As a flâneur, I love to walk the streets, in silence,, simply observing. With the camera in hand I try to capture life's moments unfolding. You can see a lot of different emotions and interactions on a given day if you really just become more aware. I think that's why I enjoy this subject matter. There really is so much variety and stories happening that there is never a lack of inspiration, especially in the city of Havana , where this was captured. When i photographed this, I was sitting across the street, sketching , with my camera close. I just looked up to see this older man cross the road and go over to these two teenagers with a child. I continued to observe, as this man, reached out and tickled the babies feet, making her laugh. I found this connection, simple, and amazing. The body language of the youth when this older man presence was priceless. For a moment a social boundary was broken
When you think of Cuba, you think Music. Music that carries no barriers or restrictions to where or when it may be expressed or to whom the audience it is that receives it. It is as real, and alive as the people that create and breathe it. It is one of the main reasons I fell in love with the island. There is this palpable and contagious energy that vibrates and is exuded from the musicians and the people. You can't help but to be affected by it. It seems to get a hold of your heart and soul and move your body without even knowing it's happening. This energy can be found almost anywhere in Cuba but the biggest place to catch it..is right on the streets. Pouring out, and unfolding right in front of you, like it was a performance solely made for you to see and hear. It doesn't matter if they are classically trained since birth or just feel the need to express for a day. To top it off, it seems hard to get bored with a different block, delivering a different genre. From salsa, to flamenco to classical to Boleros. Here is an one of many examples of the raw, vibrant music scene happening in Cuba these days.
On a random Sunday stroll through the streets of havana, I had just turned the corner to find a group of guys gathering in front of a little meat shop, when one guy started singing. After being in Cuba for over a month, I was quick to be able to capture these type of random moments as they arose. It was so spur of the moment and casual, that it didn't even have enough time to draw a crowd. As I was filming, the men in the background started filling me in on the details of the front man. I couldn't really focus on both, but it sounded like they said something about this man being a boxer of sorts. It wasn't until I returned that I decided to investigate that a bit more. Using the handy internet, I was indeed able to match their story, the name, and a photo to the face of the man singing. It turns out that he was a Cuban boxer. His name is JOSE LEGRA. A boxer from the 60's who had won several WBC featherweight champion in 1968 and 72 among others. It was great to capture this random moment with his friends. I particularly like the backup knife sharpening sound. Very original and authentic. Life on the streets of havana, so real, raw and beautiful. Love it.
As a photographer, I try to stay present and capture the moments as they happen. You have to be ready, patient, lucky, and sometimes just at the right place at the right time. Some photos come to you and others you need to search out. As we all know, things change, so to capture the same or similar moment twice is rare...well this is what I thought until I started traveling to Cuba. Described as a city frozen in time, where if things change, they change slowly.. so slow that you almost do a double take that any time has passed at all.
On this particular day in Havana I went for a walk, with no real destination in mind. The best walks really. I have a old map in the bottom of bag in case I get completely lost..but the whole fun in wandering is discovering something different. By now the streets and the people of Havana have become very familiar to me, so the chances of getting disoriented is hard. So I continue to wander and observe. As I rounded the bend and lifted my camera to shoot, what I thought to be a cute moment between a boy , his grandfather and a dog, turned into a instant Deja vu. I thought, hadn't i seen this before, and better yet, hadn't I been inspired just the year before to capture this exact situation with this exact lineup, old man, little boy and a dog wearing the same blue shirt. I took a double take. There they were, like they had never left the streets and there I was once again as a witness in capturing a moment in their lives. What made me shoot that same thing twice? At first glance, i found the 3 of them endearing, especially the dog wearing his blue coat. Secondly, I loved this idea that each of them were a witness to each other, like a team. Lastly, i was curious about their story.
This image got me thinking about awareness and deja vu's in general. Deja Vu a French word meaning "already seen" . A word to describe a feeling of have already experienced the present situation. Some say it sparks a specific memory, and signals us to pay attention to what is taking place, to perhaps receive a specific lesson in a certain area and complete what is not yet finished. I like this thought. That our minds every now and then reminds us to be more aware. Why does it feel that when are traveling we tend to have or at least notice more coincidental moments that reminds us of past familiarities. Is it simply that when we travel outside our comforts or outside of our regular routines, we are forced to pay attention. Resulting in us being more in tune with ourselves and our surroundings. That when we are fully aware, things seemed more aligned. Things that we might not have seen, become in view. I feel like these coincidental moments of familiarity are happening more then we think, on a regular basis in our everyday life, but we either choose to be in tuned to them or disconnected. I feel most of the time we walk around with our heads down, grabbing only fractions of each experience. As we hurry up living , taking in very little. Racing from one moment to the next, not giving our minds time to even store a memory or process it all. I'm glad this day I chose to look up and tune in to the present moment once again