An editorial photoshoot with a Cigar Loving Dandy
I love to get to know and photoshoot people with a great passion in their lives. I’m interested in the stories and love capturing the passion they exhume within my images. Alex is one of these people, with a great passion for cigars and fashion. He used to be a successful bar manager and bartender in Serbia (placing 2nd in a bartender word cup) and then expanded into cigars and eventually moved to Las Vegas. You can now find him at La Casa Cigars in Tivoli Village.
“Smoking cigars is a lifestyle”, Alex explains, “I like everything about them, from the moment you choose a cigar, to the cutting, the lighting and the first glorious puff”. I am fascinated listening to Alex talking about cigars when he further explains, “It is a new world when you start pairing cigars with drinks”.
Like Alex, I travelled to Cuba and saw the long preparation process and the love that goes into cigars. I’ve been captivated by the country, the history, and the vibe of Cuba. Alex travelled to Cuba about 10 years ago and loved it so much that he went back many times and his love for cigars grew even more.
Alex and I found another connection - we are both from Europe. I come from a city in northern Italy, close to Venice, and he comes from Serbia, a country in the Balkans, near Italy but with strong influences from the Middle East too. We are both influenced by these different sides of Europe and really like Italian fashion.
“I’m not a fan of formal clothing styles” Alex says. “I prefer a more casual look, but still want to be very sharp”. He loves waistcoat style vests in summer, as a good alternative to jackets. He likes to add details, but keep the style simple and clean. As you can see from the photoshoot he wouldn’t look out of place in the stylish 1920s! He also has another passion in addition to cigars… Alex loves socks! He has more than 100 pairs!
When I asked Alex if he enjoys photoshoots he said he doesn’t consider himself a model and he is not the biggest fan of photoshoots, but he likes to capture his fashion style and love for cigars. It all started with his Instagram account, which is very successful and now has almost 13,000 followers. His aim is to keep true to himself, his passion and his style, and portray his vision of lifestyle and fashion to his followers.
During the photoshoot I guided Alex into poses and lighting situations that I felt would create the right vibe, whilst also staying true to his style. I learnt an incredible amount about cigars and smoke from him! Smoke is like a dancer, sinuous and very delicate. Depending on the fire and exhalation, the smoke has many color hues, and if coming straight from the cigar, has a completely blue hue! I wanted to create a balance and mix between the blue tones and the warm light I remembered from Cuba.
The Caribbean island evokes an old style for me. I recall clearly the golden light in old buildings, filtering through the green forests and the humid air, combined with the omnipresent salsa music and rum drinks. I wanted to recreate these warm tones which is not easy to do in the bright midday of Las Vegas! To achieve the sunset shots I used a MagMod with grid and CTO gel.
I’m really pleased with the results of the editorial photoshoot with Alex Cigar Dandy. Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.
Model and Styling: Alex Cigar Dandy
Photography: Martina Zandonella