places you shouldn’t photograph. The focus today is on Cuban culture and Cuban people.
You will also have the opportunity to photograph colourful markets, courtyards and terraces as well as a vintage gym which provides a very unique atmosphere.
During the day Louis will ask you to share with him you photos, so you can discuss and analyse, as you can see in this link with photos of our previous travelers.
Day 3 – HAVANA (B,L,D)
Today the focus is on Afro-Cuban roots and Afro-Cuban religion.
You will visit an Afro-Cuban priest and get the opportunoty to take photos of Afro-dancers during their daily performances. You will visit the colourful streets of Callejon de Hammel to view Salvador Gonzales Escalona handiwork as a famous cuban painter, muralist and sculptor
In the evening during sunset, we will visit the Malecon and the Prado intersection. Making sure we are in the right place at the right moment, in the right light!
Day 4 – VINALES (B,L,D)
Accompanied by Louis and you local guide, you will learn all about the special lifestyle in this area.
The evening provides a fantastic opportunity to enjoy local music amongst the warm and friendly locals.
Day 5 – VINALES BACK TO HAVANA (B,L,D)
This morning we will be up early again to journey into the heart of the valley. Hear we will meet farmers who are preparing their morning coffee and meet the local wildlife amongst a sea of green back-drops.
You will have the opportunity to go inside the houses of the locals, getting to know the families as you share a local “criollo coffee”.
Be ready to capture memorable portraits and daily scenes of this special part of Cuba.
Take photos of the beautiful Vinales valley until your heart is content and visit a Tobacco farm to see a cigar rolling demonstration and learn more about the local industry.
In the afternoon you will travel back to Havana with Louis and your guide.
Day 6 – HAVANA (B,L,D)
Today we continue to focus on street photography, exploring new areas of the city.
We will focus on the Classic American cars that cruise the streets as well as external colonial facades and families on balconies.
We will visit a Cuban family in Havana to learn more about daily life and meet a former Olympic Boxing champion at his own Gym.
You will also visit the San Jose Market meeting well known painters, sculptors and artisans. This is a great opportunity to view and buy cuban art, finding many photographic opportunities that mix paintings with people.
Louis will always be there to review your work, offering advice and assistance to help you improve as a photographer.
Day 7 – HAVANA (B,L,D)
Today we will follow the Che Guevara route in Havana. There are many graffiti works of Che Guevara in Havana of which some are hidden and others are not.
While strolling the Che Guevara Route you will visit other points of interest and visit a popular Cuban photographer to learn more about their work and photography in Cuba.
We will end the day with a special farewell dinner.