Cuba was definitely one of those places I never thought I'd visit, but I'm so glad that I did. It was an eye-opening experience, a totally different world. I was there as a guest photographer and after doing some research before my arrival I knew I wanted to document anything and everything. The locals were all so welcoming, which really put me at ease - especially when taking the portrait shots.
After exploring its vibrant streets, my first impression of Havana was that everything is so chilled. Everywhere you look there are people hanging out and having a good time, just enjoying the company of others. For me, the people are what make the country so special; you can really see the love they have for their homeland. I was privileged to experience so much of their culture in the form of art, food and music and wasn't disappointed. There's not a bad word I can say about my experience - other than how unlikely it you'll get a decent internet connection.
I would love to go back, it's such a photogenic city filled with so many good vibes. When you go to a different country you can feel unanchored or lost, but this was not the case with Cuba. I felt so welcomed and was surprised at the number of people who allowed me to take their photograph.
Ope Odueyungbo shot for Havana Club Rum as part of the 'Casa Havana' campaign in August 2016.