I certainly didn’t set out to be a pot photographer, but life takes you in strange directions. Now, after 20-plus years working for HIGH TIMES, shooting cannabis in all shapes and sizes, I’ve amassed an impressive archive of pot shots comprised of buds, bales, gardens, growrooms and farmers’ fields. I’ve never been a studio photographer; I like shooting landscapes, so many of my best pot shots were taken in the Great Outdoors.
I’m often asked what the key to becoming a good photographer. The answer is shoot, shoot, shoot – and shoot some more! Which means you’ve gotta lug your camera again, which can get tedious because photography gear can be heavy. So if you’re out and about, travel light. Think about exactly what you’ll need to shoot good shots and still have fun, without feeling like a pack animal.
Spontaneity is the key to having fun with photography. And many of my pot shots were mere whims. (Of course, it helps to have a lot of weed in your possession when one attempts to act on these whims.) Here’s a brief recap of how each of these shots got taken.
FRIED IN THE DESERT
Just before sundown, outside of Tucson, AZ, I grabbed a greasy frying pan, threw the buds in and snapped this quick still-life.
GREETING THE SUN
This may look like a pastoral photo of life in the country, but the shot actually was taken in a high-rise apartment in Vancouver, B.C. as the sun rose on a terrace garden.
CUP ON THE CANAL
I had to lie down on a canal-side dock in order to grab this shot of the iconic Cannabis Cup with Old World Amsterdam architecture in the background.
POT ON THE PETROGLYPH
While hiking in Saguarro Natoonal Park in Arizona with a few ounces in my pack, I stopped at a rock table, carved with an ancient petroglyph, and created this new addition to the local landscape.
JAMMIN' IN JAMAICA
Couldn't sleep, so I wandered around on the beach in Negril early one morning carrying a few ganja spears looking for a photo op.
BATHING BEAUTY BUDS
Sometimes the life of a photographer is incredibly cushy and fortune smiles upon you. Alluring tableaus simply present themselves -- like this pile of pot basking by the pool in Las Vegas.
Outside of Prescott, AZ, i spread out a mess of bright green Mexican sativa for this contrast in blue and green.
RED ROCK REEFER
Hiking in the red rocks outside of Sedona, AZ, I set down my stash for another study in color contrast.
BLACK SANDS BUDS
In Northern California's Humboldt County, Black Sands Beach with its dark-colored sandstone called greywacke, is the perfect setting for Humboldt's finest products.
LEFT HOLDING THE BAG
Enticing looking, right? Actually, I just stuffed the bag full of paper towels. But it's the thought that counts!