In this post I tell my experience, about my trip to the Caribbean.
MY JOURNEY AS: "WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER IN CUBA"
If you do not want to read the post, you can watch this slideshow:
WHO TIME HAS CONTINUE TO READ:
For a long time I wanted to talk about my journey, as a wedding photographer in Cuba, and I thought it would never happen.
Now I have a new website and hereby start my first blog post, the notes I did with my mobile phone back then and it tingles in my fingers to share my experiences!
When Katharina and Adam booked me for their wedding as a wedding photographer, I happened to ask:
"Where are you doing your honeymoon?"
The answer was: "In Varadero in Cuba" Woooow I thought.
Since Cuba has always been on my list, we spontaneously agreed and I was booked for the trip to the Caribbean to photograph their honeymoon. I could barely wait for the time and was really looking forward to it and started to pack the bags. After I had photographed her wedding on 31.08.2013, it finally started.
18.09.2013 / 23:27h, it's cold in Germany, I'm sitting in the Bremen Central Station and waiting for my ICE to Hamburg, from where I fly.
My flight to Cuba via Amsterdam starts at 06:10 in the morning. I have learned that the airport is closed at midnight, hmm now I'm full of uncertainty what to expect.
Only this morning on the day of departure, I noticed that you need a foreign health insurance for the entry into distant countries, after phone calls back and forth, I was fortunate enough to get this in the travel agency. You can also apply to the health insurance company.
Have some photo equipment packed, even a new camera "Canon 5d Mark 3" was purchased specifically for the trip to.
In the suitcase is still a highlight which I do not want to reveal ... Finally, the bridal couple expects great shots and I myself too.
I have booked my trip in the travel agency for 6 days, including 2 days photo shoot scheduled, 1 day in the capital Havana and 1 day on the beach, that's how I imagined it.
In 2012, as a wedding photographer in Paris, I traveled the weekend with my bridal couple Christina & Eduard. We made the streets of Paris unsafe and had great experiences.
Despite the rain all day, we had a lot of fun and used the most beautiful locations in Paris.
It was my first afterwedding in this form, after which I knew what I would like to do more often in the future.
Cuba is now my second trip and I would like to share this with you in more detail.
After I missed my train in Hamburg, I called a taxi and drove on. At the airport I had 5 hours left until my flight.
05:15 clock passport control and body scanner, past Duty Free, I'm sitting in the plane.
ARRIVED IN CUBA:
Finally after 15 hours and 3 movies, I flew over the Bermuda Triangle where it shook properly. Arrived in Havana, I already feel the humid air, it is getting warm in my jacket.
Past the passport control and skeptical questions: "Turista"?
The suitcase full of photographic equipment: "Si Tourista"!
Unfortunately, there is not much organization at the airport, but the people are casual on it. I wait excitingly for my luggage: pass 40 minutes, slowly he rolls, I recognize my Rimowa suitcase, all good.
At the exit, a driver awaits me to take me from Havana to the hotel: Mr. Maxim Testov stood on the sign.
Out into the street, that's how I imagined Cuba! Smelly, smoking American vintage cars. Half of them are old Russian cars: Volga, Moskvich, Lada, Kamaz and Zil, still with Cyrillic writing on it. It reminded me of my childhood in Russia. I'm excited ... Another world
Many cars are totally rusty, you can not believe that they are still driving, you must have seen it live.
Unfortunately, many people do not own a car, holding their hands with bills on every corner, hoping for a ride.
My taxi driver used the horn constantly, as if everyone knew each other. Although he could not speak English and I did not speak Spanish, we communicated with each other and got along great.
HOTEL CHECK IN:
After I checked in at the hotel I slept for a while to make up for the time difference and the next day my bridal couple picked me up for a swim.
White sandy beach, warm water and Caribbean sun, I have never experienced such a water in any holiday.
In the evening it starts to rain heavily, the pool is already overcrowded, the water is in puddles, now we hope that it will be a good weather tomorrow.
Ohh, I spot a gecko on the ceiling in my room, now I have a pet.
PHOTOSHOOTING NEXT TOMORROW:
I'm preparing for the shoot now and just now comes a strange feeling. I am suddenly excited, can I do it? If you're a wedding photographer, you're always nervous because of your high expectations!
Can I deliver the photos? So an effort made with the trip, 10,000km away from home and now such thoughts? Believe in yourself, I tell myself!
Now I get an SMS from Adam: "We booked a classic car with driver, pick you up immediately". It starts and we drive towards Havana.
Through a well-known photographer, who was already in Cuba, I got a contact to "Vivien", a tour guide from Havana and even with good Russian knowledge.
After a few drinks and a cool atmosphere, we start our first shoot.
We walk through various streets, parks and visit famous places of the capital and take everything that comes to our minds!
The locals are super nice, clap and greet us lovingly, so I wanted to put the streets in the light as they are, with the people on it, that's life on the ground.
"Vivien" said let's move on to the beautiful spots!
Me: "No No Stop Here, right here" ... Knips ... a picture and another one.
Where do you get such posts in Europe?
I go over one of the streets and I meet a green car, zack a photo!
Simply a paradise for photographers or those who want to become one, be sure to visit this wonderful country and see for yourself!
When we got tired, Vivien said I would like to invite you to come, we'll come along with, we said, our driver brought us and picked us up later.
They turned out to be true Russia fans, the apartment was full of little gifts from the tourists. Her father was involved in the liberation of the country and proudly showed us his medals.
PHOTOSHOOTING DAY 2:
Between the trip to Havana we had a day off and then I already planned the underwater shoot, I told the bridal couple that I will rent an underwater housing and that they have no choice and have to jump into the water.
I prepared my Canon 5D Mark 3 at the hotel for the dive.
This time the two have booked a boat with their own captain, how cool I thought, but it got even cooler. First we were swimming in a pool with real dolphins, unfortunately no pictures taken. Then we took a boat trip to a small island and caught a barracuda fish on the way there.
At the first jump, Katharina got caught in her dress and walked slowly to the bottom.
She did not fidget nervously but did not move, she sank very slowly. We responded quickly and quickly brought her back to the surface with Adam.
Katharina took a short breath and said: "Let's do it one more time!" Adam and I are shocked .... OMG .... and they jumped again.
RESULT OF UNDERWATER PHOTOS:
The unprocessed photos clearly show the difference between what you can get out of the RAW files. At first I was a bit disappointed when I saw the raw photo on the screen and was thrilled when I had it worked on the laptop in the hotel.
MY CONCLUSION OF THE JOURNEY:
We decided that we should celebrate together at the end. Since I was in a 3 star hotel and Katharina and Adam in a 5 * star with much more luxury, I wanted to come visit the two.
I smuggled through the guard and was asked for my room number, figuring out a number, pretending to live there, trembling, hoping not to get caught.
Lucky I could pass and Adam received me, we went to the beach first and then to a restaurant. Everything was free in their area, we ate and drank as much as we wanted and even chauffeured us with a golf car, from one to the next, restaurant.
Late at midnight, we bathed naked in the ocean with Adam, made friends with a group of Argentines and sang Spanish songs until the next morning.
I stayed with Katharina and Adam at the hotel and the next morning took a taxi back to my hotel, quickly bought cigars, checked out and flew home with the best moments of my life.
If you have read this far, thank you for your time and hope you enjoyed this post.
I'm looking forward to new adventures with the future bridal couples. If you are planning a great trip, no matter where, let me know, these unique moments will last a lifetime in the pictures and in memory.
Your photographer Maxim Testov