People of Cuba
February 14-20, 2019
Join Road Runner Photography Tours and Cuba Photo Travel for very unique experience. With the help of our Cuban guides, we are going to explore Havana and see this amazing city through the eyes of the Cubans who live there. This very intimate tour will take you inside the lives of Cuban artists, models, chefs, dancers, boxers, business owners, tobacco farms, and residents of Havana. We will not only get to capture intimate portraits, but we will learn these individuals’ stories. Traveling to Cuba comes with some U.S. requirements. For this tour, we will meet the People to People requirements by meeting with and learning about the lives of the individuals we will be photographing. Most people travel to Cuba and only have the opportunity to peer into doorways, but on this journey we will get to step through the threshold of those doors. We will have unprecedented access to their lives to create truly moving images.
This is truly a rare opportunity. Our Cuban guides will use experience, knowledge, and skills will open opportunities for our small group of photographers to engage with people on a very personal level.
If you like to capture images of people but are too shy to approach strangers or are concerned about not speaking the language, believe me, you will not need to worry about it on this trip. Having traveled with these two before, I have experienced first hand their ability to engage with people, aiding me in getting images that feel deeply moving. These guys made our experience so incredibly easy and the Cuban people are welcoming and more than happy to share their stories.
We will spend 7 days in this culturally-rich city. Known for its eclectic collection of vintage car and majestic waterfront, the Malecon, Havana delights any photographer’s senses! From historical locations to neighborhoods and parks, we will cover it all. If you are into street photography, Cuba is heaven. For a full itinerary, see below.
You will enjoy:
- American/Cuban tour facilitator, fully compliant with U.S. regulations with tons of local knowledge.
- Local photographers with experience with capturing images is this unique location.
- Accommodations in private residences with reliable services. Our accommodations were amazing! Air conditioned, clean, safe, quite and private. We were the only people there!
- Vans driven by local drivers with knowledge of the best locations. Our driver dropped us off at key locations and after we were done exploring picked us up wherever we ended up.
- Expert instruction, geared to your level of expertise for an enhanced learning experience. You will get as much assistance as you desire.
- Full days in the field shooting, with instruction provided as needed to elevate your photography. Each day consisted of breakfast, followed by a morning location, then lunch, then an afternoon location, sunset and then dinner. There will be ample opportunity for rest breaks as well.
- Tour designed to create a fun and interactive environment that enhances your individual experience.
- Feedback and image critiques and helpful suggestions throughout the trip.
- Instruction on image processing as requested.
Because so little is known about travel in Cuba and so many myths are floating around about what is allowed and what it is like, we (Road Runner and Cuba Photo Travel) held a webinar to provide first hand experience and answer questions participants may have. To view this video, please click here.
Cost $5400/participant – Single Occupancy, $1000 deposit to register. See Inclusions below.
Maximum # of Participants: 5, only 4 spots available!
To register, click here: Register Now
Tour Leader: Jason Mauricio of Cuba Photo Travel and Denise Silva of Road Runner Photo Tours
Day 1 (Feb 14) – Welcome to Cuba!
- Land in Havana, Cuba & Check into your privately owned accommodations & orientation
- Afternoon Session: Learn about Santeria, Cuba’s homegrown religion that mixes Yoruba beliefs with Roman Catholicism. Slaves weren’t allowed to practice their religion when they were brought to Cuba, so in order to preserve and shield their traditional beliefs, they had to syncretized their Orishas with Catholic saints. You’ll visit the home of a Santeria priest or Babalao, who explains the gods and artifacts used to honor them. We also discuss some of the practices that many perform, including “the receiving of the saints” where the practitioner will wear white for a full year. This environmental portrait session is at the home of this Babalao and we will be able to capture photos of him and his family surrounded by their religious tools.
Day 2 (Feb 15)
- Morning Session: We visit a Cuban Chef for an environmental portrait session in his kitchen. We will take photos while he demonstrates Cuban cooking. We will also meet and be able to photograph the owner (entrepreneur). In addition to capturing images of the chef working, we will also enjoy the fruits of their labor for lunch after.
- Afternoon Session: Join a Cuban jazz band during a private rehearsal. You will be able to take photos while they perform, as well as make portraits of the individual musicians.
- 9:00pm: Dinner at la Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC)
Day 3 (Feb 16)
- Morning Session: We will start the day off with a model shoot, at various locations around Havana. On this adventure we will get acquainted with Havana than a ride in a classic car from the 50s. We will be able to capture images of our beautiful Cuban model, with and without this amazing vehicle, at locations all around Havana.
- Afternoon Session: Salsa Dancers: We will meet and photograph a Salsa dance school in the heart of Havana. Cuba is known for its dancers (all styles). In this program, the instructor will walk us though the basics of Salsa and then we will be able to photograph the dancers while they demonstrate the beautiful of this style. We will also be able to capture portraits of these dances after the demonstration.
Day 4 (Feb 17)
- Day trip to Viñales: We will drive to Viñales to visit several homes of the tobacco farmers, experience life on the farm and understand their typical day. We will meet the typical Cuban farmers and see how the workers tend the field. There will be portrait opportunities with the land owners and workers.
Day 5 (Feb 18) Wednesday – Exploring Havana (Sunrise: 0701/Sunset: 1955)
- Morning: After a busy day in Viñales, we will take it easy in the morning. We can work on image critique, editing, and techniques during this time.
- 11:00am Boxing: We will go to a private boxing gym to get environmental portraits of boxers while training. In addition, we will have the opportunity to capture portraits.
- Afternoon Session: We will do a model shoot around Habana, as well as visit an old home that has we can use to for portraits.
Day 6 (Feb 19)
- Morning Session: In the morning, we will join some local fisherman on the pier. These fishermen use huge nets to gather the morning catch. We will be able to capture images of them working, as well as portraits during this time.
- Afternoon Session: We will join a mixed style/afro Cuban dance company and get to photograph them both while performing and individually. Salsa is not the only dance in Cuba, Rumba and other afro-cubano dances also prevail.
Day 7 (Feb 20)
- Morning Session: We will visit a local humidor business, where we will see how the humidors are made and be able to photograph the workers as they hand craft these wooden gems within their factory settings.
- Afternoon/Evening: Begin transfers to airport
- Flights & Visas
- Expert private guides
- Airport transfers in Cuba
- Transportation in Cuba by private minivans
- Entrance fees to any museums, private homes, galleries, etc
- All meals, noted in the itinerary (B,L,D): breakfasts, lunches, dinners
- 2 drinks per each lunch and dinner (local beer, bottled water, soft drinks, house wine if offered by the restaurant)
- Water for guests
- Any baggage fees not included in the flight
- Activities not included in the itinerary (i.e. Jazz club, etc)
- Drinks in excess of what is allotted in the meals.
- Other expenses of a personal nature: (i.e. Souvenirs)
- Gratuities for meals & for guides & drivers
RRPT Participant Waiver and Release Document – click here.
Healthy Packing List – click here.
We highly recommend our travelers take out travel insurance at the time of booking. Travel insurance can benefit you in several ways. Primarily, it will cover you for the cost of your trip in the case of any unforeseen events prior to your trip, including, but not limited to work or family emergencies, airline delays or cancellations, or cancellation prior to departure. Travel insurance can also cover you in case of accident or emergency in Cuba when you need medical transport back to the US. While your plane ticket includes Cuban health insurance, it will not cover you for medical evacuation. Travelinsurance.com offers different options from various vendors and allows for product comparison.
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