SENSUAL HAVANA - FINE-ART NUDES & GLAMOUR

CUBA PHOTO TOUR


JOIN ACCLAIMED TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER & CUBA EXPERT
 CHRISTOPHER P. BAKER, PLUS ONE OF CUBA'S TOP FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHERS EXPERIENCED IN GLAMOUR AND IMPLIED NUDE / ARTISTIC NUDE, ON THIS ONE-OF-A-KIND PHOTO TOUR AS WE SHOOT CUBA'S MOST BEAUTIFUL MODELS AND BALLERINAS IN HAVANA’S INCOMPARABLY BEAUTIFUL AND TIME-WORN SETTINGS

On this unparalleled Cuba fine-art nude and glamour photo tour, we'll photograph Cuba's most beautiful women in time-worn Havana--as fantastic a backdrop for glamour, boudoir, erotic, and artistic nude photography as exists in this world, given its mixture of Spanish colonial and faded baroque architecture, its wealth of 1950s American cars, and its stimulating aura of exoticism. To which add Cuba’s stunningly beautiful and self-assured women, and their joyous at-ease delight in being photographed. No wonder Cuba is a top destination of choice for such publications as ElleVogue, and Vanity Fair.

Our respectful and elegant treatment of the subject pays tribute to all that is positive about the Cuban Revolution and its advancement of women’s rights and self-determination, while also honoring their own unashamedly and affirmatively self-confident pride in expressing their sensuality.

Plus, we'll work with one or more of Cuba's foremost female photographers in the genre.

In 2002, Playboy photographed the Tennison twins nude in Havana's famous tenement building housing the La Guarida restaurant; and in 2013 Playboy photographed renowned Brazilian actress Nanda Acosta nude in Havana (surely, one assumes these could only have happened with the government's permission). Meanwhile, in 2015 Annie Leibovitz famously photographed Rhianna nude in Havana (see below) for Vanity Fair. Although the latter venue no longer exists as such, we’ll use La Guarida and other remarkable venues for our own sensual and artistic nude photography with Cuba’s own glamorous models and ballerinas…

ITINERARY (subject to change)

This suggested itinerary will be determined by availability of venues and specific models at the time, as well as weather and other variables.

Day 1: Saturday, December 16
We’ll meet this evening at our upscale casa particular (private B&B) in Habana Vieja. We’ll then take convertible classic American cars to dinner at La Guarida–Cuba’s most sensational dining experience!
Overnight: Private B&B (D) 

Day 2: Sunday, December 17
This morning up early for a sunrise shoot on the rooftop balcony of our B&B, then at select venues in Habana Vieja... including a barber' shop in the lobby of a tumbledown solar (tenement building). In the afternoon, we'll enjoy photographing one or more models at a sensational Beaux Arts venue exclusively set up for photo shoots. This evening we’ll dine at another of Chris’ favorite paladares in Habana Vieja.
Overnight: Private B&B (BD) 

Day 3: Monday, December 18
Today we aim to shoot in a sensational Art Deco interior staircase in a high-rise apartment in the once-chic Vedado district. Then, we'll head back to Habana Vieja to photograph our model in a derelict (and supremely photogenic) tenement building in Habana Vieja. Our afternoon shoot will be themed to santería (the Afro-Cuban religion) as we photograph a model dressed as Yemayá, goddess of the sea This evening we’ll dine at another of Chris’ favorite paladares in Habana Vieja.
Overnight: Private B&B (BD) 

Day 4: Tuesday, December 19
We dedicate today to photographing professional ballerinas at sunrise atop one of Havana's most incredible high-rise buildings, as well as inside one of Havana's most photogenic centenary mansion with multiple rooms furnished in classic Cuban period style. Our afternoon venues will include two fabulous stairwells in Havana Vieja, plus the arcades of Parque Central in the golden hour, with a third ballerina.
Overnight: Private B&B (B)

Day 5: Wednesday, December 20
Of course, we simply must shoot models with Cuba's famous classic cars. This morning we'll head to the mechanic's workshop of Chris’ closest friend in Havana, where we’ll shoot an uninhibited fitness model among his collection of antique Harley-Davidsons plus his 1948 Buick. In the afternoon, we’ll mix it up by photographing Cuba's champion (and stunningly beautiful) female bodybuilder (and perhaps another fitness model) in thong bikini. Our venues may include the Edificio Girón, plus the beach at Playa Santa Fe as we hop in a convertible classic car with our model(s) . Tonight is free for you to dine at leisure.
Overnight: Private B&B (BD) 

Day 6: Thursday, December 21
Today we’ll return to La Guarida--an unparalleled setting for glamour photography--for a sensual photo shoot with two of Cuba's top fashion models. We'll also photograph them in one of Vedado's top centenary mansions. In the afternoon, we'll make music a theme as we shoot one or two of Cuba's most beautiful professional musicians with a piano and violin or cello as props.
Overnight: Private B&B (B)

Day 7:Friday, December 22
Our final day begins with one of Cuba's top fashion models as we photograph her against an iconic venue featuring a Che Guevara mural and classic car, then at another old mansion with fabulous period decór. In the afternoon, we take two models in one or more classic cars to the Bosque de la Habana a ruined colonial plantation on the outskirts of Havana that provides a sensational venue for photography during the golden hour. We'll end with a celebratory dinner at one of Habana Vieja's top private restaurants.
Overnight: Private B&B (BD)

Day 8: Saturday, December 23
This morning we’ll transfer participants to the airport to connect with their flights home. Or feel free to stay on in Cuba on your own time, pre-approved under the “Support for the Cuban People” license.

WHO SHOULD JOIN?

This tour is designed for photographers of all standards–beginner, intermediate or professional–and especially for those who may not have previously worked with models.

Our focus will be on shooting street photography and natural settings that require minimum equipment, using natural light spontaneously (plus occasional fill-flash and portable LED lighting). We’ll span opportunities for all aspects of sensual portrait and street photography.

We will endeavor to create space for you to pursue your personal interests with our models, be it fashion, dance, street photography, portraits, or boudoir and erotic fine art. The goal? Editorial worthy images to be proud of!.

YOUR MODELS

We’ll select our models from a pool of more than 30 professional models, Tropicana showgirl dancers, top ballerinas from the Ballet Nacional de Cuba (and even fisiculturistas--female bodybuilders), plus other stunning cubanas who have expressed their desire to model for us. At a minimum, we expect to shoot at least eight to ten models. In all cases, this will depend on the availability of any particular model, of course!

We aim to provide a minimum of two models daily. On occasion we will shoot with one model. At others we will work with two, and perhaps even three, to ensure that only two or three participants are working with any one model at any time, depending on each venue.

Thanks to you for being such a professional dear Chris." 
Lea Vall @la_mulata_esa_

Super cheveres a la verdad me sentí muy cómodo trabajando hoy. [Super cool! In truth, I felt very comfortable working today.]" 
Giselle Pérez @gis.perez.4

Adoré el trabajo en conjunto [I adored working with you.]" 
Amaray García @amaraygarcia

Muchas gracias. Para mi es un placer trabajar con usted. Usted es profesional. Por eso, puedes contar conmigo siempre. [Many thanks. It's a pleasure working with you. You're a professional. For that reason, you can always count on me.]" 
Glenda Ovedo @gle.oviedo

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PARTIAL SHORTLIST OF THE MODELS WE ANTICIPATE TO WORK WITH

What this tour is & is not!

Although Cuba has an advanced avant-garde (and overtly erotic) art scene, the Cuban government is highly sensitive about nude photography and equally restrictive about what is permissible. It has a zero tolerance policy regarding pornography, which it defines far more broadly than North American and European standards.

Although several of our proposed models have previously posed nude and have expressed a desire and willingness to pose for erotic and fine-art nudes, this tour is NOT a nude photography tour per se.  The trip is entirely about creating art! It is a tour dedicated to photographing Cuba using Cuban models as props, and to photographing female beauty and sensuality in a Cuban context. We will constantly strive to maintain a respectful and elegant treatment of the subject, as well as honoring each model's individual limits.

It is extremely important that as photographers we remain professional and sensitive to Cuba’s cultural and legal norms throughout. Not least, this will give confidence to our models. You, too, will learn to become comfortable with planning your shoots and directing your subjects, posing them and coaching them to achieve your desired effect. Always we will respect the comfort level of our models and the opinions of our other Cuban photographer co-leaders about what may or may not be appropriate to our circumstances. Any attempt on the part of a participant to solicit, encourage, or engage in pornographic poses or other improper behavior will be considered reason for instant dismissal from the tour without refund.

Our focus throughout will be on glamour, erotic boudoir, and artistic nudes that are statements on Cuba, not mere fashion photos or simply images of sensual or naked women. Since much of our shooting will be outdoors in public places, we will use our models as compositional elements that add dynamic perspective to intriguing street scenes and exotic locations. A sense of place is paramount! We will NOT be experimenting with a wide range of gear, lighting setups, or creative in-camera techniques. Instead, reflecting Chris’ own background as a travel photographer unencumbered by lots of gear, we will work almost exclusively with natural light. Plus, our focus throughout will be on elegance and good taste to ensure the most classy and respectful results that dignify womanhood and femininity.

Our fine art nude and implied nude photography should be viewed as an opportunity to create art for the sake of art, with a focus on shape, form, mood, light and shadow, and storytelling. The emphasis will be on posture, posing and composition, including placing our models in unusual settings and unexpected or fascinating scenes, and using creative approaches that play with light, scene, and an intriguing narrative. Of course, whether outdoors or in more controlled indoor settings, we’ll also experiment with the interplay of highlight and shadow and mood to express our creativity and story-telling. We will work around an idea or artistic concept rather than simply photographing our models. The viewer should be inspired to see a creative expression of beauty and elegance, or other artistic exploration, not a naked figure or body parts. Composition, texture, graphic pattern and narrative concept take precedence. This becomes even more important in artistic nude photography; sculpting and differentiating curves and musculature for artistic allure and/or erotic effect.

 

Below:  Claudia Corral Mesa photographing Dayleris in Bosque de la Habana...

Below: Clients photographing model Glenda Oviedo in December, 2022...

Trip Details
December 16-23, 2023
December 7-14, 2024

Trip cost: $4,995 (based on 4 participants; a supplement may apply for fewer participants) 
Limit: 4 participants

PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS

Participants must read and agree to the terms & conditions before requesting a reservation. SEE BELOW...

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation in listed casa particular (B&B) or similar
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Services of Chris Baker, plus one or more Cuban photographers
  • Services of models & make-up artists
  • Support van and driver or other transport as needed
    All inclusions as listed in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers

Not included

  • International flight between USA and Cuba
  • Passport and Cuban tourist visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Vaccinations and/or medical coverage 
  • Meals not specified
  • Tips to guides, models, etc.
  • Items of a personal nature (alcohol, internet access fees, laundry, etc.)

Highlights

  • Photograph Cuba's most beautiful professional models and ballerinas in astonishing settings
  • Shoot one or more models nude on the same bed that Annie Leibowitz photographed Rhianna nude for Vogue magazine
  • Learn to shoot models in public and private settings that require minimum equipment and using natural light 

U.S. Legal

Despite President Biden's reversal on May 16, 2022, of several Trump restrictions on travel to Cuba imposed in September, 2020, many of the latter are still in effect.

However, the good news is that every U.S. citizen is legally travel to Cuba, pre-approved and at any time, under the “Support for the Cuban People” (SFCP) license. This is authorized by "general license," which means you do not need to request permission from the U.S. government or obtain any physical document at any time. A general license is based on the honor system in which you (a) buy services from Cuban entrepreneurs, such as home rentals, meals at private restaurants (paladares), transportation services (taxis), etc.; and (b) participate in "enriching cultural activities with Cubans" of your choosing from 9am – 5pm daily. (Note: the U.S. government reserves the right to audit your travel, meaning they can request that you provide proof of your legal itinerary and receipts for expenses for up to five years.)

This program is designed in accordance with U.S. regulations intended to maximize “support for the Cuban people” through stays at private B&Bs, meals at private restaurants, and interactions with independent artists, private tobacco farmers, owners of classic convertible taxis, etc.

Each self-guided traveler must take responsibility for reading the rules and understanding the requirements. Read the license requirements under §515.574 Support for the Cuban People 

Tour Leader

CHRISTOPHER P. BAKER
Christopher P. Baker, the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 'Travel Journalist of the Year,' has been hailed by National Geographic as “One of the world’s leading authorities on Cuba travel and culture.” Christopher’s words and images have appeared in hundreds of articles and books about Cuba, from BBC and CNN and National Geographic to Playboy and Penthouse; as well as his seven travel books on Cuba, including National Geographic Traveler Cuba, the Moon Cuba handbook, plus his coffee-table book, Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles. His many awards for photography include the National Association of Travel Journalists' Gold Award for a double-page spread image of Cuba published in a National Geographic special edition. Chris has led more than 100 group trips to Cuba, including for photo tours for Jim Cline Photo Tours, Lumaria Workshops, National Geographic Expeditions, and Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.

Cuba photographers

Chris will be joined by one or more female Cuban photographers specializing in the glamour, fashion, and fine-art nude genre, such as acclaimed fashion photographer Joanne Soto and/or Claudia Corrales Mesa. These accomplished photographers bring their own sensibilities and visions to enhance our street and situational photography, bridging the gap between two artistic communities and cultures.

CLAUDIA CORRALES MESA
Claudia Corrales Mesa (@corralmesa) has photography skills in her DNA: Her grandfather was an official photographer to Fidel, and her father is equally accomplished and renowned. She brings tremendous artistic vision to her work with models, street photography, and as a leader of tours for Santa Fe Photo Workshops and Jim Cline Photo Tours. She and Christopher have co-led numerous photo tours of Cuba and enjoy a tremendous professional rapport.

TESTIMONIALS

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I thought that each of the models, in their own distinct and individual way, were really wonderful." 
Jean Claude S., December 2022

it was great fun. Awesome models. Awesome venues. And just flipping through my photos more thoroughly, some great images as a result."
Steve A., December 2022

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Deposit and Final Payment
A deposit of $750 is required at time of booking. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Cancellation

  • On cancellations more than 90 days prior to departure, all monies are refunded, less any monies spent on the participants behalf, such as non-refundable hotel reservations, etc.
  • Less than 90 days prior, total deposit amount is forfeited.
  • Less than 60 days, 50% of trip price is forfeited.
  • Less than 30 days prior to departure, 100% is forfeited.

Written notification by email or letter is required for cancelation. In the unlikely event we have to cancel a tour due to a shortage of participants, a full refund will be given. If a trip needs to be canceled due to a force majeure, monies will be refunded less non-refundable monies paid to third parties on the participant’s behalf.

Responsibility
Christopher P. Baker LLC and his agents act only in the capacity as agents in all matters pertaining to hotel accommodations, sightseeing tours, and transportation, and are not responsible for any loss, damage, theft, or injury to person or property resulting from a defect in any vehicle, or the actions of any persons who provide services for this tour or for the action or inaction of any third party. Baggage is at the owner’s risk entirely. The tour operator reserves the right to withdraw the tour at any time, and to decline any person as a member of the tour for any cause at any time.

All prices are based on current rates of exchange and, while every effort will be made to hold them firm, they are subject to change.

All participants are required to submit a signed Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability form prior to the tour’s departure.

All participants shall agree to abide by the U.S. Treasury Department regulations under the "Support for the Cuban People" general license (§ 515.574), and shall make themselves aware of the rules and requirements for legal travel.

Participants also agree to abide by the laws and regulations of Cuba, and shall act with utmost decorum with the models. Any attempt on the part of a participant to solicit, encourage, or engage in pornographic poses or other improper behavior with models will be considered reason for instant dismissal from the tour without refund.

Health
It is the responsibility of each tour member to inform the tour operator of any possible health problems or handicaps upon registration. By forwarding a signed reservation form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements.

Trip Insurance
To allow for any unexpected contingencies, all participants are strongly urged to purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

Itinerary
While Christopher P. Baker endeavors to make the itinerary described herein as accurate as possible, it should be considered as an approximate schedule of activities rather than a rigid schedule of events. Trip itineraries are subject to revision due to weather, local conditions, government restrictions, and other reasons beyond our control. The tour leader has the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever in his sole judgment conditions warrant, or if he deems it necessary for the comfort or safety of the tour.

By clicking on 'RESERVE YOUR TOUR' you hereby acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions: 

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS' GLAMOUR & FINE-ART NUDE SHOOTS IN CUBA + TO VIEW THEIR INSPIRATIONAL IMAGES

All models are 18 years of age or older & have signed model releases.

NO IMAGE MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER