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WARNING for those bringing a photographer to Cuba!


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#11 jackobelle

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    Posted 28 March 2010 - 11:19 AM

    Thanks, everyone. I just wanted to give a "heads up" to other brides so this doesn't happen. I think that if you are bringing a photogapher from Canada or the UK and they are staying at the resort with you for the week as a guest and friend, you wouldn't run into this problem. (I hope!) It also seems like the Blau is enforcing this rule and other resorts are not. My photographer did 2 other wedding that month in Cuba with no problems. My advice would be to not even tell the hotel they are a photographer. The only reason we told he hotel "we needed a day pass for our photographer" was because at an earlier meeting they said we could bring an outside photographer.

    We did go off site with our photographer the following day for photos and did get some beautiful ones. We were planning to do this anyway for a TTD shoot. We ran out of light though before we could TTD unfortunately. My mom has a really good camera so we have some good photos of the wedding day with the family and wedding party, but they are not the same as professional.

    We took this situation in stride and didn't let it ruin our special day. My only reason for posting this is to let other wedding couples know what could happen, and for them to take precautions so it doesn't.

    #12 Tilly in the Sun

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      Posted 28 March 2010 - 11:32 AM

      Oh my gosh Jackobelle I am so sorry this happened to you! You were the innocent victim in this, and it's just awful! Thank you so much for sending a warning to us future brides. We will be at ILA and are having two photographers stay with us for the week (both have never been to Cuba) so I really hope this won't be an issue.

      #13 decorbyn

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        Posted 28 March 2010 - 01:04 PM

        Instead of trying to "sneak" your photographer in as a friend or guest and risk being caught, some good advice might be to research the proper documents that are required for a non-Cuban citizen to "work" in Cuba. I'm sure the Cuban government is not trying to get a cut but is merely protecting it's citizens from illegal foreign workers. There are similar Immigration laws in place in most countries for this reason.

        #14 jackobelle

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          Posted 28 March 2010 - 06:45 PM

          Tilly, you should be fine. I think if they are staying with you for the week and they don't do regular weddings in Cuba they for sure won't be on the 'black list' of those being watched. I think the people who need to be concerned and look into it further are those with weddings at the Blau (this was the only resort our photog had problems with) and those who use a "destination wedding photographer" who works more regularily in Cuba. In the case of wedding couples using photographers who have done a fair bit of work in Cuba would be to email the Cuban embassy and ask what the requiremnts would be and ensure your photographer follows suit.

          #15 jackobelle

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            Posted 01 April 2010 - 07:40 PM

            I just heard from my photographer and since our wedding, he did 2 more weddings in Varadero with absolutely no problems. So future brides probably don't have to worry. It looks like the Blau is probably the only resort checking passports and enforcing this permit thing.

            #16 Hopelesslyblissful

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              Posted 01 April 2010 - 10:59 PM

              I am getting married at the Blau Costa Verde in Holguin in October and as soon as I read this thread I e-mailed my travel agent (and sent her the link to the thread) to find out if I was able to bring MY (possible) photographer.

              My photographer would be coming with my group and staying at the resort with us for the whole week, and my travel agent forwarded me the e-mail today saying from them saying it is fine as long as they are staying at the resort/one of my guests.
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              ~19 Booked Plus Bride & Groom~

              #17 jackobelle

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                Posted 03 April 2010 - 11:22 AM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Hopelesslyblissful
                I am getting married at the Blau Costa Verde in Holguin in October and as soon as I read this thread I e-mailed my travel agent (and sent her the link to the thread) to find out if I was able to bring MY (possible) photographer.

                My photographer would be coming with my group and staying at the resort with us for the whole week, and my travel agent forwarded me the e-mail today saying from them saying it is fine as long as they are staying at the resort/one of my guests.
                You should be fine. Our photographer didn't stay on the resort with us, he was coming in on a day pass. Have a wonderful wedding!

                #18 Hopelesslyblissful

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                  Posted 03 April 2010 - 08:17 PM

                  Thanks Jackobelle. I'm really sorry that all that happened to you!! I would have been LOST it on the resort though..Props to you for not letting it ruin your day!! Hopefully everything goes smooth for mine :)
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                  ~19 Booked Plus Bride & Groom~

                  #19 AnyafromCineart

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                    Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:14 PM

                    I'm really sorry that this happened to you Jackobelle. I feel very bad about this

                    Just few facts:

                    - Peter lives in Cuba and he shoots a plenty of weddings there. Regarding to the Cuban law:

                    Small Independent Businesses
                    This kind of business is not allowed in Cuba. In general most of the foreign companies are international companies who start a joint venture with a Cuban State owned company, with 51% Cuban participation.

                    To legally work there:
                    First you have to apply for a work permit with the Ministry of Work and Social Security: not an easy task, because if a Cuban citizen can do the job, he or she has priority.

                    Second difficulty for a foreigner: you have to work in accordance with Cuban standards and regulations, and this means your salary will be paid in Peso Cubano, which can only be used in the internal Cuban market and surprise, surprise - your salary will be 240 – 500 peso Cubano (roughly 10 – 20 US dollars a month).

                    (sounds like a joke?)

                    A few possibilities to work in Cuba.
                    You can work in Cuba for a foreign company with a subsidiary or an agency in Cuba, but again Cubans will have priority, as most of these companies are joint ventures with Cuban companies. For instance you can work as a travel representative for a tour operator or travel company, but don’t expect to work in a hotel as an entertainer or barman etc, - these kinds of jobs go to Cubans. To be allowed in the tourist industry is a privilege for a Cuban.
                    You can work as a journalist, freelance writer or photographer, but you’ll need a special visa and work permit.


                    - Cuban photographers in Cuba? forget about it. maybe in 10 years...there is no such a thing and quality of pictures is horrible. I know only few in Havana and they have totally different style. Those who are good don't want to shoot weddings - they are pure artist. Those who shoot fashion are to snobbish to deal with this as well. if they want to do it legally they can charge only 200 CUCs for a wedding- regarding to the Cuban Law. can you buy professional equipment charging 200 CUCs? I don't think so. all photographers I know there are working illegally, on the black market. there is few in Havana but they don't travel to Varadero. they always can be followed and go to jail.

                    Peter was only local photographer who offered quality and style - but not Cuban. I referred him like crazy. Unfortunately he couldn't have his own business in communist country - this was all black market.

                    Canadian or other photographer staying for week or 2 in the resort is a tourist and is bringing money to the country. They know this and they respect this. I don't think that they want to change this - weddings and wedding guests in Varadero are 40 - 60% of the tourists (depends on the season). Especially in the high end resorts like Iberostar and Melia.


                    Don't get scared please. Destination wedding photographers are not taking work from Cubans - they are giving work for Cubans. I'm sure that a lot's of Brides would choose different destination for her wedding, knowing that they don't have a choice.

                    Sorry for chaotic writing. I'm going to Cuba on the next weekend and I will talk to people and investigate this case further. I'm lucky to have really good connections there and I feel absolutely safe traveling there.

                    #20 Hopelesslyblissful

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                      Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:17 AM

                      Thanks for the clarification Anya!! I think that helps alot of us out here!! Let us know what information you hear when you get back!! HAVE FUN!!
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                      ~19 Booked Plus Bride & Groom~




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