After more than 10 years guiding photography tours in Cuba, experience tells us that January is one of the best months, especially for fans of human, landscape, street and documentary photography.
We will mostly focus on developing skills to shoot great portraits and learn to properly compose our photos as we walk along one of the coziest and photogenic cities in the world - Havana.
We will get to know places that are hidden to standard tourism, we will visit the best places when the lighting is the best to take photographs, we will perform indoors and outdoors photo sessions, and all of this without forgetting that Cuba is a highly human country to be discovered, both in regard to its history, its gastronomy, and a myriad of particularities that most of the time go unnoticed by standard tourism.
Late January is the best moment to visit the Cuban countryside. Our photography tour focuses on two of the most photogenic places in Cuba – Havana and the Valley of Viñales, where the best tobacco in the world is harvested and where we will have the opportunity to make landscape photographs, portraits, night photos, as well as documentary photography focused on the life of farmers’ communities.
We will visit the community of La Palma; around 30 homes dedicated to working in the field, the harvesting of tobacco, coffee, taro, cassava, boniato, etc. A great photographic opportunity, since we will we welcome into their homes, their farms, and we will be able to share their lifestyle in a 100% natural setting.
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.
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.
The Best Spots are Waiting for You and Your Camera.
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.
This photo tour to Cuba is 100% focused on photography, people and culture.
Some of the Tour Highlights
- Get expert tuition on a camera´s configuration, proper lense use, etc.
- 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.
- Find the Che Guevara Graffiti route in Havana.
- 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
- Cuban architecture.
- Get lots of surprises in our daily photo tour
- Rest in official Cuban houses.
More possible activities : Markets in Havana, Outlying districts (no tourism there), Boxers training, Old Havana (I like to call “the new old Havana”), Graffiti and paintings on the walls of Che Guevara & Callejón Hamel (special street painted), Religion: visit a house of a “Santero” (Afro-Cuban priest), Colonial houses (old furniture and old Cuban owners), Outdoor Architecture (Buildings with charm), Panoramic photography from the other side of the city, Malecon life, Sunset in special places, One of the most special and high terraces in Havana, Tobacco factory , Charming streets (street photography and contact with the people are two of the strongest points of this photo tour), Portraits, Review and analysis of pictures, Fototeca de la Habana Vieja (National photography institute), Visits to photographic expositions, Looking for changes in the new Cuba, Hemingway route (Hotel – bodeguida and Floridida Pubs where the writer was living in Cuba), Old Cuban cars, Cuban parties, Afro-Cuban dancers, Visits to painters in our day to day, Retro amusement park, Family houses, Contact with Cuban photographers and other professionals, Old Gyms in Havana.
Price: US$ 3,395 - ( 2 - 7 travelers)
Individual supplement : 280 $
Price: non-photographers is USD$ 2,895
8 days, 7 nights
Accommodation (7 nights) in official Casa Particulares in Havana (Cuban B&B’s)
Breakfast in casa partitular (our private house)
Louis Alarcon bilingual photographer and tuition
Local English-speaking guide
Private, set Photo Sessions
All local ground transportation in Havana and Vinales
Admission to all public buildings and visits listed in the itinerary.
Coordination of all listed activities
Airline baggage fees.
Travel Insurance (required).
Local Tips for guides and drivers.
Individual house / expenses (minibar, room service, laundry fees, etc.)
Locally Sourced Cuba is the specialized agency that manages and sells my photography courses in Cuba; here’s all the detailed information to make your reservation.
Locally Sourced Cuba Tours also offers affordable licensed people-to-people Private Cuba Tours, through our partnership with the US-based Educational Adventures Company. This is a fantastic way to experience our authentic, local and personal tours, legally and hassle-free!
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.
In order to clearly understand these photo tours to Cuba 2018 and 2019 and my style, you may see the videos recorded during my guided tours around Cuba.
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