There’s been the world’s largest cigar, a factory in Miami, controversy over guns and children on a box and a lot of other cigars in between. George Rico’s time in the cigar business has been busy. He came to the U.S. in 1988 at the age of nine from Colombia and followed in the footsteps of his father, Guillermo. The father-son team led STC Cigars—the makers of Gran Habano—until 2008, when the younger Rico went out on his own to create G.A.R. He returned in 2010 with Azteca and has continued to produce cigars both under the G.A.R. and Gran Habano names since.

George Rico

This portrait was taken in Dallas, Texas using a Canon 5D Mark III and a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens set at f/3.5. The shutter speed was 1/1000 second at ISO 160. There were two sources of light: an external flash to the left of Rico and natural light from the sun that was almost directly behind him. The photograph was color corrected in Adobe Lightroom and adjusted for color, contrast and sharpness using custom actions in Photoshop CC.

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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.