For Dutch photographer Stijn Hoekstra, visiting the Caribbean island of Cuba recently was a dream come true. “Cuba has been on my list for as long as I can remember” he tells Lonely Planet News. “This was my first time there, and it definitely exceeded my expectations.”
Stijn captured some stunning portraits of locals during his three-week stay on the island. “There were a few photo moments that really struck me”, he recalls. “One was a portrait I shot really early one morning in Vinales. As I walked downhill, I saw a farmer walking towards me. Rays of sunlight were just peeking through the trees, and I knew I had to take his photo.”
“He didn’t pose, but knew exactly what kind of picture I wanted to take. Everything was just right, he was holding his old bicycle and had a cigar hanging from his lip. I was so blessed with that moment. After three days I was walking around in that same area, and I saw him again. When I showed him the picture I took of him, he got very emotional looking at himself, and was clearly very happy with his portrait.”
“We went to a family member nearby and I took their email address so I could send the picture to him. Next time I’ll remember to take a polaroid camera with me, it’s a nice gesture for taking someone’s portrait.”
See more of Stijn’s photography here.