A group of young photographers from around the country huddled outside the Little Haiti Cultural Center this week listening to Carl Juste, a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist for the Miami Herald.
Juste, whose father Viter Juste is credited for coining the name Little Haiti, was schooling the photographers about the neighborhood’s vibe.
“People live on their porches, people greet. People exchange ideas and conversation outside their homes,” he said.
The student photographers are in Miami for National YoungArts week, a competition by the National YoungArts Foundation that brings together young people from across arts disciplines. The week includes mentoring and networking with industry professionals.
This session with Juste was all about a sense of place, going into a community you’re not familiar with and making a connection.
Juste cautioned the photographers that this isn’t just about taking pretty photos. “We’re not in the recording business," said Juste. “We’re in the connecting business.”
Torrance Hall, 17, from Richmond Virginia, walked along Northeast Second Avenue checking out the facade of the Caribbean Marketplace, a colorful and vibrant building modeled after Haiti’s famed iron market.
An alleyway also caught his attention. “I just really like alleyways and symmetry,” said Hall as he snapped a few frames.
He turned to take in the block: a botanica across the street, a mural of Little Haiti pioneers, a laundry mat. “I just think it’s beautiful,” Hall said.
Below are some of the images YoungArts photography finalists captured while in Little Haiti.