Cuba Photography Workshop – Nov. 2020

Event Details

  • From: November 7, 2020
  • To: November 15, 2020
  • Starting at: 06:00 PM
  • Finishing at: 12:00 PM

Cancelled due to Covid-19.

A Cuba photography workshop is a great way to explore the mystery, beauty and passion of the island nation. Join professional photographers Loren Fisher and Sarah McGarghan as you photograph Cuba’s culture from off the beaten path and well known scenes. You’ll have an incredible journey to the dynamic city of Havana and the rural valley of Viñales.

During our seven days in Cuba you’ll witness the country’s vibrant energy, learn about the island’s history and how rapid political change is now manifesting itself in Havana, a place where time stood still. Not only will you be making great photos, you will see traditional Cuban life, while enjoying great Cuban food, drink and vitality along the way.

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.

This is all inclusive, 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. Think of old mini mansions that are now B&Bs. You will have your own room with bathroom and will get to know the local host.

Our Itinerary (subject to change)

Day 0, Nov. 7 – Arrival
You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to our accommodation. After freshening up, we will begin our journey by walking around the neighborhood of our casa. 

Day 1, Nov. 8 – Havana
We will get going early this morning to visit the Colon Cemetery. One of the most important cemeteries in the world, the Colon Cemetery is generally held to be one of the most important in Latin America in historical and architectural terms.  This morning we will have the opportunity to photograph the many elaborately sculpted memorials in this vast cemetery.

After which, we will head to Havana’s Historic Center, the most relevant in the Caribbean and one of the most outstanding in the Western Hemisphere. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Here we will learn about Cuba’s colonial history including the US invasion and occupation of the island in 1898. We will visit the Plaza de Armas (Arms Square), Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, Plaza Vieja (Old Square) and Plaza de la Catedral (Cathedral Square). Then we go to the Ambos Mundos Hotel and the famous bar of La Bodeguita del Medio, both spots frequented by Ernest Hemingway. After a fabulous lunch at Dona Eutimia, we will be transported to central Havana where we will visit the outdoor areas of the Museum of the Revolution (former Presidential Palace) and the Memorial dedicated to the struggle against the dictatorship of Batista. We will then walk to the Parque Central, the Great Theatre of Havana and pass by Capitol building. We will also stroll down the Prado Promenade where many local artists display their crafts.

Later we will enjoy our welcome dinner.

Day 2, Nov. 9  – The Back Roads to Vinales
Today we will have an early morning departure into the countryside. On the way to Vinales, we will stop and photograph several small communities where we can experience the slower life of the ‘burbs of Havana. After arriving in Vinales and being dropped off at our casas, we will have a brief introduction to Vinales including how to navigate this charming little one street town!

Day 3, Nov. 10 – Vinales
This morning, we will have an early morning photo op of the sunrise over the small farms of Vinales. We will photograph farmers and they hook up the oxen and plow their fields. Then on to a tobacco farm where we will learn how the tobacco for the famous Cuban cigars is grown, dried and rolled into “local” cigars. Lunch will be a treat at a farm-to-table restaurant where they even have a cashew tree! After lunch we head for the famous Vinales look-out where we will have an opportunity to photograph beautiful vistas of the karsts and palm trees that Vinales valley is famous for. Tonight, if the stars are in alignment, we will have the opportunity to do a bit of astrophotography, as the night sky is pretty awesome in Vinales.

Day 4, Nov 11 – Vinales to Havana
For those interested, another early morning photographing the farmers readying for the day. After breakfast we leave back for Havana. On the way back we will head to a garage that specializes in working on the classic cars. Here, we will be able to photograph the mechanics working on these old gems.

Day 5, Nov 12 – Havana
Today we spend more time investigating Havana. We will start the morning with some street photography in and around or casa before going to the famous Rafael Trejo gym where we will have the opportunity to photograph Cuba’s famous boxers. Whether they are up and coming youngsters practicing their jabs, or the more experienced boxers training for a fight, be sure there will be some awesome opportunities to capture some great images. Afterward, there will be an opportunity to slow down a bit and enjoy what you want to do in this amazing city. Museums abound: ceramic, historical, art, whatever you desire, today will be the opportunity to explore. Or, if you prefer spend more time hitting the street, there are limitless opportunities to flex your street photography muscles! Save your energy, though, because tonight is a special treat; if you choose, we will be heading to La Fabrica! Housed in an old cooking oil plant, La Fabrica is a huge gallery and music space with fantastic open spaces housing some of Cuba’s best artwork.  

Day 6, Nov 13 – Hershey and Mantanzas
Early  morning departure for an extremely interesting day. Our first stop will be to the old Hershey factory. Built in 1916, this sugar mill was the most advanced factory of its time. Now a gutted shell of a building, it offers a unique opportunity to create some interesting images. As well, many of the original company built houses remain with brightly painted clapboard siding and screened front porches. From there we go to the town of Mantanzas. Touted as the “Athens” of Cuba, Mantanzas 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. We will have a walking tour of the city which will afford so many amazing images.

Day 7, Nov 14 – Fusterlandia and Hemmingway
Fusterlandia, named after Cuban painter and sculptor José Fuster, is a fishing town on the outskirts of Havana. We will travel to Fuster’s village where he took over 10 years to flamboyantly rebuild and decorate this sea side village. Fusterlandia is now a Gaudi-esque work of public art where Fuster has refurbished over 80 houses with ornate murals and the mosaic domes to suit the personality of his neighbors. After, we will head to some of the surrounding small fishing villages to see what the fishermen are up to. After lunch we will go to Hemmingway’s homestead, Finca Vigia (Lookout Farm), which still houses many original furnishings, hunting trophies and personal artifacts. Then, back to Havana for our farewell dinner at the famous San Cristobal restaurant, where President Obama dined while visiting Cuba.

Day 8, Nov 15 – Day of Departure
Depending on your flight schedule, there may be time for hitting Havana’s streets one more time.

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 $600 discount 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


Nov. 7-15, 2020


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 Aug. 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 $750 deposit must be paid in order to secure your space in the workshop. Full payment must be received by Aug. 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, 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.

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