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There is a certain way to hold a cigar that just says “This is the life!’ It’s not the typical image of a big guy wearing a suit, clenching a stogie between his teeth and puffing out nuclear clouds of smoke. It’s a more refined and nuanced way of relaxing and oozing self confidence with the placement of the cigar between index and middle finger with the thumb as a slight anchor. Adding about a 70 degree angle at the elbow puts you perfect cigar smoking form.

Here are a few outtakes from my photo essay on cigar making in Miami which was published in Cigar Aficionado magazine. Enjoy.


Miami Advertising portrait photography by Jeffery Salter.

Professor Juan Turro, saxophone, flute and kazoo player in the band Suenalo enjoys a cigar during a night stroll in Wynwood arts district.


Miami, Advertising, magazine, commercial in Wynwood Cigar Factory by Miami portrait and advertising photographer Jeffery Salter

 At the Wynwood Cigar Factory art lives amongst the rollers, who produce close to 1,000 cigars per day.


Tobacco leaf cutting blade at  El Titan de Bronze boutique cigar factory and shop on Calle Ocho, Little Havana's Historic Eight avenue. Miami photography by Jeffery Salter

A blade used to cut cigar leaves at the El Titan Cigars factory and shop on Calle Ocho, Little Havana.


Miami advertising and editorial portrait by Jeffery Salter.

Maria Sierra once rolled Cohiba Behikes in Cuba. At age 18 she was taught how to roll cigars by Fidel Castro’s personal cigar roller Eduardo Rivera.

Jeffery Salter Miami advertising photographer who photographs people and portraits in Miami.

The hands of Maria a Category 9 roller, who made cigars at the prestigious El Laguito Factory in the Miramar section of Havana for 32 years.  She is considered an elite roller.

Cigar boxes by Miami portrait and advertising photographer Jeffery Salter

Miami advertising photographer Jeffery Salter

Miami photography by Miami portrait and advertising photographer Jeffery Salter.

Advertising photography Jeffery Salter. Cigar humidor at El Titan de Bronze in Miami, Florida by Miami portrait photographer Jeffery Salter

Cigar rollers at Casa Fernandez photographed by Miami advertising, lifestyle, portrait photographer Jeffery Salter.

Advertising Miami photography brown gold - tobacco leaf photographed by Miami Photographer Jeffery Salter

Miami advertising, magazine, editorial portrait photographer Jeffery Salter in Miami Florida
As always the proof is in the puffing.

Miami Photographer Jeffery Salter  photographs Enrique Iglesias  photographed by Miami advertising and editorial sports photographer Jeffery Salter who also does high end portraits of celebrities.

Miami is a Mecca for Latin music stars.  I was commissioned by David Baratz picture of USA Today Weekend to shoot a portrait of Enrique Iglesias who was about to drop a new album for the cover.  Glad to share a few workflow tips and BTS photographs.

Latin music star Enrique Iglesias, photographed by Miami photographer Jeffery Salter.


For cover shoots I normally use my Phase One IQ260 medium format digital back on a DF+ camera body. The capture size is 60 megapixels. Looking beyond that huge file that when opened up in photoshop is 256 megabytes you will see great tonal range and detail. Skin looks great. Ninety five percent of the photography I do are portraits so that is very important. The tripod used is made in California by Really Right Stuff it’s  a RRS TVC-24L is made of carbon fiber, light as a feather and stiff as a board and a joy to use.  Definitely slows down the shoot in regards to setting it up and such, but the quality gain in having a steady base for the camera is worth it.  I never was a big user of tripods before and frankly my old one was made of steel, heavy and a pain in the backside, I can’t count the number times it pinched my fingers….   It’s definitely a different mindset when you switch to tripod mode from handholding, meaning you need to  really pre-visualize and know the angle you want rather then finding a nice angle on the fly.  A great ballhead for fluid adjustments is the Arca-Swiss Z1. My camera has a quick release plate which allows me to quickly go between handholding and tripod use.

Behind me is a Elinchrom 74″ Octa bank it’s not a “Key” light but an provides a nice fill for shadows, think of it as a huge window with soft light adding just a touch of life to the shadows. My photo assistants hold shiny reflector boards and black flags to shape the light a bit more. I call that putting a bit of english on the light. Anyone can purchase a soft box or umbrella or any of the tons of light modifiers sold, but it’s important that a photographer takes control of his tools which will lead to developing personal style. I call this “layering or building light”.

Latin music star Enrique Iglesias, photographed by Miami photographer Jeffery Salter.


I use Capture One  for consistent and reliable tethering on location or in the studio.  In this shoot I was capturing to a 15 inch Apple MacBook Pro.  Those bright blue bands on the digital back and lens hood are bumpers, a low cost way to keep your gear looking crisp, available at any sporting goods store usually near the cashier.

Enrique Iglesias is photographed by Miami portrait and advertising Photographer Jeffery Salter

Latin music star Enrique Eglesias photographed by Miami celebrity, portrait and advertising photographer Jeffery Salter


For the second set-up I went in close for a tight headshot.  When you only have a limited amount of time for a shoot it works well to have several sets built and pre-lit.  My goal for this shoot was to shoot against a crimson seamless, then  on a black backdrop and finally finish with a wooden plywood set.  Each set had it’s own lighting design.  On the black I used a single profoto magnum reflector inches from Enrique’s face with a two reflectors for fill.

Miami People and portrait photographer Jeffery Salter photographs Latin music star Enrique Iglesias in Miami, Fl.


For the final set-up I used a 36 inch Profoto Octa bank as my key light with a 1 stop net bring down the tones on the plywood background above Enrique’s head. A 4 x 8 white foam core bounced in a bit of light for fill.   On the floor I have a small Profoto strip bank to kick a little fill into Enrique’s eyes.  You may notice a red table on a 20″ c-stand, its a simply beautiful and function laptop tray made of 1/4 aluminum.  I got it from Backstage equipment , they are an equipment company in Hollywood, Ca.


If you have any questions about the shoot feel free to drop me a comment.  Thank you for reading.




This is called hooking the big one…when you get a call to photograph “The Iron chef”. Miami is rapidly becoming known not only as city with great beaches, but a destination with many fine restaurants. Chef Masaharu Morimoto aka “The Iron Chef” is opening a new south beach restaurant at the Shelbourne Hotel.

Miami photographer Jeffery Salter photographed Iron Chef Morimoto for Ocean drive magazine.

Photographer: Jeffery Salter
Picture Editor: Jennifer Pagan

I finally found a moment to watch the Diana Nyad Ted talk about her amazing over 100 mile swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Fl.    She is incredible and a wonderful source of inspiration.   Even after four previous attempts to make the  53 hour swim, where she encountered sharks, venomous jellyfish, rough currents and exhaustion to point of near death,  Nyad found drive and determination to do it again.   Some of the greatest swimmers in the world have tried since 1950.  Diana was the first to do it.   When she got to the shore of Key West, her first words were,  “Never, ever give up”.

I wanted to share a few of my photos taken of Diana Nyad when she was training for her fourth attempt in 2011. Enjoy.

Diana Nyad preparing for her fourth attempt at swimming 100 miles across the Florida Keys. By Miami photographer Jeffery Salter

Diana Nyad prepares for a training session in Key West, Florida. This was from her fourth attempt to cross the 100 mile channel.

Her second words were, “You can chase your dreams at any age; you’re never too old”


Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage, willing her way to a Key West beach just before 2 p.m. ET, nearly 53 hours after jumping into the ocean in Havana for her fifth try in 35 years.

Nyad is the only person to have swam from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage. The swim took nearly 53 hours.

The third thing she said on the beach was,  “It looks like the most solitary endeavor in the world, and in many ways, of course it is, and in other ways, it’s a team, and if you think I’m badass, you want to meet Bonnie.  Bonnie is Nyad’s long time coach.

Bonnies hands over a feeding tube Nyad while she was training for her fourth attempt.  During the swim Nyad could not touch the boat or the swim would be ruled invalid.

Bonnies hands over a feeding tube Nyad while she was training for her fourth attempt. During the swim Nyad could not touch the boat or the swim would be ruled invalid.


Diana Nyad portrait taken for Readers Digest magazine.

Diana Nyad portrait taken for Readers Digest magazine.

She never gave up. Let’s all take a page from Diana’s book. A new year is here and a new chance to get one step or stroke closer to achieving your goal.

Here is a video me and Chuck Fadely shot for The Reader’s digest in 2011 when Diana was preparing for her fourth attempt.




When the retired Lt. Colonel Allen B. West roared up to the studio and drove his Honda VTX 1800R retro cruiser inside, my team didn’t know if they should salute or run for cover.

Miami celebrity and portrait  photographer Jeffery Salter

Allan West “Guardian of the People” book cover by Jeffery Salter | Miami Florida

When I mentioned to Rep. Allen that I personally preferred BMW motorcycles, it could have been a constitutional crisis, but we managed to get past that by having both grown up as Army Brats, West’s father was a War World II veteran and so was mine. When West was in the military he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas which sits next door to an old Sante Fe railroad depot town named Killeen, Tx. which was named after Frank P. Killeen, a manager of the railroad. And that’s where I grew up, throwing newspapers, working at Taco Bell and shooting photos for Ellison High School year book. Go Eagles. Anyway I digress.

I was commissioned by Random House to photograph the take no prisoners, former paratrooper, master Scuba instructor and former member of the United States House of Representatives Allen West.
We chose a very direct approach to the visual style of the photograph. Hard light, minimal shadows and crisp focus to match the personality and the tone of this straight shooting book which is filled with prescriptive politics…basically giving his views on how to overhaul government.

This is an outtake which I toned differently. It’s funny how with time we feel an image differently.

Miami celebrity and portrait photographer Jeffery Salter

Allan West “Guardian of the People” book cover by Jeffery Salter | Miami Florida

Photographer: Jeffery Salter
Art Director: Michael Nagin
Stylist: Melissa Kitchen
Groomer: Olivia Senghor

Zumba keeps Jeffery moving! No sweat, just high energy celebrity Zumba instructors. The great folks at the Fitness and lifestyle company commissioned me to do several spreads for their cool magazine Z-Life.

Miami Photographer Jeffery Salter photographs for Zumba in Miami Florida

Kass Martin, sports fitness model photographed on Miami Beach for Zumba’s Z-Life magazine. Miami photographer Jeffery Salter photographs for Zumba in South Florida

Kass Martin is a superstar Zumba instructor and when she moves, it’s all high energy. She flew in from Utah for her photo shoot on South Beach at Miami. The crew call time was very early, it’s great to shoot on a beach and the art director wanted Kass’s beautiful black hair to be backlighted. That seemed simple enough. But it took a moment for Kass’s vibrant blue eyes to adjust to the contrastly sun baked almost white sand, it guess to be straight, kinda of biege sand on Miami Beach. My team built a light box with scrims to soften the sun light and put a black fabric scrim behind me to help Kass’s eyes adjust. It was a contrasty day, with no clouds to soften the light and the raising morning sun was gleaming off the Atlantic ocean. I wanted to have a soft background, with tones that seem like they were lifted from a Rothko painting or Sugimoto photograph.

Here’s a brief behind the scenes video.

We also did a version of Kass sitting on the sand.

Miami photographer photographs on Miami Beach. Kass Martin portrait for Zumba by people photographer Jeffery Salter in Florida

After getting a tan on my permanent tan we went to SplashLight studios. Zumba Fitness has a line of fashion for the gym and for any other time of the day. Valeska from Elite was the model.

Zumba fashion story for Z-Life magazine. Miami Photographer Jeffery Salter photographs for Zumba in Miami Florida

Zumba fashion story for Z-Life magazine. Miami Photographer Jeffery Salter photographs for Zumba in Miami Florida

Zumba fashion story for Z-Life magazine. Miami Photographer Jeffery Salter photographs for Zumba in Miami Florida

Zumba fashion story for Z-Life magazine. Miami Photographer Jeffery Salter photographs for Zumba in Miami Florida

Photographed by Jeffery Salter for Sports Illustrated Magazine

Photographed by Jeffery Salter for Sports Illustrated Magazine

It was a hot day in Miami.  We set up at 7 am. in a pool at the St. Regis.   My four photo assistants donned swimming shorts.   You won’t believe how hard it is to keep a 3/4 inch Plexiglass table from floating away with one of the world’s top soccer players on it.  Light was harsh, harsh and harsher.  The pressure was on.  Sports Illustrated’s Director of Photography, Brad Smith wanted an Iconic photograph.  Here’s my try.

Mario was cool.  A bit jetlagged from just arriving in Miami from Milan the day before.  He wanted to do the photo shoot and  go to the Mall.  He’s a great athlete, who plays classical piano and met with the Pope, but still only 23.

In the deep in end…photo by Brad Smith/SI

Here are a few shoot details,  a plexiglass table needs plenty of sandbags on the legs otherwise it will definitely try to float away…..  This photo was taken with a Phase One IQ260 digital back (which is wi-fi enabled on a Phase One DF+ camera body) and Profoto lighting – all available from Capture Integration.  The wifi enabled Brad to review images on an iPad as I shot.   As I mentioned earlier we started setting up at 7 a.m. when the light was just amazingly beautiful…however as these things go…we didn’t start shooting until close to noon. The light was extremely contrasty.  However, I was able to capture detail by having a digital camera back which has a dynamic range of 13 stops and  flash syncs at an incredible 1/1600 sec.  The Phase One camera fitted with a 80 mm Schneider-Kreuznach Leaf shutter Lens that allows you to sync your strobes up to 1/1600, with that I toned down the back ground a bit and lit Mario with a Profoto 5ft giant silver umbrella fitted with a Profoto flash head powered by a 7B battery.   Not rocket science, but their was no way in heck that I was going to put anything that needed to be plugged near the pool. Just saying…..

I’ve got to thank my “A” team, Alexander Larson, Redmund Flores, Ray Wadia, Olivia Senghor (groomer),  Kristina Kitchen (prop stylist and plexiglass table wrangler) and Leonard Watson for all their hard work. I hope they enjoyed swimming in a swanky pool with Super Mario!



Photographer: Jeffery Salter | Picture Editor: Marguerite Schropp | Art Director: Chris Hercik

I wish I could say we spent hours analyzing slam dunks but all I can say is 48 hours before this photo was taken I was just leaving the Museum of Modern Art in NYC after trying to see the Bill Brandt photography exhibition when Marguerite called and asked. “Where are you?”.   My next call was to Delta Airlines to book a 6:30 am flight back to Miami.  My second call was to Capture Integration in Atlanta….that’s where my camera was at.

The shoot location was the Grand ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel.  It took about six hours to unload the production truck, navigate basement labyrinth under the hotel to make it into the ballroom and set up.  My team built a set for a head to toe photograph intending to show LeBron James casually leaning back against a flat nonchalantly holding the 2013  NBA Championship trophy.  When LeBron arrived for my scheduled seven minute shoot he was dressed extremely casually….so it was close-up time.

Here is a short BTS of my seven minutes with the King.

LeBron James cover shoot for Sports Illustrated by Jeffery Salter

My hats off to the Capture Integration in Atlanta who flew down to provide digital capture for the shoot.  It was amazing when Dave Gallagher brought along two brand new Phase One IQ260 digital backs with DF+ cameras.  The LeBron shoot was taken with the “King” of Medium Format Digital cameras and is the first editorial cover shoot done with the camera.