Gathering Cuban photographers all over the world

How We Were Born

A brief history of the birth and goals of Cuban Lenses United

After seven years as a photojournalist in Holguín, Cuba for the government-run ¡AHORA! newspaper, and two and a half years working as an independent photographer for I Love Cuba Photo Tours, Reynaldo Cruz emigrated to the United States and got the idea of creating Cuban Lenses United, to gather and unite all Cuban photographers living overseas, while also promoting all Cuban photographers who live anonymously in the Island.

The team he thought for it was precisely very closely related to him for several reasons: Odette Fernández, someone who had been his friend since high school, gone to college with him for six years and been a coworker for two years, when they both fell in love with and started exploring photography; Yosel Vázquez, whom he had met in the US in 2016 and had been the leader of the I Love Cuba Photo Tours team, and who had become a brother through work and support; Alain Gutiérrez, a photographer in Washington DC, whom he had met in Havana during an I Love Cuba Photo Tours gig, and who had proven to be trustworthy and professional; and Yudith Vargas, an arts specialist whom he had never met in person, but who had been introduced to him by Gutiérrez, and had become an instant friend because of the humor, wit and kindness.

Havana, Cuba–The Cuban flag waves at Plaza 13 de Marzo, by the statue of José Martí, a replica of Anna Hyatt’s piece in Central Park, New York. (Photo: Reynaldo Cruz/ CLU)

The goals of this site are to gather and join all Cuban photographers who are not currently living in Cuba and have them share their experiences, ideas, photos, and views while also promoting themselves and their business in our platform. At the same time, we intend to give a voice to all those photographers who live in Cuba and have been kept in the shadows either for not working for the government-run mainstream media or not having a fancy studio and connections in Havana.

We would also be very happy to welcome all those foreign photographers who have had the opportunity to travel to and shoot in Cuba, and have them share their work, experiences, anecdotes and opinion on Cuba as a photographic subject.

We also intend to organize exhibits, contests, challenges, workshops, lessons, zoom meetings, and groups, while also trying to join and support all great photographic projects that we can find internationally. At the same time, we will provide exposure for and to all Cuban photographers who become members of our project.

The Editors


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