Contributors Culture

National Photography Month brings spotlight on area contributors

May is National Photography Month.

To celebrate that, Houston Beer Guide has turned the cameras around on a handful of local photographers that are integral to the Houston beer community as digital media content creators for several local area breweries.  Others have found a calling for photographing beer and have turned this into something more than a part time hobby.

Honestly, I don’t need to keep writing about all of these talented photographers. Their work speaks for itself. 

Josh Olalde

Josh is currently the Digital Content Manager at Karbach Brewing and a long-established beer photographer in the Houston area. Olalde got into photography through a love of movies and into craft beer though the influences of several of his co-workers at a factory job.  The two hobbies ended up melding together into a new passion of taking photos of beer, as well as a new career.  Olalde has got his first paying gig with Spindletap Brewing when Brody Chapman reached out to him on Facebook and asked his to take some beer spill photos for the brewery. Since then, Olalde has worked with other breweries such as B52 Brewing, 8th Wonder, Southern Star, Fortress, Saint Arnold, Saloon Door, Bakfish, Galveston Island Brewing, Ingenious, Eureka Heights, and No Label Brewing.  Said Olalde, “It’s always nice to see your work printed, or out there in the wild. There’s a sense of fulfilment, for sure.”

@josh_olalde (IG)

Photo By Steve Fraga
Photo courtesy of Josh Olalde

Adriana Richey

Adriana “Adri” Richey, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, who was hired on at Saint Arnold Brewing in April 2022 as the Digital Content Manager for the brewery.  Richey credits her background in photography as a process that spanned many years. First was discovering the excitement of creating stories from participating in a school play at a very young age.  Many years later a college friend lent her a digital camera, and she found herself hooked on telling stories through photos.

Richey went on to add, “I believe that every beer has its own personality, and I love putting my camera to work to feature it. Whether it’s snapping a pic of someone enjoying a beer or highlighting our latest brew or dish, I’m all about finding fresh ways to tell our story.”

@adri.richey (IG)

Photo courtesy of Adriana Richey
Photo courtesy of Adriana Richey

Brian Ledden

A veteran of the beer photography industry going back to 2014, where he began shooting beer related photos and video content for Craft Pride in Austin. Though he primarily works in the Austin area, Ledden is no stranger to Houston beer, as he has done plenty of work with breweries like B-52 and Equal Parts Brewing. The majority of his work in the Houston area with beer photography has been done with No Label Brewing. When asked about his relationship with No Label, Ledden explained, “They’ve got a whole bunch of my work up around their patio and on their taproom menu displays.  It’s great to see how their brewery has grown over the years!”

@thebeerdtographer (IG)

Eric Rodriguez

Unable to see his family during Covid and use his camera to take photos of their events, he turned his attention to beer to pass the time. Rodriguez came across Josh Olalde’s Instagram and found inspiration to also take “nicer” beer photos himself.  “I sell beer for a living and was always given free beer a lot so I thought, why not?” said Rodriguez. Rodriguez and Olalde quickly became great friends, and help and encourage each other in their work.  Rodriguez added, “I’ve gotten to work with some fantastic breweries like Equal Parts, Frost Town, Bad Astronaut, DECA Brewing, North Shepherd Brewery, and my latest work is with Spindletap Brewing. Through this process I’ve connected with other breweries and photographers in various cities and states, and get to showcase all the amazing things our city and breweries have to offer.”

@ericrodriguez1.8 (IG)

Photo courtesy of Eric Rodriguez
Photo courtesy of Eric Rodriguez

Luis Montalvo Jr.

“I have been into photography for as long as I can remember. My dad had this old Nikon camera in his closet that I would love to sneak out and act like I was using. I was fascinated with the feel of it and how it worked. The way light and mirrors would make a printable image, and the way it worked similar to the human eye.” Montalvo mentioned.  Though having worked for some breweries in the Houston area in some capacity, such as Urban South, Craft Culture X, and most recently with Frost Town, Montalvo has never been officially in marketing for the breweries.  He is co-owner of the local beer marketing brand The Pint Exchange, who has been involved in countless collaborations and promotions across the Houston beer scene.  Among his favorite subjects to photograph are brewing/ distilling equipment and the people that work behind the scenes in the industry. Montalvo has also assisted Houston Beer Guide with projects, like the Houston Beer Block Party VIP session for which we are forever grateful. 

@luistpxmedia (IG)

@thepintexchange (IG)

Photo courtesy of Luis Montalvo Jr.

Photo courtesy of Luis Montalvo Jr.

Marcus West

West is a man of many talents, working not only as stalwart at True Anomaly, but also as a DJ and photographer.  West stated taking photos in middle school, but only in the last couple of years has he pursued a heavier interest in it beyond a hobby.  “I just decided to go down the rabbit hole, take a journey and be able to document life as I see it”, said West. Though his recent foray into the beer photography world, his ability to contribute to True Anomaly Brewing visually adds an extra dimension to the brewery. West also is a very highly valued photographic contributor to Houston Beer Guide.

@visualsbywest (IG)

Marcus West – Photo courtesy of Luis Montalvo Jr.
 Photo courtesy of Marcus West
 Photo courtesy of Marcus West

Steve Fraga

Steve is no stranger to photography.  He was first spotted hanging around Saint Arnold circa 2001 with his camera in hand while on the brewery tour. Fraga admits this to be the case, saying, “I was always the guy with the camera at the Saturday tours and beer tastings”. Recently retired, Fraga began delving into the realms of beer photography during Covid as well.  Shortly after, Tim McGuire of Hot Tub Beers asked Steve to assist with shooting episodes of his weekly video blog. From here Fraga became known to Houston Beer Guide after documenting fellow contributor Sylvia in the hot tub with Saloon Door Brewing.  He has since become a key contributor to Houston Beer Guide as a contributing photographer for interviews and the annual Houston Beer Block Party. Fraga also is the videographer for the First Pour video series.

@steve_fraga_photography (IG)

Photos courtesy of Steve Fraga
Photos courtesy of Steve Fraga


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