Text & Images by Andrew Bell
…By which I mean Ours, not an actual revolution…
Revolution Photography was formed in 2011 by myself (Andrew Bell) and my colleague, mentor and partner in crime; Andy Scaysbrook. At that time we were both veterans of a number of photography workshops and groups. Myself as both participant and leader and Scayzie as tutor, leader, guide and leader-astray-in-chief… Having had some great experiences, as-well-as some really bad ones, we found ourselves in Nepal on what could generously be described as an omnishambles.
I’ll come on to some of our exploits during that trip in another entry, but for now lets just say that a combination of poor planning, lack of available funds, disinterest in participation and some unbelievable lies from one member of the group had taken their toll on both of us. Which isn’t to say we weren’t having an incredible time, in a truly beautiful part of the world, whilst taking some fantastic photographs, just that things could definitely have been a whole lot better…
…and so it was we found ourselves in Pokhara, with a day off from our respective duties and a will and desire to be alone, unburdened and in a better state of mind.
These things led us the lake, where in turn we negotiated the rental of a rowing boat and took ourselves as far from any other human interaction as possible.
During the following hours, as men left alone are won’t to do when a beer or two have been consumed, we took to putting the world to rights… The course of that conversation ebbed and flowed like the tides, but circled itself round to everything that was wrong with the various holidays we’d been part of in recent years… Being the kind of person whose life is made up of a series of lists, I started working out all the ways we would, or could do things differently and it wasn’t very long before we came to the conclusion that running our own trips would make much more sense than being part of other peoples; all the little niggles that we could see from the outside, as both tutors and participants were easily rectifiable and what’s more, we would be in charge of our own destiny! Succeed or Fail, it was all on us…
At first we had differing ideas about what, where and how we should be doing things, however we had some thoughts and ideals in common so decided that these should form the basis of our operations and that we would build upon them.
We both wanted to offer more than just photography holidays. There had to be an element of learning, adventure and exploration involved.
Some level of “doing good” was our next must-have; this couldn’t just be for fun, there had to be involvement in charitable or good-will-causes with some degree of giving back.
The last thing we agreed upon was Cuba; although we both had lists of destinations that we wanted to visit, revisit and introduce you, our guests to, Cuba was top of both of our lists.
From there the plan was laid out; we would become specialists in Photography Holidays to Cuba, where we would guide people, introduce them to the culture, music and arts. Provide a degree of education about the history and work with local people, businesses and organisations to ensure we gave back to the communities we visited.
And that is what we have been doing ever since; we’ve built up a wealth of friends and connections who help us plan and organise our stays there, we’ve met some incredible people, some famous people, some with much and many with very little - but all the people we’ve met have welcomed us with a smile and a warm embrace and it is our pleasure and honour to introduce others to this magical island.
Over the years since we’ve added other destinations, either as recurring visits or one-off tours; learning from our failures and successes alike. Taking feedback from those who have travelled with us and focusing on putting people first.
The last year has been difficult for everyone, everywhere, but especially so for those who work in the arts and travels sectors, so we’ve been hit twice. We haven’t let that stop of though, although we had to cancel all plans for 2020, we’re ready to take 2021 head on with two trips to our beloved Cuba and plans underway for some exciting new destinations in 2022. So, as they say;
Watch This Space!