Shayne Hood, Gracias Cuba (Black and White)

In 2016, I was fortunate enough to travel to the beautiful country of Cuba. Prior to travelling, I was in a deep state of depression. I was experiencing extreme suicidal ideation in nearly every waking moment. I’ve always found that photography has been the only way I can offload the heavy burdens I carry. At this time in my life, I needed a change of scenery, a place that would break the monotony, of living with poor mental health. My wife suggested that we travel to Cuba and the more we researched the more I found it connected with me. We spent 10 days in Cuba and for the first time in 20 years, I had not experienced any symptoms of depression. The terrains were beautiful and the people had a genuine care for one another. We spent the entire time shooting and connecting with the breathtaking culture. I made lasting friendships and I learned so much about myself as a human and as a photographer. Whenever I am in the pits of depression, I try to remember my experiences in Cuba and how fortunate I am to have photography in my life. I’d like to share these photographs with you in the hope that you can feel some of the joy I experienced at such a pivotal moment in my life. I’m so thankful for photography and the opportunity to submit my work again. Shayne Hood aka Johnny Brixton