Tag Archives: people

The beauty of Age

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We are having a great time on the photo tour in Morocco. Yesterday, we were driving from Fes to Midelt, and we stopped to walk around a Berber village that is not a traditional tourist stop, which we prefer whenever possible. The Berber people are friendly, and many of them accepted our requests to photograph them. In fact,  I was invited in to see the house of one young woman, who’s mother then wanted to bring me tea and food, a traditional welcoming gesture. It was all around a very pleasant experience for us, and a break from some of the other areas where photographing people is a definite challenge and many photos have to be ‘sneaked’ similar to Cartier Bresson’s method.

 

This beautiful woman was wearing my favorite colors, and the bounce light from the light-colored dirt just behind me made her face glow with warmth. She doesn’t have the traditional Berber tattoo, but I couldn’t ask why since I don’t speak the language! Nonetheless, she was beautiful, her face telling the passage of time with her eyes telling it was a happy life.

We’re on our way to the desert and sand dunes today.

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Even the Pigs Pose in Cuba

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It’s true. Everyone seems to want to be in the photographs we make when we’re in Cuba. Even the pigs. Perhaps they are just as curious about us as we are of them. Just like many of the people. And how long will that last? No one knows, for sure. But if we, as photographers, behave, and photograph everyone and everything with respect, it will last longer than if we just point and shoot and move on. If we can have a dialogue with the people, the true people-to-people exchange that Obama set in motion a while ago, it will help. You might have to do it through your guide/interpreter, if you don’t speak Spanish. But don’t let that deter you.

This farm is a Unesco heritage farm site. We visited on my first trip to Cuba, and subsequent trips thereafter. I have photographed Juana Gamacho, Francisco, their dogs, and now their pig! They welcome us each time, and we come bearing useful gifts – things like sewing kits, pens, batteries, first aid supplies, etc. Maybe that’s why they keep welcoming us, but it’s a win-win. They are truly willing to be photographed and they offer us coffee every time we come.

No matter where you travel, the experience is often made better by the connection you create when you are photographing the people or their homes/farms. We take a genuine interest in how they live; we ask what things are used for; we tell them (and mean it) how special their country is, and how glad we are to be there. We ask them how their crops are doing or did last season. I’m convinced all of that matters, I’ve seen it in the reactions we get on the faces of the people we photograph. Even the pigs smile.

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Recap on Cuba Photo Tour

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Our photo tour to Cuba in early January was, as always, great! It was terrific to return and find people who recognized me, and it was pure photographic fun. We had wonderful moments such as this one where the story unfolded before our eyes. The little boy was sitting there, watching us, and he leaned on the door, and that cracked it open enough that the dog stuck its head out, saw interesting new people, and decided to come out and investigate. That’s when it got fun – the little boy first pet the dog and then put his arms around it. It was a wonderful moment and he (the boy) was such a cutie!!

We are going back later this year – for a different season with different light. Check out the dates and info here and then join us in October!

 

Meanwhile, other news – you may have noticed a new look to the site. I’ve been hard at work designing a fresh look and have uploaded many galleries of photographs – many new to the site/scene, combined with some favorites.

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Hope for Cuba’s Future!

 

 

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Exciting news from President Obama this morning. I especially liked his statement that ” we do business with China… and we have relations with Vietnam… so why not Cuba, too?” I agree that engagement, exchange of ideas, and bringing to the forefront ways we can help Cubans is a good direction to take. How will it change things? Will McDonald’s start popping up in Havana or Trinidad? yikes, I hope not. And besides, that sort of business is probably not high on the list with the current admin in Cuba. But hopefully it can help Cubans in their private enterprises, in healthcare, education, etc. I think it will be an overall good thing for our Cuban friends. We have always been warmly greeted and our interactions with the people have been wonderful, and I’d love to see them prosper in all ways. It’s time that America has a positive presence.

It will be very interesting to see how things unfold in the coming year(s) as travel opens up to the country, too. It’s about time. I’m glad we’re going back in October.

 

 

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