Every November I run a small-group, 6-person photography workshop in Havana, Cuba. This is an intimate, fun-filled workshop that takes you deep into the beating heart of Cuba’s capital city.
For November 2019 I’ve expanded the workshop to include more music, a trip outside the city and an opportunity to give back to the Cuban people through our “Bring a Camera to Havana” program in cooperation with Cuba’s photography society Fototeca. Currently there are only 4 spots left the November 2019 photography workshop in Havana, Cuba. SIGN UP NOW
Here’s the plan for this year:
Havana Imagined Photography Workshop in Havana Cuba
8 days/7 nights – November 2-9, 2019
Group Size max: 6 people
Physical Rating: easy
SIGN UP HERE
This is a customized photography workshop in Havana Cuba specifically designed for photographers of ANY skill level and built on multiple visits to Cuba. We’ve put together an itinerary that maximizes photographic opportunities. This is a small group workshop limited to 6 people and is one of the most affordable Cuba photography workshops available. This tour is also built on ethical principles and is done in support of the Cuban people. We work with Cuba’s growing number of small entrepreneurs. We stay in private homes, eat at locally-owned establishments, work with local Cuban photographers and guides and seek to build relationships with the Cuban people. You’ll get the best of both worlds by visiting Havana’s impressive tourist attractions, soaking up the art and cultural scene, discovering hidden local spots around the city and breaking out into the farmlands and natural parks of the Viñales region, all while learning tips and tricks to photograph these special spots. This workshop provides an opportunity to discover and photograph things most tourists will never get to chance to see, all while meeting some of the island nation’s most interesting inhabitants, including fellow Cuban photographers. Havana Imagined is also a way to support the Cuban people. Our “Take a Camera to Havana” program will provide the opportunity for you to donate your old or unused camera equipment to Cuban photographers in need.
Saturday, November 2 Welcome to Cuba
Espiritu Travel Cuban Manager Carlos and I will greet you at Havana airport upon your arrival. Please make your flight* arrangements so that you arrive before 2:00pm on November 2, 2019. If you are unable to arrive before that time, we are able to arrange a pre-night and the arrival transfer (additional costs apply). Transfer to your casa particular, check in and get settled, get familiar with our Vedado neighborhood. In the late afternoon, we will head to the Welcome to the Havana Imagined Photography workshop in Havana Cuba orientation meeting and sunset with drinks on the terrace at La Guarida. Dinner at one of the many fantastic paladares in Havana. *Flights can be booked with JetBlue (directed from JFK), United (direct from EWR), Delta, American or Southwest
Sunday, November 3 Getting Acquainted
Breakfast at your casa. For those who are up for it, we will head to the Malecón at dawn for sunrise photos of the fishermen, city and the Straits of Florida. After breakfast at about 9am we begin our exploration of Havana with a walking tour in Old Havana with our Cuban guide. We will be on the lookout for street dancers with colorful costumes, unique architecture and the Havana you’ve always imagined – as well as the one you didn’t know existed. We will talk about street photography best practices and work on getting our first captures of Havana. We will uncover what part of the city has been restored and what has not. Before lunch at about 1130am we will head to Callejón Hamel. Aside from its funky street murals and psychedelic art shops, the main reason to come to Havana’s high temple of Afro-Cuban culture in Centro Habana is the frenetic rumba music that kicks off every Sunday at around noon. After, Callejon Hamel, we head to a late lunch at a local paladar. After lunch there are a couple of hours to experience Havana on your own. You are free to practice your photography or take a break from it and check out some of the sights. Before dinner we will head to the Fortress San Carlos de La Cabaña for sunset photography of the Havana cityscape. After dinner we will attend the Ceremony of the Canon Blast at 9:00 pm and the nighttime street market afterwards.
Monday, November 4 Havana, Inside and Out
Breakfast at your casa. For those who are up for it, we will again wake up early this morning for more photos of the Malecón and the city at dawn. Today we will begin with an hour and a half panoramic tour of Havana in classic American cars, stopping along the way for pictures of several Havana sites as well as pictures of the cars themselves. After that you’ll want to move your body and so we will enjoy a walking tour of Fuente de La India, Parque de La Fraternidad, Capitolio, Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso, Parque Central where we will have a chance for some photography with more vintage cars as well as some further play with street captures. Lunch at a local paladar. We will set a time to meet back at the casas in order head over to the rooftop of the Barcardi building for sunset photography or we will prowl the streets of old Havana, depending on the light. Dinner at one of Havana’s many delicious paladares. If anyone has any energy left there is live music at the Fabrica de Arte Cubano, an intellectual nexus for live music, art expos, fashion shows and invigorating debate over coffee and cocktails, in this converted cooking-oil factory in the Vedado neighborhood. Alternatively, there is a wonderful drag show at the Las Vegas Bar just around the corner from our casas. This has been a favorite with past participants but it doesn’t start until 11pm.
Tuesday, November 5 The Boxers and The Ballerinas
Breakfast at your casa. Wake up early this morning for more photos of the Malecón and the city at dawn. This morning we will have a photo session at the Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym. There are few boxing rings more unique than the open-air Rafael Trejo gym in Old Havana. Tucked in between deteriorating apartment buildings, the public ring, named after a Cuban law student who was killed while leading protests against the Machado presidency in the 1930s, is home to some of Cuba’s elite athletes, as well as a training ground for young champions-to-be. Lunch at the fantastic paladar Ven Ami. After lunch, we visit the Cuban National Ballet in Havana Vieja, for a photo session with the ballerinas. At sunset we will stroll along the Malecón for “golden hour” captures of the city, the sea and the festive gathering of Habañeros, the people of Havana! Dinner on your own this evening. We can make suggestions. After dinner, head back to your casa or enjoy live music at La Zorra y El Cuervo, Havana’s most famous jazz club or check out another night of drag at the Las Vegas Bar!
Wednesday, November 6 Photographers and Musicians
Breakfast at your casa. Wake up early this morning for more photos of the Malecón and the city at dawn. Today you head to Fototeca de Cuba. Inaugurated in 1986 to preserve, study and promote Cuba’s photographic heritage, Fototeca de Cuba, boasts the nation’s largest, most valuable collection of Cuban photographs as well as a considerable number of documents related to the history of photography. You will meet with Cuban photographers who will present their work. Both photographers have broad interests in everything related to street photography, portraiture and documenting the culture of Havana. This will be our opportunity to donate old or unused camera equipment through our “Take a Camera to Havana” program. Lunch at a local paladar. After lunch we will head to the Vedado neighborhood where we will have an organized photography shoot with some of the musicians that help bring Havana to life. For those that are up for it, we will enjoy the sunset from a different rooftop of where we will again have an opportunity to photograph wide cityscapes during the Golden Hour. Dinner tonight at the one and only San Cristobal Paladar!
Thursday, November 8 Off to Viñales!
Breakfast at your casa. It’s time to leave the bustling city of Havana behind to get out into the countryside. After breakfast, we’ll head to the small, rural community of Viñales (a 2.5 hr drive), famous for its mogotes, small limestone hills situated throughout the lush green countryside. Along the way we will visit Las Terrazas and Soroa. Las Terrazas is an eco-village dating to a reforestation project begun in 1968. Today, Las Terrazas is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the site of the earliest coffee plantations in Cuba. Options here include hiking, bird watching (and photography) and a canopy tour. Soroa is known for its waterfalls, orchids and terraced landscape. Lunch and Dinner at a local paladar.
Friday, November 8 Hiking and Tobacco
After breakfast, enjoy a beautiful hike in Viñales National Park, here we will see the most spectacular views of the valley, visit caves where there are underground rivers that allow hikers to cool off from the Cuban heat. We will hike past the tobacco fields and stop to see one of the drying sheds and learn firsthand how the tobacco for the world-famous Cuba cigars is grown. We will also see the diversity of life in the heart of the valley and stop to taste guarapo (sugar cane juice) prepared by a family that still uses traditional processes. During the trip, we will get to understand the unique identity of this region and enjoy a multitude of photographic opportunities. Lunch and Dinner at a local paladar.
Saturday, November 9 Departure
Breakfast at your casa and check out. Transfer to José Martí International Airport. Please make sure to book your departing flight for after 2pm.
We’ve got 4 spots left available now so if you are interested, contact me or just head over and get signed up for this once-in-a-lifetime photography workshop in Havana Cuba