Several photo sessions -with more than 16 people posing for us- and photographic encounters have carefully been planed and created: from a Vodoo session (santeria) to a private photo session with professional ballet dancers while training, shoe makers working at their place while you shoot inide and a few surprises along the way.
Active private photo sessions, spontaneous and also formal portraits with proper on the streets and free, daily personal photographic contact with the denizens of a vibrant country that offers continuous photographic opportunities.
We will do our best to have a maximum of two photographers working together with their subjects.
Compelling photographic and educational visits to dance and artist's studios, local produce markets, dancers. shoemakers, agricultural and livestock farms, and music venues, to name a few of our well-planned locations will alternate between cultural exchanges. Getting around the music filled streets in classic cars, browsing the Art deco buildings of the harbor area, and capturing the city waking up each morning.
DAY 1 – HAVANNA.-
Hola, bienvenido a Cuba! We will arrive in the morning.
After clearing immigration and customs we will meet our guide and driver. Meeting with our photographic leader Harry Fisch who will explain the program for our trip. We will visit Finca Vigia, the site where Ernest Hemingway lived while in Cuba. Welcome lunch will be served at Restaurant El Divino.
After lunch, check in at Hotel.
Dinner will be served at 7PM at Paladar Doña Carmela. We need to move quickly because the cannon blast ceremony is scheduled for 9PM. After the ceremony we will attend a presentation by Felipe Ventura about the Colonial history related to pirates and buccaneers. We will have opportunities to take some pictures and to have informal chats with those young men who run the ceremony while serving their military duties.
DAY 2 – HAVANNA.-
After breakfast at the hotel we will meet self employed taxi drivers who run their businesses in old cars such as Chevy, Chrysler, Oldsmobile, all of them built in U.S. before the 1959 Cuban Revolution.They will explain us the dual currency system in Cuba as well as the opportunities they have with the changes to the self-employment regulations by the Cuban government.
Photographic session with the drivers and the cars at different strategic locations of Havana (Facing Capitolio, Next to locomotive repair station, from the car wondering around the Malecon). Street photography in a very special location with the cars.
Bak to the center of the city to continue with our photography at strategic places. We will visit a private home.
We will meet a Santería expert who will provide an overview of Santeria and other Cuban religions with African routes. We will visit the home of a Babalao, (Yoruba Priestess) who will receive the group and explain the religious deities and elaborate alters in her home. We will witness the entire ceremony photographically.
Photo walk Cuba’s famed seawall, the Malecón, to capture a beautiful sunset while we create photo opportunities with locals in a very Cuban atmosphere
Before return to the hotel we can stop by Nacional Hotel to enjoy the sea breeze in the patio. Return to the hotel for rest and leisure.
Dinner at a very interesting restaurant
DAY 3 - HAVANNA.-
Walk through Old Havana in a guided tour for appreciation of the colonial buildings and techniques to take the best pictures in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Central Park, Obispo Street, Cathedral Square, the Old and Saint Francis Abbey and a book market are among the spots we will visit. After a short walk through cobblestone streets in Old Havana.
Visit and photograph a group of shoemakers in Old Havana. Good friends of Harry Fisch’s, the activity allows for an interesting photographic session as well as an opportunity to have a candid discussion where we can exchange ideas and thoughts. This kind of activity has been only recently authorized by the Cuban government. It gives us the opportunity to see an real life example of Cuba’s budding private sector under Raul Castro.
Afternoon photo shoot with professional models and/or ballet dancers at a special location, We will have a unique scenario for a great photography.
Dinner on your own.
DAY 4 – VIÑALES.-
Check out at 9AM. Depart to the Viñales valley . Vinales landscape is interspersed with dramatic rocky outcrops. Check in at casas particulares (private homes).
Lunch at "Balcon del Valle" (Valley Balcony).
After a brief rest with our guest at homes we will conduct a photographic session with farmers as well as their families at different scenarios at a tobacco plantation. They will explain us how they preserve their rich tradition in agriculture to grow and prepare the leaves for the famous Cuban cigars.
This night we will have the dinner at home family style.
DAY 5 – VIÑALES.-
This morning we will visit the prehistoric mural painting of the Valley. Visit the archeological museum and visit a farmer home to get to know the life in the countryside of Cuba. Some donations will be given to them.
We will conduct a series of photo sessions with the families at interesting surroundings.
Photo review and conducted street photography and technicalities in Viñales
After lunch we will go inside the countryside visiting small towns around Viñales.
DAY 6 – CIENFUEGOS ON OUR WAY TO TRINIDAD
We have a long bus journey to Cienfuegos. The breakfast will be early as we need to depart to Cienfuegos to explore its colonial architecture. Arriving in Cienfuegos we will go straight to the restaurant for a delicious lunch . After a brief rest we will head our steps to the colonial park in the city surrounded by the cathedral, the city hall and Tomas Terry theater.
Continue our trip to Trinidad, one of the 7 first villages of Cuba. It was founded by Diego Velazquez in 1514. Together with the nearby Valle de los Ingenios (Sugar Mill Valley), it has been one of UNESCO´s World Heritage sites since 1988. For this tour we have handpicked several "casas particulares" -private homes in the center of the Village- where we will be lodged. Dinner will be served at paladar-museum "1514" accompanied by local musicians and dancers.
We will visit the place and photographically witness a life performance of local musicians. The main spots in Trinidad are less than 2 blocks distance from our homes.
DAY 7,8 – TRINIDAD.-
Early morning photo shoot to catch the beautiful sunrise of Trinidad, walk around the colonial houses and capture the local atmosphere, return to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast we will meet the Historian of the Village who will offer a lecture about the Colonial Heritage in the region. We will be able to chat with other artists who will explain their motivation to create art in this ancient village of Cuba. We will visit the gallery of Danilo Moreno and Yudith Vidal to discover the sculptures and the ingenuity of their creations with disposable materials.
In the afternoon we will reach a couple of very interesting spots in the city with incredible views over the mountains. We will visit "El Valle de los Ingenios" -Sugar Mills Valley. They represent the importance of sugar to the Cuban economy over the centuries.
Return home for a brief rest and to have one of the best sunset from the balcony of one of our homes.
We should find a place for photo sunset with colonial atmosphere.
At night we will get together in one of our homes for a pizza time (or visit "La Botija" restaurant). After dinner we can burn calories dancing at "Casa de la Musica" in the center of the Village.
Day 9 - CIENFUEGOS .-
This last morning we will head back to Cienfuegos were we will have our photographic session with professinal dancers at a very special location.
Lunch at a local paladar in Cienfuegos and departure to the airport for our flight back to Miami.