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

Seattle medical marijuana for The Daily Telegraph of London

Seattle medical marijuana photos for The Daily Telegraph of London. Photos by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Seattle medical marijuana photos for The Daily Telegraph of London. Photos by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

New Approach Washington Campaign Director Alison Holcomb, who heads the group seeking to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in the state of Washington through Initiative 502, stands on the roof of their headquarters in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

New Approach Washington Campaign Director Alison Holcomb, who heads the group seeking to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in the state of Washington through Initiative 502, stands on the roof of their headquarters in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

New Approach Washington Campaign Director Alison Holcomb, who heads the group seeking to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in the state of Washington through Initiative 502, stands on the roof of their headquarters in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

New Approach Washington Campaign Director Alison Holcomb, who heads the group seeking to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in the state of Washington through Initiative 502, stands on the roof of their headquarters in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

In a sign of what has increasingly become a new niche for my editorial photography in Seattle, I got an email from The Daily Telegraph of London asking if I would like to photograph a story on medical marijuana.

For two days, I worked with the Telegraph’s U.S. Editor Peter Foster, based out of D.C., to tell the stories of a handful of people to whom this issue is so important. In Washington state, medical marijuana has been legal since 1998 — but remains illegal under federal controlled substance laws.

Muraco Kyashna, founder of The Green Budha medical marijuana collective in Seattle, Washington, poses for a portrait with pet Moluccan cockatoo, Big Bird Bubba, May 22, 2012  alongside volunteer Layla Bush, center. Bush was shot and injured in the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle, an incident claiming one life and wounding five others. The bullet remained lodged near her spinal cord where intractable pain continues to plague her, requiring use of a crutch. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Muraco Kyashna, founder of The Green Budha medical marijuana collective in Seattle, Washington, poses for a portrait with pet Moluccan cockatoo, Big Bird Bubba, May 22, 2012 alongside volunteer Layla Bush, center. Bush was shot and injured in the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle, an incident claiming one life and wounding five others. The bullet remained lodged near her spinal cord where intractable pain continues to plague her, requiring use of a crutch. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Layla Bush, a volunteer at The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective, vaporizes cannabis in a dedicated room of the shop in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. She said it is her preferred way to medicate because it is quickly felt and isn't harsh on her lungs the way smoking is. Bush was shot and injured in the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle, an incident claiming one life and wounding five others. The bullet remained lodged near her spinal cord where intractable pain continues to plague her, requiring use of a crutch. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Layla Bush, a volunteer at The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective, vaporizes cannabis in a dedicated room of the shop in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. She said it is her preferred way to medicate because it is quickly felt and isn’t harsh on her lungs the way smoking is. Bush was shot and injured in the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle, an incident claiming one life and wounding five others. The bullet remained lodged near her spinal cord where intractable pain continues to plague her, requiring use of a crutch. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A pro-marijuana legalization poster is seen hanging in a back room where vaporizing cannabis is allowed at The Green Buddha May 22, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A pro-marijuana legalization poster is seen hanging in a back room where vaporizing cannabis is allowed at The Green Buddha May 22, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, Washington, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden, May 22, 2012. The single plant of the Blueberry strain is housed in his upstairs bathroom tub, and can be expected to produce at least one pound of cannabis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, Washington, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden, May 22, 2012. The single plant of the Blueberry strain is housed in his upstairs bathroom tub, and can be expected to produce at least one pound of cannabis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, Washington, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden, May 22, 2012. The single plant of the Blueberry strain is housed in his upstairs bathroom tub, and can be expected to produce at least one pound of cannabis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, Washington, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden, May 22, 2012. The single plant of the Blueberry strain is housed in his upstairs bathroom tub, and can be expected to produce at least one pound of cannabis. Photo by Daniel Berman

Peter wrote a nicely nuanced piece on the likelihood of cannabis legalization occurring across the U.S. Please check it out: Is the Prohibition of ‘Pot’ coming to an end in the US?

I did not have long to work on the story, but was fortunate enough to meet and photograph the owners of medical cannabis access points, people heading a legalization initiative in the state, and even patients and vendors at a daily cannabis farmers market in Seattle, and an older patient north of there, whose identity remains anonymous due to the sensitivity of his professional life.

That is the reality of medical marijuana in this state. It is used for a variety of reasons by people from every walk of life, yet remains castigated by the federal government and law enforcement — it’s a challenging line to tow, but these patients live it every day.

Steve White volunteers at The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective in Seattle May 22, 2012. Both White and Bush have been medical marijuana patients for four years now. Below are a couple dozen different strains or types, in small bagged amounts. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Steve White volunteers at The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective in Seattle May 22, 2012. Both White and Bush have been medical marijuana patients for four years now. Below are a couple dozen different strains or types, in small bagged amounts. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Muraco Kyashna, founder of The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective in Seattle, Washington, with her pet Moluccan cockatoo, Big Bird Bubba, May 22, 2012 at the access point. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Muraco Kyashna, founder of The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective in Seattle, Washington, with her pet Moluccan cockatoo, Big Bird Bubba, May 22, 2012 at the access point. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Sean Moore, center, who operates the medical cannabis collective Vivus Vivandi, helps a patient calling himself Dragonfli May 22, 2012 at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington. Moore, a medical cannabis patient for two and a half years, said he was motivated to help people at the marijuana farmers market after seeing his girlfriend, who has Chron's Disease, deal with constant pain. Photo by Daniel Berman

Sean Moore, center, who operates the medical cannabis collective Vivus Vivandi, helps a patient calling himself Dragonfli May 22, 2012 at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington. Moore, a medical cannabis patient for two and a half years, said he was motivated to help people at the marijuana farmers market after seeing his girlfriend, who has Chron’s Disease, deal with constant pain. Photo by Daniel Berman

Patients and vendors at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington mingle and donate medical cannabis and edibles to each other May 22, 2012. The market serves a few hundred medical marijuana patients on a daily basis. Photo by Daniel Berman

Patients and vendors at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington mingle and donate medical cannabis and edibles to each other May 22, 2012. The market serves a few hundred medical marijuana patients on a daily basis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A medical cannabis patient takes a closer look at large piece of medical marijuana at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. The market serves a few hundred medical marijuana patients on a daily basis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A medical cannabis patient takes a closer look at large piece of medical marijuana at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. The market serves a few hundred medical marijuana patients on a daily basis. Photo by Daniel Berman

Mario Richburg, who has been a medical marijuana patient for two years, smokes a cannabis joint in the medicating room of the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. A few hundred visit the daily cannabis farmers market, where qualified patients can network with others and obtain medicine, edibles and hardware. Photo by Daniel Berman

Mario Richburg, who has been a medical marijuana patient for two years, smokes a cannabis joint in the medicating room of the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. A few hundred visit the daily cannabis farmers market, where qualified patients can network with others and obtain medicine, edibles and hardware. Photo by Daniel Berman

Medical marijuana patients smoke cannabis in the medicating room of the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. A few hundred visit the daily cannabis farmers market, where qualified patients can network with others and obtain medicine, edibles and hardware. Photo by Daniel Berman

Medical marijuana patients smoke cannabis in the medicating room of the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. A few hundred visit the daily cannabis farmers market, where qualified patients can network with others and obtain medicine, edibles and hardware. Photo by Daniel Berman

My experience and previous access to those in the medical marijuana community was key to illustrating the piece, as was Peter’s guidance. He informed me of the level of knowledge surrounding medical marijuana in Britain, and how that differed dramatically from those living in the States, for whom this has been a newsworthy topic for the last few years.

One of the most interesting parts of the assignment was exploring the cannabis farmers market. The daily market boasts several dozen regular vendors, and patients are free to use their cannabis in a separate part of the facility. The entrance to the area notes: 15-minute limit. I joined them inside, and was drawn to how the community aspect of medical marijuana has increased over time. Luckily, once the patients got over the strangeness of a Seattle photographer shooting for a British paper, they opened up.It was a jam-packed schedule but I feel fortunate to be able to work with wonderful clients like The Daily Telegraph to tell stories like these.

Seattle medical marijuana photos for The Daily Telegraph of London. Photos by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Seattle medical marijuana photos for The Daily Telegraph of London. Photos by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Thanks for reading,

Daniel

Advertisements

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. 

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: