With the Seedsman Photo Cup Spring Prize Draw just a few days away, we thought we would introduce to you our second judge, who will be selecting the best entries into the competition so far.
Alongside, Paul Stanford and a host of other industry influencers, Curtis Taylor will be on the judging panel of the Photo Cup.
An emerging talent in the industry, Curtis Taylor was selected by Seedsman for his incomparable photography skills, especially his eye-catching macro shots.
Tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in Clinton, Oklahoma, which is a small town of about 10,000 people. I graduated high school in 2008 and began college the following year at a small college near my hometown.
After two short years and two major changes I decided to drop out and move to Norman, Oklahoma to experience new things a little further from home. In Norman, I took up a job as a restaurant manager where I would work for the next 4 years.
During this period I discovered Instagram and began to develop a love for taking images (all on my old camera phone). In 2014 after Oregon passed their recreational cannabis bill I convinced my then girlfriend and now fiancee, Emily, to pack up and move to Oregon. In 2015 we made the move to Portland and have been here ever since.
My photography skills truly developed and blossomed here in Oregon when I was able to photograph cannabis, which is something that wildly excites me. Since mid-2016 I have been the full time photographer and social media manager for Green Bodhi.
What did you fall in love with first – cannabis or photography?
That’s a good question, but definitely cannabis!
I first smoked cannabis when I was 15 years old at a soccer party in high school. Oddly enough I didn’t feel the effects for about an hour after when it hit me like a ton of bricks, but I loved it!
In my early college days, I also found that cannabis helped me battle a stint of depression I experienced. Ever since that revelation, I have used cannabis almost daily. However, I am incredibly thankful that I was able to combine my two biggest passions into a successful career.
What will you be looking at from a photography perspective when judging the Seedsman Photo Cup?
I think my number one thing to look out for is good composition. Anyone can take a photo, but when someone takes the time to be thoughtful on how the subject is framed it really shows.
I also think good lighting is important. Too strong of flash will cause light refraction blowouts in the trichomes. Attention to detail is key!
What advice do you have for those who want to enter the Cup but don’t have much professional standard equipment to hand?
Make the most of what you have!
When I first started out I would watch tons of YouTube videos on product photography to figure out what they were doing for setup and lighting.
Although I didn’t have the professional studio setup like they did, I would try to DIY a setup using whatever I could.
My first light box was made in 15 minutes using a cardboard box, tissue paper, two domed lights, and two CFL bulbs.
As I mentioned before, take your time and be thoughtful with how you set up your photo! Good luck to everyone!
Curtis Taylor is one of a number of high-profile influencers who will be judging the winners of the Seedsman Photo Cup 2019.
To get involved, simply head to the Seedsman Photo Cup page and upload your entries now!