This body of work represents a brief yet intense relationship that I had with the people, culture and landscape of Cuba while traveling alone there last month. It attempts to be a record and document of the “mildewed opulence” of Cuba in the 21st century before opening its gates to the pressure of western consumer values. The style of this collection of images is something that I have been working on during my travels, and is what I describe as “spontaneous portraiture”. I began photographing to document and share experience. I have become overwhelmed with beauty on my travels, and it had been my motivation to improve my photography to capture this beauty the way that I see it, and to share it with others– to uncover the hidden human story. Not posed, not moved, not manipulated. A portrait of the person surrounded by clues to their lives– a gateway to sharing different cultures, but the same universal human experience.
This body of work also represents an attempt to improve my photographic technique and to develop a unique personal style. The critique and encouragement from the FPC Portfolio Review last year inspired me to dig deeper into the reasons why I photograph, and to explore my own perspective. Photography gave me a creative escape, provided a purpose and sanctuary for me during a transitional period in my life, and these photographs represent a product of that.