One of the things that struck me about Cuba was the sincerity and beauty of the Cuban people. I loved getting to know them, each person I met wanted to tell their story in their own way, telling the world that they are there, happy and proud. Cubans are warm and friendly! You can walk up to anyone and say “hola!” and they will start right in with you as if you’ve been friends forever.
Once you’ve engaged with your subject, now it’s time to create a compelling image! Depth of field becomes very important – I typically want to ensure that the eyes, nose, and most of the facial features are in focus. I like to shoot as wide open as possible, so this can be a tricky thing to judge. If in doubt, try a few exposures at different apertures. Next, think about composition, and use the scene to bolster the image of your subject. Black and white or color? It’s up to you! But there are definitely some images where color is important, like the man with the brooms. Others become very dramatic when turned to black and white, like the man with his dog, and the close-up of the boxer. What camera? In the end, it doesn’t matter – but I like to shoot these types of photos with a small camera and a prime lens – my favorite is a 35mm focal length. One of these photos was taken with my camera phone, can you guess?
These are some of my “Many Faces of Cuba”, a project that I’m going to continue when we return in February 2016. You can see more photos from Cuba here on my website.
Enjoy (people) photography.