Now that marijuana is legalized and becoming more and more mainstream, cannabis companies are promoting their weed businesses using traditional advertising methods and putting their brands out there for the world to see.
At our cannabis cultivation, distribution, manufacturing & packaging company – Hybrid LA – it’s especially important to us to ensure that our potential customers know the high quality cannabis products they can expect from our brand.
To do so – we’ve had to master the art of high quality cannabis product photography.
While you could spend the money and hire a professional photographer, why not just do it with your smartphone? Mobile devices these days are practically as good as any digital camera (or better), so why not learn how to photograph cannabis on your own? Here are six tips to help you take high quality pictures of cannabis with your smartphone.
Use a Camera App
While your smartphone already comes with a basic camera application that you can use, the fact is that you are limited in how much you can adjust the shot before you take the photo. Editing is not simply a matter of adding filters or cropping things out after the fact but changing things like the shutter speed and ISO settings. As such, use something that gives you more control over your shot so that you can make your weed really pop. Some of the best apps to photograph cannabis are:
- Camera Zoom FX (Android)
- Little Photo (Android)
- VSCO (iPhone)
- Manual (iPhone)
Keep Your Phone Stable
If you hold your device with your hands, then there is a chance that you’ll get a little bit of a motion blur when taking the photo. To avoid this, use a tripod and a bluetooth remote or other stabilizing harness. This will ensure that you never mess up a shot by breathing too deeply or pressing the button too hard. You can find phone tripods for relatively cheap online, and they will become your best friend.
Use Soft Lighting
One thing that sets professional photos apart from amateur ones is the amount of light and contrast. While you can adjust those things after the fact, you want to capture as much of it in camera as possible. Overall, the less editing you have to do, the better. It will create a much richer image and will allow you to go even further with your edits.
To achieve this effect, first turn off your flash function. This will blow out your photo and make it washed out. Second, try to adjust the exposure settings in your camera app – by letting in more light, it will create a better picture.
If all else fails, then bring in some extra lights to get the effect you need. What you want to avoid is harsh shadows as it will be harder to see the details of your weed.
Get a Macro Lens (If Possible)
When it comes to DIY cannabis photography, one of the best things you can do is get up close and personal with your product. This will enable you to show off the intricate strains of your blend and let your customer see why your weed is better than the competition.
The goal is to make it so real that they can practically smell the dankness. So, to get the best shot, you may want to add a macro lens to your phone. iPhone users can buy one online, but only certain Android phones are compatible with these kinds of add-ons.
If you can’t get a lens, then simply bring your camera as close as possible to the subject matter. Try to avoid zooming too much as that can pixelate the image, but a little zoom can help out a lot.
Use Angles to Your Advantage
Overhead shots are static and boring, so avoid taking those whenever possible. Instead, photograph your marijuana from various close up angles so that you can see into each nook and cranny. What can even set it apart is utilizing depth of field, which is when only part of the image is in focus. Play around with various shots and find the one that works best for each bud or plant.
At the end of the day, remember that you don’t even have to show the whole thing for the picture to work. Cutting it off on the side of the image creates a more dynamic photo.
This is again where pros separate from the amateurs. You want to avoid using filters on your weed as that can throw off the colors and make it look too different. Instead, worry about the brightness and contrast most of all, as well as the composition. Crop out any fluff that doesn’t add to the picture, and be sure to save each copy so that you can choose the best one if necessary.
With these cannabis photography tips, shooting your marijuana plants, flowers and products will become a breeze. Whether you are starting a new dispensary and want to show off your weed in the best possible way, or you are a grower and want to distribute your proprietary strains, you can do a lot with just a smartphone and some ingenuity.
At the end of the day, use your imagination and creative mind to create a captivating photo that will make anyone want to light up.