Humberto Ochoa

My story

At some point in life we all experience departure as part of the process of growing up. I left Cuba, my home country in 2007 and flew to Mexico carrying only one suitcase with few clothing items, books, all the pictures that could fit and a lot of disappointment and hate in my heart.

Crossing the country border to United States through a bridge made me understand that the step I was taking was going to change my life forever and I was up to the challenge to start over again without looking behind. Until today there is one question that I always ask to myself: “What would have happened to me if I had stayed and if I were able to start my photography career down there?”

Whenever I am asked why I chose photography the answer seems to reflect more on the belief that images are related to all we do and who we are. Thinking about it, the power of what we see is so great that is connected to deep emotions and memories. An image can bring a person to the feeling of a single moment and is able to stop time.

Telling a story without words is an inexplicable feeling of living in the present moment. The person stands in front of the camera, and everything turns into a fun and intimate encounter between longtime friends.

My purpose when creating a story with the camera is to do it in a way that the person feels at ease. A portrait is an expression of inner beauty and strength; therefore, I strive to make it enjoyable.

I haven’t gone back to Cuba after my departure and I don’t know yet when it will happen. I know that someday I will have the opportunity to return, open my arms and forgive because the land is not to be blamed for the situation is living. It is the only way I can make peace with my homeland and myself.

Seeing so many horrors in a land where oppressing people for what they think, they feel, and they say is the norm has made me realize how powerful Art and Culture is.

Through photography I can speak up and document what people leaving in freedom do when they believe life can be better each day.