DIY Cannabis Photography: Tips for Taking Professional Shots

Cannabis photography is the sensation sweeping the nation! Instagram is abuzz with pics of dank buds, ganja girls, dabs & doobies; rightfully so. More than half of the states have medical marijuana programs. A handful even allow recreational consumption. Which means my job is now legal in a lot of places!

Cannabis Photography!




People coast to coast are snapping dope pics of their legal weed and sharing them on social media. As a professional cannabis photographer in Oregon, I want to do everything I can to help improve Mary Jane’s image.

Here are some quick tips for taking better cannabis product photos.

Turn off the Flashflash-on-off-compare-in-cannabis-photography-dyi

Have you ever tried taking a selfie in the mirror with your camera flash on? It doesn’t usually end well. The bright light reflects off of the mirror and causes a glare in the camera’s lens. The same thing happens with marijuana photography.

Those little crystals (trichomes) all over your ganja are also reflective. If your nug shots are looking a little washed out, try turning off the flash and grabbing a lamp.

Light up your Subject

You don’t need professional studio lighting to take a great picture. Lamps are a fantastic alternative. Place the lights close to your subject and move them around until you get a result you’re happy with.

PRO TIP: Flip the lampshade around so it creates a cone. This allows you to direct the light. Use a piece of thin white cloth or paper to cover the end. This will diffuse (soften) the light and help reduce glare on reflective surfaces, a trick used by many professional photographers.



Stabilize Everything |Minimize Wobble

Is your cannabis photography coming out a little blurry? Are you holding the subject? Try setting your new vape cartridge down on a desk or table. If it shakes at all, don’t lean on it!

Using a tripod with your camera is the best way to reduce shake & blur. Setting the device down on a flat surface is an option too.

There are tons of inexpensive mounts for your phone, like the one HERE.

Need to go freehand to get the right angle? 

Find a stool, or something of similar height and place it near your surface. Lean your elbows on the stool to stabilize the camera. Alternatively, lean on a nearby wall or solid structure.

Use Editing Software

I’m not suggesting that you master Adobe Photoshop. But I am urging you use one of the many editing apps available for free. Most have an auto correct feature that will balance the color and lighting levels. This will increase the quality of your photos with minimal effort!

Here are a few to try:

Be Creative & Have Fun

In time you’ll develop your own process for taking dank pics. Enjoy the journey.

Keep moving your lights around between shots to change the lighting on your vape pen. Rotate your bong a little after each picture. Slide all the faders and push all the buttons on your new editing app. Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s the best way to find out what works for you as a cannabis photographer!


I can’t wait to see all the amazing canna-pics you’re going to take! Some of my work is on Instagram @canna_tography | tag me so I can see what you’ve created!

Stay Lifted & Happy Snapping

Ryan Michael
[email protected]
  • Den Haag Wedding Photographer
    Posted at 13:46h, 04 February Reply

    Sustain the excellent job !! Lovin’ it!

  • jogesh debnath
    Posted at 00:14h, 10 August Reply

    Thanks for your great information.I really like your tips for taking professional shots.

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