Authentic Cuba – Beyond Tourism

Event Details

  • From: January 9, 2021
  • To: January 17, 2021
  • Starting at: 05:00 PM
  • Finishing at: 12:00 PM


  • Havana, Cuba

Cancelled due to Covid-19

Cuba is a place lost in time, the architecture, classic cars and lively streets make for a photographer’s dream photography workshop. This Cuba photo workshop with professional photographer Loren Fisher goes beyond the normal tourists stops and explores places in Cuba that many photographers don’t experience. Sure, while in Havana we have to go along the Malecon, the lively oceanfront walkway, and the street scenes of Central Havana. But we’ll do unique things like hop on a ferry and go over to Regla, which is steeped in Afro-Cuban culture, where you can even get your palm read on the street. We’ll get out of the city and photograph amazing abandoned buildings, fishing villages and a wonderful waterfall.

We’ll head down to Trinidad for a unique Cuban experience. You’ll photograph horse drawn carts, cobblestone streets and incredible scenes away from tourists. Plus during the entire trip you’ll experience great Cuban food and fun drinks.

Loren is working with a Latin-based tour company that is experienced in leading photographers in Cuba and their U.S. representative and fellow photographer Sarah McGarghan, who has been to Cuba several times, will be joining us. They have handpicked our guides, all of whom speak perfect English and love to share their culture with insight and passion. We are traveling under guidance from the U.S. government and will help you with visas and making sure we are compliant with all regulations. We travel under the auspices of Support of the Cuban People and we’ll give you suggestions of small items to bring that you’ll can give to people we meet along the way.

This is an all inclusive trip, we take care of everything once you arrive in Havana including paying for the meals. We will travel together in one van which assures you get to know the other participants and engage in great conversation. We will be staying in casa particulars, the casas we are staying in are essentially privately owned boutique hotels. You will have your own room with bathroom and will get to know the local host.

Our itinerary (subject to change)

Sat. 1/9 Havana: Orientation around casa
You will be picked up at the airport and escorted back to your casa. After freshening up, you will have a tour of the neighborhood to familiarize yourself with the area.                      Sun. 1/10 Havana: City tour of visual places, Jardines del la Tropical
We start with a visual tour of Havana to get a sense of the places to photograph within the city. You will be taken to places such as Plaza de Revolution, The Fort, Central Havana, Old Town and a boxing gym. In the afternoon we will take you out to the Jardines de la Tropical which is an awesome site to spend time photographing architecture, people and people dancing!

Mon. 1/11: Havana: Regla, Photographing cars in park
This morning we take a small ferry across the river to less traveled, Regla. Here one will find themselves in the heart of the Afro-Cuban cultural heritage. We’ll spend part of the day amongst the community members photographing the Church of Our Lady Regla, workers on the board walk, palm readers in the street, and people in their day-to-day life. In the afternoon we will line up some classic cars to be photographed with the perfect backdrop of the Malecon as well as inside Havana’s “Central Park.”

Tues. 1/12: Veradero, Hersey, Mantanzas
We head out first thing in the morning for an extremely interesting day! Our first stop will be to the old Hersey factory. Built in 1916 this sugar mill was, at the time, the most advanced factory of its time. Now a gutted shell of a building, it offers a unique opportunity to create some interesting images. Some of the dilapidated buildings still shelters workers and they will happily let us photograph them. As well, many of the original company-built houses remain with brightly painted clapboard siding and screened front porches line the streets, making for fun photos. From there onto the town of Mantanzas. Touted as the “Athens” of Cuba, Matanzas is dissected by a number of waterways. In the 1850’s when the slave trade was at its peak in Cuba, it was estimated that the population was over 70% slaves, many of whom were forced to work on the local sugar plantations. Hence, Matanzas has a rich heritage of cultural which lends a certain grittiness to the city.

Wed. 1/13 Trinidad, Cardenas, Colon
We leave Havana and make our way to Trinidad. We will stop in Cardenas, a wonderful sea-side town full of horse drawn carts, and an easier way of life. Here you have the opportunity to photograph abandoned warehouses, a seldom used train station and the town’s colonial buildings and many squares. Before reaching Trinidad, you will have a quick stop in Colon, which was an important town when Cuba was producing sugar. A very interesting town because this was once a very wealthy town with its opulent buildings and is now riddled with poverty. A great example of a town that does not draw tourism but is a special place photograph.

Thur. 1/14 Trinidad: Photograph Trinidad, go into community and countryside
Full of old charm and a well-kept colonial atmosphere, today you will wander around this wonderful city that feels as if it has been frozen in time. Just one of the few things begging to be photographed are its cobblestone streets, old cars and 1850’s architecture. In the afternoon you will photograph the outskirts of Trinidad and travel into the countryside around this beautiful city. Evenings provide entertainment at the Casa De Musica. Order a cocktail and make great pictures from the wide stone staircase as the sun sets.

Fri. 1/15 Cienfuegos: El Niche, Cienfuegos
Off to El Nicho this morning. Located inside the Gran Parque Natural Topes de Collantes, el Nicho is a beautiful natural waterfall. Equally interesting are the small villages and communities that are passed through on the way to the falls. Then on to Cienfuegos. Constructed as a European holiday town, Cienfuegos, coined the Paris of Cuba or Pearl of the South, has a more modern feel to it. So many things to photograph here. Your guide will be sure to point you in the right direction. However, not to be missed is a stroll along the Malecon where maybe you will see youngsters practicing boxing, or an animated chess tournament. Always the best photo ops on the Malecon!

Sat. 1/16 Havana: head back to Havana via small towns
While driving back to Havana we’ll stop in several small towns full of photo possibilities. We’ll be back for our farewell dinner and a last opportunity to photograph along Havana’s Malecon.

Sun. 1/17 Departure
We’ll get you back to the airport and depending on your flight schedule, you may have time to get in some last shots of morning life in Havana.

Who should attend:

Anyone interested in the Cuban culture and wanting to make memorable pictures of a place that has had limited access for Americans in the last half century. Your photographic experience doesn’t matter, even if you shoot entirely with an iPhone you’ll come away with amazing photos. Loren and Sarah will be available at all times for professional photography instruction. There will be a good deal of walking, getting around in Cuba, especially Havana, isn’t always easy so many times we’ll be walking to locations rather than taking our van. 

What’s included:

  • Professional photography instruction with two professional photographers
  • Transportation while you are in Cuba in a van offering ample room for you and your photography gear
  • Single occupancy lodging (a $150 discount per person is available for couples traveling together)
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
  • Entrance fees to locations on itinerary
  • Pre-trip planning assistance including flight suggestions and help with visa requirements
  • Tips and gratuities

Not included:

  • Flight to Cuba
  • Alcohol
  • Personal items
  • Snacks


Jan. 9-17, 2021


Registration is $4300. Previous clients: $3900. Registration fee includes professional photography instruction, pre-trip planning, single occupancy lodging, ground transportation and all meals. It does not include airfare to Cuba, alcohol, snacks, beverages or personal items. Rates are net, per person, in U.S. dollars. Final payment is due Nov. 15, 2020.

Maximum group size: 10

Photo Equipment

You’ll want to have a wide angle, telephoto and possibly a macro lens. Make sure you have lots of memory cards, spare batteries and charger and maybe a polarizer filter. Since we’ll be doing a good deal of walking you’ll want to have a backpack or another way to carry your equipment. While we will be in safe areas, it is always wise while traveling to keep you camera and lenses out of sight. Loren will be shooting extensively with a tripod but that may not be for you. If you bring a tripod you’ll want a sturdy tripod, don’t skimp here either on quality or size. Stay away from light “travel tripods” since we are going be shooting things you probably won’t see again in your lifetime and getting a fuzzy photo because of shaky tripod would be criminal. If you aren’t absolutely sure of everything that your camera does, bring your instruction manual so we can help you fix any problems.

Deposits and Cancellations

A $1500 deposit must be paid in order to secure your space in the workshop. Full payment must be received by Nov. 15, 2020.

Notice of your cancellation must be made in writing, at which time the following refunds are offered:
• 90 days or more before workshop: Full workshop refund minus the deposit. Your deposit will be refunded if your spot can be filled.
• 90 or fewer days before workshop: no refund guaranteed. Your payments will be refunded if your spot can be filled.

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a workshop. Workshops are sold as a package only.

If a workshop is cancelled, you will receive a full refund of any money paid. But if workshop must be cancelled, LorenPhotos, LLC, will not be held responsible for your other expenses, such as airline ticket, that may be associated with the cancelled workshop. It is highly recommended that you purchase trip insurance to be safe, 

About Loren Fisher

This workshop is being led by Loren Fisher, who has been a professional photographer since 1978. He worked at seven newspapers including USA Today, is a past president of the New Jersey chapter of ASMP, is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University and sells his fine art photography at juried art shows from Florida to Vermont. He has lead dozens of workshops in places like Iceland, Cuba, Chile, Italy, France, Guatemala, Florida, Oregon, New York, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Boston and Washington, D.C. He has published two photography books “Pope John Paul II: An American Celebration” and “Branson Backstage.” Loren has been to 50 states and over 20 countries. This will be his third trip to Cuba.

About Sarah McGarghan

Sarah McGarghan, professional photographer, past president of the Vermont Professional Photographers Association and tour operator, is passionate about traveling. Through her many visits to Cuba she has discovered the most amazing people and places. Most recently she took her husband, rented a car and journeyed around Cuba’s less known areas. Together, they traveled some 900 miles along glorious back roads visiting small communities and larger cities.  Each place they stopped was more enriching than the last!  Sarah will be there to coordinate all aspects of the trip and to ensure your trip to Cuba will not be soon forgotten.

What else you need to know

Once you register, you will receive more information about the trip. It includes suggestions for traveling in Cuba including photo equipment and clothing. It is highly recommended that you have trip insurance and evacuation insurance in case of sickness or an emergency. With the current political climate in both the U.S. and Cuba we can’t be assured of anything in advance.

Questions? Email Loren at Loren@LorenPhotos.com or call/text 802-332-6611.

Register now