TESTIMONIALS

"Habaneros are very friendly, invite-you-into-their-homes friendly. At Orlando and Niurka's home, where we stayed for the week, you get a good night's sleep and better meals than in most restaurants. Plus, you're in the real Havana.

Dan Callis has plans for your photo trek. And those plans are flexible enough to adapt to your group. Above that he will improvise and find something new – just for you. Could be a dance troupe rehearsal, a Santeria ceremony, a special meal.

Mostly though, you're going to walk in a zig-zag with some secret destination ahead, but the pace is yours. Different directions every day. At magic hour, the last rich rays of the sun are leaving and the first street lights come on, we're out on the street again. In the evening editing photos on laptops, the work winds down.

I wouldn't be surprised if on the Friday of your week, when everyone's free to go their own way, Dan will offer to spend the day and evening with you. You might go out and buy cigars from a factory or Americanized hotel, coffee from Cafe O'Reilley Roastery and rum 7 years or older.

Dan is a teacher in a subtle way, a guide, a facilitator, a guy with a network of contacts in Havana, and sometime during the week, he becomes a friend."


Claude Paradis, Ottawa

"I was part of a small group of 6 photographers that traveled to Cuba in January of 2017 with Dan Callis' Havana Workshops. The experience was one that I will NEVER forget. Dan's knowledge of Havana is incredible and he introduced us to many wonderful events from a boxing club to a small, intimate jazz nightclub. Since our accommodations were in a Casa Particular, we were completely immersed in Central Havana and its culture. Our host family was wonderful and made our stay inviting and comfortable. Some of the more memorable moments included lively conversation at breakfast and dinner with our hosts and Dan. We spent many hours and miles just walking the streets and taking advantage of every photographic opportunity. It is a must do for all photography lovers! You won't regret it. "


Rebecca Waters

baguas@verizon.net

Dan’s photo tour of Cuba was amazing. He accommodates clients in Havana, in an above street level family owned complex that provides bedrooms, a common kitchen for breakfasts and other meals, and a living area for socializing and reviewing photographs. The most important element of the tour is that you are completely embedded in the real Cuba of Havana. This is not a tourist experience. You live with a Cuban family, and spend the days receiving instruction and photographing the natural, gritty, populous environment of Havana. The residents are for the most part extremely accommodating, making the street and portrait photography very enjoyable, and the people, backgrounds and vistas are quite unique and interesting. 


Dan has been a regular traveler to Cuba and can host almost as a native. He is a commercial photographer from Halifax. He is a very bright and engaging instructor, and works hard to bring an authentic visual and sensory experience to his clients. 


The tour includes travel to the more usual “tourist” destinations in and around Havana, but more importantly Dan has connections that get you inside the really unique authentic Cuban/African music and cultural events, and for me the non-photographic highlight was 2 amazing evenings with an incredible well known Jazz musician and his band.


Dan has US clients and can assist with all the travel issues."


Lorne

"Just returned from the November workshop and I agree with Kevin 100%!-- Dan is the go-to guy for Cuba! he knows Cuba like the back of his hand, he's a great guide with great personality. If you want the REAL Cuba: gritty, loud, colorful etc. etc. this is the trip. Within a 4 block radius you will have more photo-ops than you can imagine, I almost had sensory overload the first few days--and there is still the whole city! It's hot and humid and wear good shoes-- we averaged over 12,000 steps a day. It was the trip of a lifetime!"


Tony K

"One of the best thing I ever did! Just do it! Dan's the man! Honestly if you never were to Cuba there is no one I can think of better than Dan to show you around.It was awesome!"


Kevin Y

"I have wanted to visit Cuba for several years but only recently was I able to convince my wife that this was a trip we should make. She was nervous about us going on our own, so, as we are both photographers, taking a  photography workshop in Cuba seemed the sensible thing to do. We had several options, but one phone call to Dan convinced me that Havana Photography Workshops was for us. And, Oh Boy, it was the right decision; we had an incredible experience. Because of Dan's knowledge of all things Cuban, especially the music, we were able to interact with and get to know the people of Havana. We stayed with a local family, well away from the tourist area, in a bustling neighbourhood where we got to experience the true culture of Cuba. From a local  boxing arena,  to a small music club, to a private band practice, to local restaurants, we photographed and were involved with the culture in a way that no other photography workshop in Cuba can match. I have been to other photography workshops in other countries, but none have measured up to the experience that Dan provided us.

Oh, as for the photography, my wife has won several awards both locally and nationally with her images from Havana."


Bob & Wendy

"

It was a fantastic experience. Right in the thick of things. Our fearless leader Dan knows where all the good stuff is and how to get in. The members of the group all got along really well."


Matthew

"Dan's workshop in Havana was even better than I had expected. The accommodations were lovely and in a central location and Dan's knowledge of Havana made our daily walks most enjoyable. We got a real Cuban experience and were amazed by the kindness and curiosity of such sweet people. Most importantly, the images I captured and the tips I learned from Dan and the group have made a significant impact on my photographic skills. I am SO grateful for having taken that trip! Thank you Dan!!!! I will never forget it! 


Nicola Siso

"This is far more than a “photography workshop”! Staying with a family in a simple, central bed and breakfast, you get to experience the real Havana, as well as the more typical tourist destinations. Dan’s great knowledge of the city, its music and food adds several dimensions to the week, complementing the photography. 
Lots of opportunity to take photos – from street shots, to night photography, to food – it is all there. And then very insightful, constructive feedback from Dan, to put to use the next day. Plus you may ride in a 1950s convertible, get to hear incredible musicians and gain an appreciation of the terrific people of Havana and life in Cuba. A week is hardly long enough.
Liz

"Havana was a wonderful adventure.  The trip was definitely more personal than a typical trip to Cuba, starting with staying in a home rather than at a hotel or resort.  Due to your extensive knowledge and experience of the city, we were encouraged to explore areas of the city that see fewer tourists.  Because of your friendships with Cubans, we were welcomed to watch a private religious ceremony, and were also welcomed to a private family surprise birthday party for a resident Cuban who just turned seventy!  We even had salsa lessons!


The trip to Havana was special, and had many unique photographic opportunities.  You were always ready to share your expertise, from composing a better image to editing the image.  I feel my images are much stronger due to the skills you have shared with me.  


Thanks again for a fantastic trip."

Marci

April 6, 2013


Testimonial Havana Photographic Workshop with Dan Callis

23 -30 March 2013


By Rick Dunphy


I had a wonderful and unique opportunity to photograph the streets of Havana with photographer Dan Callis in March 2013. With Dan’s expert photo guidance and thorough knowledge of the city he lead our small band of adventurers through some popular quarters and many more less ventured backstreets with absolutely no shortage of materials to photograph.


What I learned from Dan can be summed up as a change in my photographic attitude; concentrating on getting the shoot and not the technical details that lose the shot and really in the end does not make a difference. I was able loosen up and under Dan’s guidance was able to “tell the story”. Sure the world, right down to our own back yards, are filled with subjects to shoot but Havana with Dan’s guidance and mentoring in this street photographers paradise makes this workshop both unique and memorable.  My photo senses were on high alert, every street every corner market and courtyard was filled with “Kodak moments”. I would highly recommend this photographic workshop to others.

"For years I dreamed of a photo trip to Havana. Early last year I made the plunge and searched for a workshop in Havana. I found havanaworkshops.com, approached Dan Callis and the rest is history. Together with some friends from the Netherlands we visited Cuba in spring 2012 and had a great week in Havana. Dan brought us to the best spots, showed us the infamous pubs and taught us during the quiet moments in our guesthouse how we had to watch our own pictures. Absolutely a great time!"


Marco

"Hi Dan


I had a wonderful time photographing in Havana and would love to go back. I am working on it!


For photographers contemplating this trip, I highly recommend it. From the moment you step outside the door of the guest house, there are an infinite number of interesting objects to shoot, from people to the buildings which are in various states of decay. However, the beautiful colonial architecture is still evident. I loved everything about the trip, especially being part of the local community rather than in a tourist area. 


The trip stimulated me to learn much more about cuban history and the current issues facing the cuban people. It influenced me in profound ways.


Mary Helene Perdue  


(Mary’s wonderful book, “Havana Reality’ can be purchased at www.maryperdueimages.ca)

"This workshop was a cultural and photographic experience to remember.  Staying with a Havana family allowed is to see how modern Cubans survive in a rapidly changing environment.  Dan led us to prime photographic locations away from the usual tourist tracts to get true images of Cubans and and how they live."


Ken & Caroline

"Thanks, Dan, for opening my eyes to Havana. I had visited the city once before on one of those day-away-from-the-resort bus tours but the week I spent there with you and the gang gave me a real sense of the city. Great music, great locations and great people. In fact, two of the images I made that week were semi-finalists in the 2012 Havana Times photography contest; one went on to become a finalist."


Kevin

"Dan is a great photographer and I had an amazing experience learning on my DSLR in the streets of Havana, documenting the lives of musicians, dancers, market vendors and the calendar boys. Dan taught me how to turn my passion for photography into a skill – something incredibly useful for my online articles. Besides being a talented teacher, he also has a great personality and makes you love photography even more!


Emmy - Journalist & Video Producer

"In his Havana photography workshop, Dan provides an excellent balance of on-the-street shooting, critique, and suggestions regarding image editing. Our shooting took place in and around iconic locations in Havana and our casa was conveniently located and comfortable.   The workshop provided a fine opportunity to get to know a bit of old Havana while also practicing and enhancing photographic skills.


Nanciellen

"My daughter and I had a great time; Dan's laidback yet professional approach to this photo workshop was very enjoyable and created the perfect balance between the city discovery, the learning and the friendly exchanges with the group.

In addition to being a great photographer, Dan is also very knowledgeable about the local music and that makes for another interesting learning experience. 

thanks again for everything.


It was great to meet you 

Serge 

"I did a photography course in Havana, Cuba with Dan and had an amazing week (!). Dan showed us the real Havana with good accommodation, surprisingly good food and very nice people. It was a unique experience.
Apart from Havana, Dan is a great photographer. I learned some really nice things from Dan that made me a better photographer. Dan really took time to look at my pictures and discuss them.
I'll never forget our trip to Cuba, thanks Dan!!

Bas

I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited greatly from my time spent with Halifax based photographer Dan Callis in Havana this past January. Dan Callis is a successful professional photographer and has been travelling frequently to Cuba for over 20 years. He has hosted photography students from all over the globe and he really understands how to offer personal attention and valuable instruction to improve the photographic skill of his students. Dan limits his groups to to 8 to ensure they all receive appropriate one on one instruction and allows for considerable daily "after tour " image critique and processing/editing sessions. I certainly gained a lot of valuable experience during my time with Dan. The groups are home-based in a fantastic authentic 1920's era Spanish Colonial casa in Central Havana, spacious and warm with fabulous hosts and facilitators .This piece of the tour brings such warmth and authenticity and the groups lives in a much more rich Cuban way without all the artificial fluff of the luxury more "Americanized" hotels. Meals are tremendous and inexpensive as well. From the casa it is an easy walk to the Malecon area and to Old Havana and the Capitolio. However, Dan knows the city very well and what he brings to the table is access to the off the beaten track, niche-y  and "non-turista" areas where some of the best and more interesting photos of people and places can be taken. Dan is also an aficionado of the Rumba and other Afro-Cubano music genres and plays the bata and conga drums himself. 

For a rewarding and authentic experience in this vibrant and culturally rich city, Dan Callis offers the photography buff whether novice or seasoned, a very unique perspective that you will undoubtedly treasure for a life time. www.havanaworkshops.com"

"I have wanted to visit Cuba for several years but only recently was I able to convince my wife that this was a trip we should make. She was nervous about us going on our own, so, as we are both photographers, taking a  photography workshop in Cuba seemed the sensible thing to do. We had several options, but one phone call to Dan convinced me that Havana Photography Workshops was for us. And, Oh Boy, it was the right decision; we had an incredible experience. Because of Dan's knowledge of all things Cuban, especially the music, we were able to interact with and get to know the people of Havana. We stayed with a local family, well away from the tourist area, in a bustling neighbourhood where we got to experience the true culture of Cuba. From a local  boxing arena,  to a small music club, to a private band practice, to local restaurants, we photographed and were involved with the culture in a way that no other photography workshop in Cuba can match. I have been to other photography workshops in other countries, but none have measured up to the experience that Dan provided us.

Oh, as for the photography, my wife has won several awards both locally and nationally with her images from Havana."

Bob & Wendy

I have just returned from a photography workshop with Dan Callis and I can't speak highly enough of the fantastic experience I had. Dan's knowledge of Havana is like he's a native. We stayed in exactly the right place in my opinion as you are in the center of the city, only a short walk from the Malecon or the old town whilst being in what i would describe as the real Havana. What you have is a great opportunity for taking fantastic photos literally on your door step. As a keen amateur who has traveled for photography a fair bit I would say without doubt I shot my best photos yet thanks to Dan's guidance, although Havana Photography Workshop had photographers off all levels from myself to very experienced Photographers. In the evening after dinner we would sometimes spend time working on the days photos, processing them in lightroom with Dan ever present with expert knowledge on hand on how to process your photos with which I learned a great deal, or you could just chill out with a glass of fine Rum and play pool as there is a pool table in the house as well. Also Dan would take us out to a great restaurant or bar, or even to see some live Cuban Rumba. From the time I arrived Dan was always on hand with any help I may have needed. Orlando and Nuirka where excellent hosts too and i was extremely comfortably in their spacious home, also the food served was delicious and varied and also plentiful. Regardless of your skill level from Amateur to professional I would recommend staying with Dan, he is also a really great fella, Cheers Dan.


Patrick Driscoll.   November 2018.


London UK.

 

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