THIS IS SOME OF MY PERSONAL WORK FROM CUBA.
Cuba: A Lesson in Celebrating the Mundane
I've been lucky enough to visit Cuba twice—once traveling alone, right before the U.S. embargo was lifted, and the second time this past October 2016 with a friend.
On my first trip alone, since I know Spanish, I was able to chat with a lot of the locals. I ended up befriending a fifteen-year-old girl named Estefani. She saw me taking photos one day and we started chatting. She told me in Spanish, "Please don't be one of those photographers who only takes photos of children with flies on their faces. Or only takes photos of the fancy new developments. That's not the real Havana; that's not my real home."
Her simple request had a huge impact on me and made me think about how we see things as travelers; seeing difference is the easiest thing to do—whether it's something that makes us uncomfortable like trash on the streets or something that we consider "exotic" like iconic Cuban architecture. But when you take the time to look closer or sit down and have a cafecito with the locals, you can see beauty in the mundane. That's what this collection of photos focuses on.