Street Portraits in Cuba with Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens

Are you interested in taking street portraits? In the latest video from Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens, he covers a few tips and some advice on what he does to get some shots during his visit in Cuba.

Street portraits are a bit different from street photography as you want the subject to look and interact with the camera, so how do you accomplish this with complete strangers? Well, for starters as Morgan states in the video, you can’t be shy. Your approach is key and just takes a few minutes to snap a some photos of the locals as you are walking around the streets. You can even ask them just after you paid the person for their service like Morgan does with the taxi driver.

Morgan continues to share with you some quick tips which can be put in to the categories of "your equipment", "timing", "offer to pay", "work with the sun for great lighting", and "to be friendly". Last one is a given; the saying “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” comes to mind. Sounds easy enough right?

In this second video, Morgan lets us know exactly what he packs for this trip which is light with the essentials. Morgan walks the street using the Sony a7R II and a Tamron 35mm lens along with the Vanguard Alta Rise 48 backpack and Custom SLR camera strap. There was a bit more gear packed and used by Julene for the behind the scenes and video work. You can check out the full list of gear for the trip -

Traveling to new locations can give you a different perspective of things, especially to places like Cuba that give off an older and colorful scene to shoot in. I have yet to visit Cuba, but from what Morgan shows us and tells us, it’s a very interesting place with a lot of character containing warm and inviting people. Are you interested in checking it out for yourself? Let Julene and Morgan know by commenting on the video followed by sending him an email as they plan for another photo tour in the streets of Cuba.

Make sure to head over to Morgan's blog post at about the trip.

Do you have any tips to share? Post them in the comments below.

All photos used with permission of The Slanted Lens.

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Eric Gould's picture

Check out our Cuba video and FAQ.

Scott Weaver's picture

Admire your work a lot. I'd prefer these images in B&W.

Morris Erickson's picture

I think these images would be very powerful in black and white – but I’m glad they are not. (You can always dial back the chroma.)

The most significant impact is the bold pastels that accentuate the culture and show a vitality that survives and prospers even in a repressive regime.

Black and white would emphasize the repression but the dynamic color highlights the spirit of the Cuban determination – their soul is Kodachrome, not Tri-X.

I want to visit Cuba before the culture and classic cars are modernized as a result of normalization with the US. However, I don't know if Trump will undo what Obama has done by normalizing relations with Cuba.

Eric Gould's picture

It is changing very fast. So, I would recommend buying a ticket today and enjoy it now. Let know if you need any details for travel and photos .

The processing on those photos gives a harsh unflattering look. Like too bright, contrasty and even too neutral on the color balance. Found them very unappealing.