Looking at Cuba from the outside in

© 2017 Joe Newman

After having led a few photography workshops in Cuba, I’m used to admiring the skill and talent of some of my clients. It’s not uncommon to be envious of photos they’ve taken during the trip. Many of them have years of experience as avid amateurs.

However, on my last trip this past month, the photographers who were inspiring me were all still students at my alma mater, the University of Florida.

I was lucky enough to help coordinate the trip for a UF College of Journalism and Communications storytelling workshop in Havana. Unlike most trips where I’m the workshop leader, this trip, I served mostly as a consultant and “fixer” for the 18 students and 6 faculty coaches.

I got to share some of the insights I’ve picked up during my two years of frequent travel to Cuba, but mostly, I was able to take a back seat and watch these talented students hone their storytelling skills. Unlike my time as a UF j-school student, where you were either a writer, photo/video journalist, or producer, most of these students were just as capable of writing, reporting and shooting stills or video. As Matt Sheehan, their professor told me, “There are no one-trick ponies on this trip.”

You can check out the stories they filed on their project website, Cuba Outside In.

UF journalism student Jordy Heck working on her story about female boxers in Cuba © 2017 Joe Newman