If Omar de Frias did not own his own cigar company, the line for people calling the former pro basketball player turned NASA employee to take up a job as a sales rep would likely be a long one. There are few people that can sell cigars to consumers quite like de Frias. In a year, Fratello has gone from just another new cigar to arguably the hottest new cigar brand while putting together one of the most impressive list of retailers a new brand has seen in recent memory.

Omar de Frias

This portrait was taken in Addison, Texas using a Canon 5D Mark III and a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens set at f/9.5. The shutter speed was 1/60 second at ISO 100. There were two main sources of light: ambient natural light from the sun on the top left of the frame and a radio slave shot through an umbrella used to light the front of his body (to compensate for the backlight from the sun). The photograph was color corrected in Adobe Lightroom and adjusted for color, contrast and sharpness using custom actions in Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.