Portraits of Smoke

One of the challenges my wife faces is finding the perfect gift for me. I’m the kind of person who works hard, and if I want something, I go out and get it. She knows I enjoy fine cigars, whiskey, and working out. The problem is she worries that if she buys me cigars or a bottle, I might already have it. Honestly, I’ll be happy with whatever she gets me because she cares enough to find a special gift. When I told her about the Portraits of Smoke, she lit up and said, “That’s what I’m getting you!” These portraits aren’t just for men; if you look at the portfolio, you’ll see he captures men, women, and couples.

About Joe Roberts:

“I got into photography in 2009 when I was working in Antarctica as a carpenter. I spent a year there and using a point and shoot camera that wasn’t cutting it to share the beautiful places that I was experiencing. Video was ok, but I feel that capturing the particular moments with photography offers people a more intimate glimpse into that experience.  This same notion is what draws me to portraits of smoking cigars.  Smoking a cigar or pipe is a small escape from your day. It allows you to sit back, relax, reflect, or have conversation with people you may or may not normally get to know.  Capturing a particular moment in time allows the viewer to gather their thoughts and really experience that moment through someone else.  In the case of portraits, you get the character, the emotion, situational feel. The difference in 5 or 6 clicks of the shutter can change from a serious demeanor to laughing and playful to peace and so on.” (Joe Roberts)

The Experience:

I reached out to Joe after seeing his impressive portfolio on Instagram, and he responded to my direct message almost immediately. I discovered him when he came to town to shoot for local cigar enthusiasts at Beehive. He scheduled me for his next visit, as he travels across the United States photographing those who enjoy the leaf.

As the day of the shoot approached, my excitement and nerves grew. When I arrived at the shop, I bought a cigar and headed to the rented space for the session. Joe greeted me with a friendly smile and a relaxing atmosphere. He poured me some tequila and asked about my music preferences.

I enjoy a variety of music, so I passively said, “Whatever you’ve got is good with me.” Joe encouraged me to pick an artist, so I chose Dirty Heads. With the mood set by the music and tequila, we began the session. For those who prefer to stay sober, non-alcoholic options are available too.

We spent some time chatting and getting to know each other while Joe perfected the lighting. Once everything was ready, he started taking photos and guiding me through different poses. He also asked if I had any specific shots in mind. Since I didn’t, I gave him the artistic freedom to create the best results. If you’re planning to do this, I recommend looking at his portfolio for ideas.

Joe made the shoot comfortable and effortlessly captured the moments. After we finished, he told me he’d have the edited photos ready in about ten days, possibly sooner if his schedule allowed. I’ve attached a slideshow of various portraits he has done so you can get an idea of his work.

Women Portraits 

Men Portraits 

Couples Portraits 

Contact Information:

Portraits of Smoke (Joe Roberts)

Instagram @PortraitsofSmoke

Email: [email protected]

John Cardenas

I’m John Cardenas, also known as Johnny Havana in the cigar industry. What I love about being involved with Cigar Public is that I have the opportunity to learn and share the stories of those in the cigar industry. I’ve formed lifelong relationships over a cigar and conversations. I’m committed to providing honest reviews of cigars and sharing my experiences with you.

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