Destination Cuba: Cuba’s Heart And Soul…The People

My recent visit to Cuba is now but a memory, my photos edited and filed, a few favorites selected, creatively processed and saved for my blog.  It was, once again a trip beyond my greatest hopes.  I can honestly say that the people are what make this place so amazing with their quick smiles and friendly greetings to my poor attempts at Spanish; they are the heart and soul of this wonderful country.

So, I begin my photographic memoirs with a few photographs of the wonderful people that I had the privilege of sharing a moment or two with over the course of a week.


The bold colors and graphics in addition to the symbolism of this Fred Flintstone mural caught my attention so, I set up my tripod, composed the scene and waited for a passerby to click the shutter…


A favorite pastime in Cuba is standing or sitting on a front porch, watching the world go by and greeting the many friends with a smile and a wave…





I found that a friendly smile and pointing at my camera yielded nods of agreement to my photographing nearly everyone I “asked”…



After making a few quick images I would show the back of my camera to my subjects.  Each and every person would smile with joy at seeing themselves on my camera’s screen. They were even more animated when my camera aimed at them once again for a few more photos…



My favorite subjects were the elderly people whose stories I would love to hear.  Sit down for a cup of Cuban coffee and a conversation.  I can only begin to imagine the experiences behind those wisened old eyes…



Upon learning that we were Americans, the people would light up and exclaim… “Americans!, We love Americans!  Welcome to our country!”…



We explored the nooks and crannies of Havana, down side streets rich with everyday life from the street vendors selling their wares…



A look behind a gated lot revealed more signs of the push for restoration…



Visits to the more touristy squares were filled with artists…



Santeria will tell you your fortune and pose for a photo…for a fee…



And every square has it’s resident “old timer” who will willingly pose for a peso, or a cigar…



I would have loved to venture out one night to see a Salsa show but, alas, photographers aren’t know for their late night partying and so we found a few entertainers who were performing during the light of day…





I could have spent my entire week photographing the people of Cuba but, there are many other photogenic subjects to share so, stay tuned…






  1. Rex Winterton (St. George) says:

    Nice job Laurie. Sounds like you had a great experience as I enjoyed your photos of the Cuban people. I was curious about one thing however. Were the people suspicious when you asked them to do their photos? And, were they cooperative when it came time for a photo release? Your photos were exceptional and they all looked like they could really tell a story. I was amazed with the lady of fortune telling and her huge cigar in her mouth. Sort of funny……

    Take care,

    Rex Winterton

    • Hi Rex, The people were amazingly gracious and willing to be photographed. Some expected money but, most simply paused for a photo and were tickled to see themselves on our rear screens. I think our interaction with them helped rather than just sticking our cameras in their faces without so much as a smile or gesture.

  2. Bo;b Kelly says:

    Beautiful images Laurie, that capture the people, their personality, and their culture extremely well. Your personality and approach made all the difference in the world I am sure. Thanks for posting them, and I look forward to the next venue, wherever it may be.

    Cheers…..Bob Kelly

  3. Isaac Vaisman says:

    Hi Laurie. las fotos estan increibles !! (pictures are just incredible). The people of Cuba keep a smile in spite of 54 years of oppression. Now, I see that you have toned down your pictures to a subtle pastel or subtle HDR (or HDR like?). It really goes perfect with the reality.


  4. Love your shots, Laurie. Each one tells a unique story.

  5. Megg McNamee says:

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful!

  6. Harvey Steeves says:

    if and when the Communist Party is out of power, all this will change. Which path Cuba follows hopefully will be up to them and not outside influence.

    • I agree Harvey, I was fortunate to share a meal with a former high ranking dignitary in the Cuban government and he was very open about life in Cuba and the people’s desire for the embargo to be lifted. It does appear that they are getting ready for that eventuality.

  7. Jim Leigh says:

    Sweet, next year…..

  8. Wow….you do get around…It looks like it was a great trip and fabulous photos again!

  9. Yeah, we made a portrait photographer out of you after all!! Great images, Laurie