Is he really smoking – a cigar? That’s what everyone who sees this photograph asks me. Well, no – but he is chewing on it. A lot of good photographers depend on mad artistic skills, but what nobody tells you is that a lot of it depends on luck as well. My trip to Havana years ago was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. I wanted to do a portrait series of Cuba’s gorgeous sights and its people before it opened up to the U.S. Americans are not allowed to travel to Cuba, and I was fortunate to obtain an educational licence visa. I was also extremely lucky to chance into this boy on the streets of Havana – with a cigar. Now, that’s priceless.


This picture is wonderfully provocative. It definitely caught my eye and made me do a double take. Even though he’s only chewing on it, I’d still like to know who gave him a cigar in the first place!

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