Seattle Photographer Daniel Berman | Seattle editorial photographer | (206) 387-3767 daniel@bermanphotos.com

Medical marijuana for Cityvision Magazine | Seattle editorial photographer

Lydia George and husband Jake George founded Greenlink Collective in Issaquah in 2010. They worked with the city to create a medical marijuana ordinance after an initial dispute that resulted a citywide moratorium on access points. The Georges hold containers of medical marijuana inside Greenlink. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Lydia George and husband Jake George founded Greenlink Collective in Issaquah in 2010. They worked with the city to create a medical marijuana ordinance after an initial dispute that resulted a citywide moratorium on access points. The Georges hold containers of medical marijuana inside Greenlink. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

A lot of amazing coincidences all had to line up for the scheduling that enabled these shoots for Cityvision Magazine to happen. They landed in my lap right in the middle of a bunch of other gigs right before New Year’s Eve — and, as you can imagine, getting ahold of people around this time can be a challenge. In the end though, Lydia and Jake George, founders of the Greenlink Collective in Issaquah, and State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, made time for me from their busy schedules. 

One important lesson I got out of my shoot with the Georges is that sometimes, you go set up all your lighting and then realize the best shot could happen if you turn them back off. That’s what lead to the huge lead image on the first spread! I liked the fluorescent lighting fixture above the small marijuana plants, and with my lighting, they weren’t coming out the way I wanted. So I turned off my umbrella and softbox, and shot natural light — exposing for the highlights near the bottom of the fixture. The result is very dramatic and a more interesting approach I think. 


Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) poses for a portrait at her Legislative office in downtown Seattle Thursday Dec. 22, 2011. Kohl-Welles introduced medical marijuana legislation that has attracted attention and controversy in the last year. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) poses for a portrait at her Legislative office in downtown Seattle Thursday Dec. 22, 2011. Kohl-Welles introduced medical marijuana legislation that has attracted attention and controversy in the last year. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Lydia George and husband Jake George founded Greenlink Collective in Issaquah in 2010. They worked with the city to create a medical marijuana ordinance after an initial dispute that resulted a citywide moratorium on access points. The Georges hold containers of medical marijuana inside Greenlink. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Lydia George and husband Jake George founded Greenlink Collective in Issaquah in 2010. They worked with the city to create a medical marijuana ordinance after an initial dispute that resulted a citywide moratorium on access points. The Georges hold containers of medical marijuana inside Greenlink. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Another important lesson? Always arrive with plenty of time to scout and pre-light and figure out the game plan — this was critical at the Kohl-Welles shoot. When I got there, I really had to have everything ready to go quicker than I would have liked. Never again. Always give yourself a minimum of an hour and change if you’re lighting, and only a bit less if shooting with natural light. When the subject walks in, everything must be set and ready — so that you can focus wholly on them. But like they say, if you’re not learning, something’s wrong. 

OK, now go learn some more and check out Ted Katauskas’ excellent story.

Thanks for looking,

-Daniel

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