Here, we bring you part two of our enthralling Q&A with travel photographer and author, Lorne Resnick. To find out more about his experiences in Cuba, see his answers below.
4) Cuba: This Moment, Exactly So gives many readers their first real look into the life and country of Cuba. What was your inspiration when you started shooting this collection?
Annie Leibovitz once said: “A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.” And that’s the way it is for me in Cuba. Constantly falling in love—even if sometimes only for a sixtieth of a second. Some of the images in the book are of places I only visited once and people I only saw once. However, many of the images are of places I visited again and again and people who were open enough to let me fall in love with them with my camera again and again over a period of many years. Being a fine-art photographer, as opposed to a photojournalist, my goal in creating images in Cuba (and presenting them in this book) is not only to show what Cuba is like but, more importantly for me, what it feels like to be in Cuba.
I want to create images that communicate the elation I feel every second when I’m in Cuba. It is a feeling like no other—moments filled with passion, love, joy, desire, grace, beauty, friendship, and laughter. To paraphrase photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, if I go to a place, it’s to try and get that one picture about which people will say, “Ah, this is true. You felt it right.”
5) Would you like more Americans to travel to Cuba and explore the culture?
Of course. Cuba has been cut off from its major trading partner for over half a century. I feel that there will be many good things that come out of better and full relations with the US and probably some things that are not good. American culture exported does not always have a beneficial result. However, I think that every country should have the opportunity to live out their own history. So, I hope that many Americans visit Cuba and come back and tell their friends about it and I hope one day there will be complete unfettered access to Cuba with no embargo in place.
6) Throughout your career as a photographer, you’ve had the opportunity to travel to many exotic locations around the world. Did your photography inspire you to travel, or did your travels inspire you to photograph these locations?
Great question. It’s a mixture. I have a deep and passionate love for both travel and photography. It’s a great way to explore the world and to bring back (hopefully) many moments that I can share with other people to make them feel the kind of experiences I had when traveling.
7) Your collection of photography spans twenty years of travel. Has your perspective of Cuba changed since your initial visit?
Yes and no. Of course in twenty-one years of traveling I have seen many changes. When I first came to Cuba in 1995, the country was just ending the “Special Period” in times of economic hardship and feeling reverberations from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ending of Russian financial aid to Cuba. So things were very tough. Now many people have an much easier financial time of it. These days I have to call my friends and see if they will be in town when I visit, as many are now leaving the country on vacation. That never used to happened. Also, there is a thriving tattoo market—a sure sign of disposable income.
But on the other hand, the one thing that has not changed at all are the people. They are as incredibly friendly, warm, open, and intelligent as the first day I went there. And that, to me, is the heart of Cuba—the people.
See more of Lorne Resnick’s gorgeous photos on his website: https://www.lorneresnick.com/