La Palina

One of the things I love about location work is the hunt for good images in places I’ve never been, sort of like burrowing below the surface of a thing or a place to find the real nuggets. For several days last summer, with the subtle aroma of curing tobacco around us, I shot images for my friend Bill Paley’s loving resurrection of La Palina, the cigar company his grandfather Sam Paley started in Chicago in 1896.

We shot at the intimate Graycliff factory in Nassau where five different cigars from Bill’s collaboration with the late Avelino Lara (the Cuban master who created Fidel Castro’s Cohibas) were being made. The images were headed for the storied brand’s fall launch in Washington, New York and Los Angeles.

Now, I am far from being a connoisseur and had pretty much given up smoking before I hit thirty, but La Palina has helped change my mind; it really is one hell of a nice cigar.

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