In the age of the iPhone, it may seem like hiring a professional photographer is a luxury that’s no longer necessary. But in the highly competitive cannabis industry, it’s more important than ever to create top-notch branding that will attract a loyal customer base. High quality, professional photography is one of the best ways to show off your cannabis products and highlight your brand in a positive manner.
Of course, hiring a professional photographer can be daunting the first time. Where do you find the right photographer? Should they be experienced with cannabis or is that not important? Why not have your nephew who’s into photography and just got a new phone handle it? We’ll look at these questions and offer you advice on why and how your cannabis business will benefit from hiring a professional cannabis photographer (spoiler alert: it’s well worth the money!).
High quality, professional photography is one of the best ways to show off your cannabis products and highlight your brand in a positive manner.
And remember: The Hood Collective’s team of experienced photographers is ready to help you with all of your photo needs, including premium product, premises, and event photography, at a price you can afford.
How To Use Professional Photography To Create A Stellar Cannabis Brand
The Hood Collective had the privilege of interviewing Justin Clapick, the founder of Deschutes Growery, for the Resource Innovation Award from Cultivation Classic. If you’re unfamiliar with Deschutes, they have one of the most well-respected and popular cannabis brands in the Oregon market. You should definitely check out their Instagram, where you’ll find some of the best looking flower photography you’ll find anywhere.
I asked them about their cannabis photography during the interview. Justin explained that he pays a friend of his who’s a professional photographer in the Bend area a full time salary to create those images, ensuring that Deschutes has one of the best Instagram feeds in the industry. This also means that all of their photography and video exhibits the same style, giving them a clearly identifiable brand aesthetic. This fits in with their mission to be the cleanest, most ecologically-conscious cannabis on the Oregon market.
The kicker is that he told me because of the popularity of their Instagram and their strong following, he doesn’t even need to hire any sales people. His only expense is the cost of delivering all of the flower he’s selling to dispensaries around the state. Justin understood from the very begging the most valuable asset his company could have is a strong brand, and thanks to their amazing photography, they can’t grow weed fast enough to fulfill all their orders.
Ensure Your Cannabis Products Stand Out With Pro Photography
Obviously, you can’t expect to match Deschutes results with one professional photo shoot, but it just goes to show you how valuable photography can be. Whether you’re selling cannabis flower to dispensaries in your area, or are shipping CBD and hemp throughout the country, in most cases the first contact people will have with your products will be via photographs. Make sure your product catches their attention with the best photography possible.
In our industry, product photography might be of the cannabis flower still on the plant, the buds after they have been trimmed, product packaging such as pre-rolls, jars, extracts, or edibles, or lifestyle shots of your products in the hands of customers (or models pretending to be customers). No matter what form of product photography you need, make sure that your images are of the highest quality. Nothing turns people off to your brand more than poorly lit, grainy photographs that obviously were taken by an amateur.
Get The Most Value From Your Cannabis Event
Obviously, the last year and a half has been extremely rough for cannabis events, but there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the pandemic. We expect 2022 is going to be a big year for cannabis events. Whether you are an event organizer, a speaker at a cannabis conference, or a sponsor of a trade show or convention, professional photography can maximize the value of your participation.
Events happen in a limited time window, but photographs (and videos) allow that event to live on. By hiring a professional event photographer, you’ll be able to document the event with high quality photos, photos that you can use for your website and social media, as well as for future marketing materials. A lot of events will rely on one of their team members taking photos with their phone. Chances are these photos won’t even be that useful for your social media, as it will undercut your carefully crafted brand image to share subpar photographs of your event.
Part of the value of professional photography is the ability to strengthen your relationship with your sponsors, keynote speakers, and special guests. If you provide them with excellent photos highlighting their participation, they will share those photos on their own websites and social media. This kind of cross promotion is invaluable. On the other hand, if you offer them shaky looking phone pics, chances are they won’t want anyone to see them and you’ll have a missed opportunity for publicity.
Show Off Your Cannabis Farm, Greenhouse, Or Indoor Facilities
You’ve invested so much money and time in your state-of-the-art facilities, whether it’s your cannabis farm, greenhouse, or indoor grow-op. It’s important to communicate that investment to your potential customers and investors, and the best way to do that is with professional premises photography.
Cannabis consumers want to feel a connection to the flower they are consuming, whether they are smoking, dabbing, eating, or drinking the product. Photos of you and your team hard at work in a beautiful location, growing cannabis in a clean and sustainable manner, is worth the cost of hiring a pro photographer, as it will directly lead to increased sales, a more recognizable brand, and positive buzz. Growers that advertise their products with professional photographers are more likely to get calls from dispensaries wanting to carry their product, rather than having to do the calling themselves.
With magazine quality images to document your team, your facilities, and your products, your website and social media will communicate to your customers that you are producing top-shelf cannabis and CBD in an ecological manner. And if you really want your farm to look its best, hire a professional drone pilot to capture stellar aerial photography and video that your customers will love.
Cannabis Photography Is Popular On Social Media
Social media is a tricky endeavor for cannabis businesses. First of all, there’s the constant threat of having your accounts taken down without any notice, or for any apparent reason other than…cannabis? But even if you can keep your accounts in good standing (by avoiding things like depicting consumption or advertising prices or sales), many businesses find it challenging to gain any traction in terms of followers and engagement.
As to this latter problem, there’s a clear solution. The best way to create a strong presence on Instagram and Facebook is with high quality, relevant content that appeals to your audience. Professional photography of your cannabis plants and products, as proven in the above example, will outperform sub par photos every day of the week. The secret to effective social media is really quite simple, as it’s a brute force problem that requires consistent posting and appealing content. Do both for a significant amount of time, and it won’t be too long before the results start to pay for themselves.
But the best part about photography for social media is that those same assets can be used in a wide variety of other ways as well. These photos can be used for your website, for your marketing materials, for your press kit, and more.
What A Professional Photographer Offers To Cannabis Companies
A lot of people unfamiliar with what photographers do mistakenly believe that what separates a pro from an amateur is the camera that they use. This rarely is true. You’d be amazed at the photographs a professional photographer could get if you handed her your phone. But a person who doesn’t know what they are doing would be lost if you gave them a Canon EOS-1DX.
The truth is that while gear is important, it’s rarely the camera body itself that matters. When taking professional product photography of cannabis packaging, the key is having the right lights and backdrops. For those amazing cannabis flower shots, without the icky yellow lighting, you need the right lights and the right lens, typically a macro lens that’s great for closeups. That’s especially necessary to get those beautiful crystals to show. And for headshots and team photos, you’ll need professional lights or flashes, or to have the perfect sunlight (known as golden hour).
But a professional photographer is much more than just their gear. They understand the cannabis industry, and know how to get original images that will stand out in a growing marketplace. They know how to get you photos in the correct digital format for printing brochures or displaying on social media platforms. They can go in and correct mistakes and make up for crummy lighting conditions (like what you get in most grow rooms).
The bottom line is by working with a professional cannabis photographer, you not only end up with magazine quality images, but you also save both time and money in the long run.
Hire A Professional Photographer From The Hood Collective
The best way to get amazing, eye-catching images for your cannabis marketing needs is with a professional photographer. At The Hood Collective, our experienced team of photo specialists can produce stunning visuals for cannabis and hemp businesses in a timely manner at an affordable price. We especially excel at working with marketing teams to fit your photography content into your overall marketing strategy, all with an eye to maximizing your investment.
The Hood Collective specializes in creating top-notch cannabis photography for any budget. That includes premium drone photos.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.