“I had a great time in Cuba, the trip was just what I needed to spur some creative photo energy that had grown dormant. I got so many good shots and am still editing them into a show. Can't wait to print some of them!
“I thought the trip was very well organized. The mixture of city and countryside was interesting and it was good to get out of the barrios of Havana after a few days and see some of the rest of Cuba and the photo opportunities it presented. The photo instruction was insightful from both you and Mary Ellen. Thanks!
“The hotels, restaurants, travel accommodations, and the range of the people in our group were all very enjoyable. Meeting with the Cuban photographers was very insightful. I learned a lot about the current culture and politics from the Cuban photographers which you introduced us to, which will help me put the photo work in perspective and help explain Cuba to folks here at home.
“Thanks so much for the opportunity to visit Cuba!”
‒Patrick Plaia, Eugene, Oregon
On January 1, 1959 Fidel Castro entered the city of Havana at the head of his revolutionary army officially “liberating” the Cuban people from the dictatorship of Bautista. Since that day January 1 has been declared Independence Day in Cuba. But just because January 1 is Independence Day doesn’t mean the Cubans don’t still celebrate New Year Eve.
This year we will be in Cuba to experience and photograph both celebrations. We will take full advantage of the carnival atmosphere and celebrations which take place every year at this time.
I have been traveling to Cuba since 2001. In that time I have witnessed tremendous change on the island. I believe, as do many others, that the opening of travel is imminent. And while you may wish to wait for a McDonald’s franchise in Old Havana before taking the trip, my suggestion is to go now. By this time next year the game will have changed and the chance to see, and compare, what is with what will be, will be lost.
Since 2001 I have been leading successful humanitarian missions for photographers to Cuba. Last year the Obama administration introduced a new license to travel legally to Cuba, the People-to-People license (P2P). The P2P is meant to encourage cultural exchange between Americans and Cubans. There are many, I included, who sense the winds of change, and it is hoped that our increased presence will help guide that change in the right direction.
We will be traveling legally to Cuba using a People-to-People license issued by the U.S. Treasury Department. Under this license you are encouraged to work on a photographic project of your choice in partnership with a Cuban photographer. I have arranged for you to work in groups of three or four with some of the best photographers working in Cuba today. With them you will explore the old city of Havana and the surrounding area. You will have access to Cuban homes and families in a way not possible were you to arrive as a tourist. And you will be able to do this before the country is forever changed.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to experience Cuba with. It’s made the difference in making it better than imaginable. There was such a nice flow to each day’s adventure with your "itinerary" that gave us flexibility to take advantage of the local happenings.
“And could I just tell you what a great teacher you are of photography? When you sat with us going over the technical side of our cameras (histograms, camera settings, etc), I learned so much and exactly what I needed to know after a few days of street photography.”
‒Julie Lee, Fairfax, Virginia
Each participant will be required to submit a proposal for a photographic project. There are many project possibilities and I will be available to provide you with suggestions.
Friday, December 28, 2012 to Saturday, January 5, 2013
U.S. Citizens will depart from Miami on a charter flight. Non-U.S. citizens may fly directly into Havana.
Each group is limited to 12, which is just enough for everyone to receive personal attention and get to know one another.
Tuition includes round-trip airfare from Miami to Havana, accommodations in Cuba, all breakfasts at the hotel in Cuba, two dinners, Cuban Visa, U.S. Treasury license for P2P travel, Cuban health insurance, and photographic instruction provided by Cuban photographers.
Non-U.S. Citizens who do not require a Treasury license will be discounted accordingly.
In Havana you will be staying at a hotel located in Havana Vieja (Old Havana). The hotel is centrally located to food, drink, music and is a good jump off point for other places. In November 2010 members of the Buena Vista Social Club were playing in the near-by plaza and signing CDs of their music.
Steve Anchell has taught street and documentary photography for the International Center of Photography in NYC. He has also taught street photography in Italy, Spain, Los Angeles, and Portland. He has written feature articles and interviews for Shutterbug, Rangefinder, and Photo Techniques magazines.