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Portraits: Erik Espinosa

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He’s been a sales representative, a retailer and a brand owner. Now, Erik Espinosa owns his own factory and is distributing cigars for other people. In short, he’s done it all.

Espinosa’s career began in 1997 as an independent representative in Florida. In 2004, Espinosa and Eddie Ortega launched EO Brands which became known for its 601 and Murcielago brands. In 2012, the two split up and Espinosa started his own Espinosa Premium Cigars and the La Zona Cigar Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. Since then, Espinosa’s portfolio of brands has grown along with the number of clients he produces cigars for at the factory as well as brands he distributes in the U.S.

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Erik Espinosa

This portrait was taken outside of Renegade Cigars in Richardson, Texas using a Canon 5D Mark III and a 50mm f/1.2 lens set at f/2.8. The shutter speed was 1/50 second at ISO 2000. There were two sources of light: ambient light coming from the incandescent lights behind Erik and video lights held to the bottom right. The photograph was then converted from RAW and color corrected in Adobe Lightroom before being adjusted for color, contrast and sharpness and converted to black and white using custom actions in Photoshop CC.

(Biography written by Charlie Minato.)

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

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.

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