In the world of cannabis photographers, few have ever reached the level of Erik Christiansen, and last weekend we got to take a look inside his head stash, as we traveled north to celebrate the best weed in Oregon at Leaf Magazine’s Leaf Bowl.
While the Michael Jordan of pot photography is probably the legendary Mel Frank or former High Times editor Dan Skye, it would be very fair to call Christiansen the Lebron of the moment as he continues to push the technological envelope. This was evident when we ran into him up north. Christiansen was in town to help Humboldt Seed Company set up a 3D display of his work. Over the last few years, Christiansen’s rotating pristine bud shots have arguably been the coolest way you can look at cannabis without holding it.
But like many, he saw a bit of stall during the pandemic as cannabis companies battened down the hatches not knowing what was to come after the biggest cannabis sales days of all time in March of 2020, on the eve of looming lockdown.
“The pandemic was interesting because all shoots stopped basically overnight. I had three months of no shoots and then I was the busiest I had ever been,” Christiansen told L.A. Weekly.
But how does one become one of the biggest names in cannabis photography? It all starts with a bag. Christiansen told us about his.
“I got into shooting weed because one of my friends at the time got an ounce of GDP and it was the first time I had seen really gorgeous purple weed,” Christiansen said. “I had been an amateur photographer since elementary school, but I never tried macro.”
Trying to shoot that nug of GDP showed him the limitations of macro photography before he understood what was going on.
“I couldn’t get enough in focus and I couldn’t get as close as I wanted,” Christiansen said. “Trying to solve those two things really pushed me down the rabbit hole of macro photography and started me on the journey that I’m still on today.”
From there, we started to look into the jars in Christiansen’s personal collection. As he travels from farm to farm, along the way he gets his hands on some of the best pot in the world. As he went through the collection, he noted it was tough to pick out a winner.
“I feel like it changes all the time, like the last week it was the Durban because we were out canoeing and it was just such a fun giggly high,” Christiansen said.
Christiansen said the night before we spoke, he sampled the Georgia Pie and it just tasted incredible. We can attest it was the nicest Georgia Pie we’d seen in any state. It was absolutely a special phenotype grown with exceptional skill.
“So I kind of want to lean toward Georgia Pie now but, also, The Puddles has that super unique buttery snickerdoodle spice terp,” Christiansen said.
Next, Christiansen pointed to Harvest Moon Gardens’ rendition of White Truffles. Of the five different versions he’s seen, this one is the best. With White Truffles coming more and more into prominence on California top shelves, expect to see it soon.
We asked Christiansen what he looks for in cannabis for his own personal use after he checks all the aesthetics he hopes for to take worthwhile photos.
“I like flavor over everything,” Christiansen said. “A lot of these are just people that I’ve shot for. I hardly ever go to the dispensary just because a lot of the farms I shoot for let me take the branches home, and then we’ve got a quarter or whatever of each strain, and we get to cure it up how we like it and it’s just a dream.”