Cannabis Photoshoot _ Charlie Sin Photography
Cannabis Brand Photoshoot - Los Angeles Content photographer Charlie Sin
By Charlie Sin
March 19, 2021
In the midst of the Pandemic, around July of 2020, a social media agency I worked with previously reached out to me about a cannabis product company. At that time, I’ve done two cannabis-related works with designer Yi Mao for his cannabis concept packaging design called “Kanna” and product images for Sweet Flower through a design firm.
So I could say I have an experience with cannabis… haha. I don’t do it personally due to its scent and I do not like the idea that something is influencing my state of mind. However, it is a growing business and there were few cannabis client photoshoot inquiries before this. Although it is not a niche I want to stay in, it sure is an interesting experience working with something that was formerly perceived as “dangerous” and negative becoming a new norm.
Back to talking about the gig, this was for a startup cannabis brand for their social media assets. The client wanted both product and model interacting with the product, 15 images/moving images total. My job for this project was to help social media agency with the pre-production such as reviewing/revising shot lists, booking the model, getting the studio and equipment. Then the photoshoot part and as well as post production.
Brand Visual and Concept
The cannabis company is called Voyager Brands. So far, the company is known to be a distributor based in Palm Spring, California and trying to make its own cannabis retail company. The products they sell are vape pen, diamond, batter, and crumbs. The products are concentrated forms of cannabis. I actually never knew these types of cannabis existed other than the leaves and the joints.
As for the brand visuals, brand’s whole brand identity is giving the customer the out of body experience through cannabis. So for brand visual, there were alot of space, astronaut, and psychedelic looks in the concept board.
From looking at the mood board, I knew this would require lens filters and a bit of post-production. Therefore, I had to look out for what needs to happen in the post.
This is how I separated the photoshoot schedule. I put the model shoot to the morning and product shoot to the afternoon. There is no need for the model to stay the whole photoshoot and products won’t complain if they stay afterhour. So it decreased the expense in the model part.
As for the look of the images, just shooting with a bare lens would be too sharp and crips for the brand’s visual. So I had to get a soft ”dream” filter and starburst lens filter to give softness to the image and star effect in the highlight to match with the outer space concept theme. Then toward the later photoshoot, I invested into a kaleidoscope and split filter to change things up. I used the Prism Lens for this due to its budget friendly and availability compared to Schneider.
With the Pandemic going on, I had to make sure everyone wore a mask and checked their temperature before the photoshoot. Although casting the model who actually cared about these were pretty tough. So I had to keep checking their social media to see what they’ve been doing weeks prior to the photoshoot.
As for the post production, I had to find the right galaxy images from NASA to use for the company.
Zeiss 100mm Macro
Prism Lens Dream FX Filter, Linear Prism FX Filter, Starburst FX filter, Centerfield split diopter FX Filter, Kaleidoscope FX Filter.
Arri 2k Tungsten balanced
Profoto D2 2000 W
From this photoshoot, I realized how much I’ve grown as a photographer. Being able to do both product and model photoshoot, it does take two different brain power but I was able to pull it off to certain extent. I would tap myself in the back for it haha. If I tried to do this few years back, I would’ve been lost with how to deal with the photoshoot schedule and lighting. I was able to find a lighting that can be used for both model and product to look similar for overall brand look.
To speak more about the outtake from this shoot, not everything was perfect. As being a startup company with no website and finalized product, the design changed frequently. As for the product, you have to know there are certain limits to how much batch you can take out from the factory (law under California). So there were some limitations to what company can provide for the photoshoot and the clarity of the diamonds and batter were inconsistent.
In the photography part, I wish I could have hired an assistant to lighten off my load so the setting up and changing the light could have been faster and saved some time. I also wished I had a better knowledge of video production and post production. Moving image is not my forte but I am always trying to improve as I go with my career.