Home » Cade Martin captures the timeless “Faces of Cuba” through personal exploration

Cade Martin captures the timeless “Faces of Cuba” through personal exploration

by | Jan 12, 2024

By Cade Martin

I recently returned from a trip to Cuba that I made with Cuba Workshops. The primary goal of Cuba Workshops is to connect travelers with the Cuban people and support them with our time and photography.

We stayed with welcoming Cuban families throughout the trip and had experiences that will last a lifetime – it was a great adventure. One of the amazing things to experience was the warmth, hospitality and friendliness of the Cuban people, despite unenviable economic circumstances.

What a gift to discover stories in the faces of Cubans I came across.

I was interested in making portraits of people enveloped with darkness, outside distractions quieted, where it is easy to be drawn into their eyes and personal narrative.

The portraits have a raw, timeless quality, mysterious and truth-telling at the same time. Shot without architectural or social context as background, the people come alive, each of their personalities emanating from the void. They command full attention, the character of their faces actively expressing vibrant stories and rich personal history.

I was amazed by the warmth, resilience and laughter captured in my encounters. And I am grateful for the adventure.

Music Composer Carlos Durán
Art Direction + Animation: Joseph Gilbert
Thanks to Cuba Workshops, Alex Garcia and Orietta Garcia

Cade Martin is an award-winning photographer.  His love of the arts grew out of summers filled with trips to galleries, museums, and art studios. At home, he often found myself around the dinner table surrounded by an eclectic cast of characters — sculptors, writers, painters and creatives. They paraded through his childhood, shaping his art foundation, as well as forming an understanding of a community and an appreciation for the candid beauty found in people from all walks of life.

About the Author

Cade Martin

The only child of a university art professor and freethinker mother, Cade Martin grew up surrounded by shapes and images. His love of art grew out of summer vacations filled with trips to galleries, museums and art studios. At home he often found himself around the dinner table with an eclectic cast of characters – sculptors, writers and painters. They paraded through his childhood, shaping his art foundation and forming his appreciation for the candid beauty found in people from all walks of life. Cade’s been chasing characters ever since. He seeks out their stories-told through the architecture of their faces or the costumes they wear-whether he’s on a commercial production or setting up an Avedon-like photo booth at Comic Con. They are the heroes in his pictures. His thirst for capturing adventures took its hold while shooting stills on movie sets and then as a photographer for National Geographic covering the railways of India. And it is that sense of adventure that Cade brings to his productions elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary with a cinematic touch. It’s not just a picture. He’s committed to the experience, building beautiful environments and, sometimes for his portraits, simply building trust. A talented storyteller, Cade splits his time between the East and West Coasts creating images for editorial, advertising, fashion, and lifestyle clients


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