A photo is literally worth a thousand words
A photo is literally worth a thousand words when it comes to cannabis marketing and advertising due to the restrictions on the way cannabis businesses reach their audiences.
In addition, people remember only 80% of what they see, and 20% of what they read.
While content is important, what your customer can see in front of them is more important than any block of text. High-quality cannabis photography is the way to go reach your audience and set your brand apart in the sea of green.
Cannabis is big business, and if you settle for taking photos on your smartphone, you’re seriously missing the mark in portraying a professional business worthy of your customer’s time.
The cannabis community, especially online through social media, is vibrant with professional photography. Cannabis photographers who have dedicated their creative careers to the plant work the most advanced cannabis brands to bring their products, and retail stores alive online and in print advertising.
Why Invest in a Cannabis Photographer?
There are several compelling reasons to dedicate resources to cannabis photography. Here are just a few:
If you have an online store or display digital menus in your store, your customer wants to be able to see the product they’ll purchase. With so many strains and strain connoisseurs, professional photographers know the tricks to help strains, and their physical features, stand out.
Through lighting, placement, backdrops, careful shoots, and editing, cannabis photographers help bring out the color of the cannabis plant, with high-definition photography having the ability to capture the detail of the trichomes. People want to see the differences between strains, and cannabis photography can help your customers preview the product while giving budtenders a helpful reference point when discussing strains with customers.
Capturing the Vibe of Your Store
As we have discussed in previous articles, displays and store design is everything when ensuring your customer fully walks through your door. Give your online following that same feeling through photography.
With the rise in competition amongst high-end cannabis stores, craft cannabis, and boutique stores, décor, design, and placement is what sets you apart. When shooting the interior of your cannabis retail store, a cannabis photographer will show the space in the best light, and feature the nuances of your store that make it unique.
Develop Your Brand
The look and feel of your cannabis brand is important to distinguish you from the others in the cannabis space. A cannabis photographer will work tirelessly to create a photography style unique to your brand that will help it be recognizable. Lighting, colors, sheens, and filters will be a consistent theme through your photography, and the keen eye of who you hire will ensure your brand never strays from its look and feel.
When taking on cannabis education within your retail space or on your website, it’s important to recognize that not all people are able to read. In fact, 32 million American adults can’t read, and 21% of American adults read below a 5th grade level. When developing your cannabis education strategy, it’s important to include those who are visual learners and take in information best by photos, diagrams, and pictures.
On social media, it’s all about reproduction of content. The “repost” and “share” buttons make it all too easy for companies to cheat in their content strategies. Make it evident that your customer experience is important to you by dedicating resources to a cannabis photographer to capture products, your space, your staff at work, and special events. A cannabis photographer can help you create content you look forward to.
Support the Cannabis Arts
The arts and cannabis are coming together so beautifully where cannabis has made its way onto clothing, handbags, and even fancy china. Creative cannabis entrepreneurs have dedicated their careers to uniting the arts and cannabis, with cannabis photographers becoming sought out industry leaders in marketing.
In Canada, there has been a fear over the restrictive marketing regulations under Bill C-45, where creativity is literally being squashed. As a result, cannabis photographers and marketing specialists have had to rethink their locations for their talents to more liberal areas. Support cannabis photographers and their expertise in advertising, within regulations, in order to keep the thriving connection between cannabis and the arts alive.
What to Look for in a Cannabis Photographer
Just like any trade or service, experience counts, and when it comes to photography, many professional photographers choose to specialize their portfolios. Weddings, school photos, culinary photography, are both old and new niches; cannabis photography is somewhat still new but nevertheless blazing trails.
Find a local photographer who advertises his or her services as specific to cannabis. Chances are, they will have a social media following that your brand can benefit from. Ask them about their work, and whether they take on promotional gigs as an influencer, as chances are, they will.
Ask to see their cannabis photography portfolio and don’t forget to ask them the tough questions about what you want photographed that will test their skill.
Stand Out Cannabis Photographers
The cannabis industry is fortunate to have several cannabis photographers who have dedicated their talents to capturing the cannabis plant.
Most notable is @imcannabess, or Bess Byers of Washington, who has a global following of over 90K. Byers tours Washington and the legal states of cannabis capturing the cannabis industry, and the people of it, in their best light.
Mary Beth Lafferty of @blumandgrow is a notable Canadian cannabis photographer involved in the global cannabis scene. She has talents as a creative director and has made her mark across the cannabis industry, most notably with her recent involvement in The Her(B) Life women’s cannabis lifestyle magazine.
Kristen Angelo (@apotfarmersdaughter) is an American cannabis photographer known for her work for Weedmaps, among other notable publications. She has a large following on Instagram, which helps her expose the brands she works for to the greater cannabis community.
“I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II and it still works great for me. I’d love to upgrade—this guy probably has another 50,000 shutter clicks left on it to go. My primary lens is a 35mm. It’s a great storytelling lens. I “zoom with my feet” which allows me to get a lot of different perspectives. If I’m shooting something for commercial use, I’ll swap to a 50mm or 100mm macro and a lightbox. But when I’m doing storytelling work, it’s just my camera body, my 35mm and manual mode, so I can manipulate the lighting situation the way I like to shoot.”
– Kristen Angelo, Format Magazine
Good Cannabis Deserves Good Photography
Whether it’s for your cannabis flower, products, store interior, digital menu board, or whether its for your social media, website or online store, high-quality cannabis photography will set you apart in an industry with everyone trying to get noticed.