GRIOTS REPUBLIC - An Urban Black Travel Mag - Feb. 2016


Issue #2: Millennials The "No Traveler Left Behind" Generation.

Profiles: Damon Lawrence, Cherae Robinson, Evita Turquoise Robinson, & Danielle Pointdujour



Jendella Benson

Anton Diaz

Cormier Claude M'y

Cordelle smith

Donna Jaye

Dr. Nicole Swiner

Dr. Jessica Ann

dr. Miodrag Stojanovic

Gordon Trujillo

©Miodrag Stojanovic

I spent most of my 22 days of travel time in the cities of

Havana and Trinidad. Both places are really great and of

course Trinidad is much smaller. I would wake up early in

the morning when no tourists were on the street and only

Cubans were active. The light is great in the morning and

the place looks much better with no tourists.

GR: How did the picture that is now our logo for Griots

Republic come about?

The picture of the old man in your GR logo was taken in the

Cuban city of Trinidad early in the morning. I remember like

it was yesterday. The old man was standing in front of his

home on a hilly street with no asphalt and smoking a selfmade

cigar. I said to him “hello” and started a conversation.

This is one of the most important things if you want to take

a good portrait of a stranger. First you have to talk with

them, to relax them and to gain their confidence. After that,

you can ask to shoot them and hope that you do it the right

way. The guy was very friendly and I asked him about his

cigar. I asked him where he bought it. He was smiling and

told me that he made it for himself. After that, I asked him if

I could take his portrait and he was ok with that. The light

was perfect and I just asked him to smoke his cigar. He was

so natural and I did a great job.

GR: Is there a particular photographer who has inspired

your work to date? In what other ways do you use your

photography skills?

In the past 10 years, one of my biggest inspirations has been

Annie Leibowitz. She is such a talented artist. Her work is so

easy, but so different. She uses great studio settings where

the main object is a canvas backdrop. This was inspiratio n

for me and a few years ago I founded a company called

Gravity Backdrops ( that

makes hand painted canvas backdrops with very reasonable

prices. The same quality is three times more expensive

elsewhere. Now my company is world famous with

hundreds of satisfied customers.

For the last 5 years I have been involved in photo schools in

Serbia and have a lot of students that are now p rofessional

photographers. At one point in time I worked for Playboy

and did a great story about our prime Minister where he

was talking about wine production and not politics. I also

did a story on a really special biker with an interesting life



©Nisa Ahmad

©Nisa Ahmad

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