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Yoshinori Fukui

Cuba by Figueredo: a valuable opportunity to shoot the real Cuba

Every year I go to a photo tour together with a friend of mine. Last year we have been to Myanmar, but for this year we decided to visit Cuba.
In the beginning of our planning, we first thought about taking a guide as we did last year. But when I found the website of Figueredo (www.leicahavana.com) and watched his photo gallery, I immediately sent an eMail asking for a private photo tour in Cuba with him.
In advance, we told Figueredo what we want to do during our stay in Cuba and we had lots of wishes:

  • One day trip to Vallé de Viñales
  • The other three days we planned to do street photography and capture street portraits in Havana
  • In addition, we had our own ideas what we wanted to see while we are in Cuba

Figueredo made a fantastic schedule which satisfied all of our demands. Much more than this, he suggested many excellent places and unique venues to visit that we have never imagined before. After more than thirty hours travel from Japan to Cuba, we arrived in Havana for four days just for taking photos.
Figueredo took us away from the tourist tracks and showed us the real and authentic Cuba. Not only that he speaks Spanish, but he also knows how to open the hearts of the Cuban people. The Cuban people are very friendly and relaxed. Figueredo approached strange people who he never met before in his life. In the end, they opened the doors to their homes and let us come in to take some photos. After all, we visited many houses of ordinary Cuban people and talked to them about their lives and about their dreams.
Sometimes we also stepped into the home of very poor people. It was not to take pictures of their miserable state but to understand the real Cuba and to discover the beauty that can exist even in poverty.
After this once-in-a-lifetime experience, I am convinced that no touristic guide can offer what Figueredo provided for us. Photo opportunities like those are very rare, especially in Cuba, where many „experts“ offer their service.
Thank you for your assistance, Figueredo.
I would highly recommend Figueredo to any serious amateur or pro photographer.

Yoshinori Fukui

 

 

 


Oliver Johnson 

“Cuba by Figueredo”

I recently took a photo tour with Figueredo in Havana, Cuba with my wife René. While I sell my photos, my profession as an MD anesthesiologist in San Antonio, Texas keeps me very busy. I have done mostly landscapes in the past in France, Italy, Sicily, etc., and I wanted to learn all natural light street portraits from Figueredo. His gallery of portraits is amazing, and I wanted to learn how to do this to broaden my skills, and capture great images. This trip far exceeded my expectations. Figueredo is personable, knows the language and the people of Cuba, and has the ability to talk to the people, get their confidence, and convince them to agree to let me take their pictures in their environment. He is very good at this, and we gained access to a whole world that no other photographer could explore. Cubans on the street in Old Havana and Regla would let us enter their homes, take some photos, have a friendly conversation, and go on with our walking. All this would have been impossible without Figueredo. He opens doors in Cuba to people for photographers because he lives there and knows the people on a personal level. As we walked, he educated me on the history of Cuba, the people, and the reality of life for the Cuban people. I came away with a new appreciation of Cuban history and culture as well as many stunning portraits. I would highly recommend Figueredo to any serious amateur or pro photographer, without reservation.  This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn, and to take sensational one of a kind images in the process. My portfolio has grown in breadth and depth as have I as a photographer.

Oliver Johnson, MD