There are so many ways to make your mark in the cannabis industry and talking to people from all different backgrounds is part of the reason we love doing this series so much. This week, we get to spend some time with cannabis and lifestyle photographer Mariah Hagenbach aka @Muh_riah on Instagram. Her images are fun, full of life and joy and of course cannabis.
How did you get into photography?
I've been taking pictures since the sixth grade, but just fun artsy MySpace ones, ya
know? I did take a few photography classes in high school and college but I didn't start
thinking about it more seriously until I helped open High-Quality Compassion in 2014. I
purchased my first DSLR and was deemed the unofficial official product photographer.
Since then my love and passion for photography has grown substantially from side hobby
to full-time career.
On Instagram you have your own personal feed which features beautiful images, you
also have a portrait feed and a cannabis specific page. Which were you doing first;
cannabis or portraits? Did one lead to another?
I started with my personal landscape photos and then upon my employment with High
Quality Compassion came the cannabis photography. The cannabis photography
definitely lead into portraits. I just began learning my camera better, getting more
creative; I discovered a real passion for a variety of photography styles, and honestly,
I'm learning more every day.
How do you come up with concepts for your images?
Sometimes I'm inspired by other amazing photographers I follow, sometimes images
just appear in my head and I'm like, “ok, let's make this happen”, and then there are
times where I'm collaborating with fellow photographers/friends and the concept is a
Do you like to use cannabis while shooting? If yes, what?
It depends on what I'm shooting. If I'm taking pictures for myself, for fun, or with friends
who don't mind, yes-- I'd totally kill a joint during a shoot. However, I do take family portraits, seniors, etc., and I won't smoke during a shoot like that (might light up right before one though, haha!)
Who and/or what are you most inspired by?
I'm inspired by so many things and so many people. If I had to name a couple women
who have really inspired and set the standard for me though it would be
@thiscannabislife and @damerogue. I love badass women who dare to rebel and make
What’s your favorite type of camera and why?
I don't necessarily have a favorite type since I've really only used the one I have, the
Canon 5D Mark ii. I love my camera though, it's like my child, haha!
Do you have any special tips for novice photographers on taking great shots of buds?
Invest in a nice macro lens!
What about portraits? How do you help your subjects relax in front of the camera?
Oh man, you'll get clients from every end of the spectrum. From pros who you don't
have to direct at all to people like me (camera shy as shit) who you have to do just
about everything for, so I feel like the best way to help make everyone comfortable is
just reassurance that they're doing great, I usually make some corny jokes, I ask a lot of
questions and usually by the end of my shoots everyone has had fun and is happy with
the results :)
If you could photograph anyone (this is imaginary so living or dead, real or fictitious)
who would you choose and why?
Oh, this is a tough one.. maybe Taylor Swift. I'm admittedly a little over the top for that
If you were to offer advice to another woman looking to get into photography in the
cannabis industry what would you tell her?
Be passionate. Above anything else, if you're passionate about what you're doing you'll
be successful in it.
Follow Mariah on Instagram at the following accounts:
Personal Instagram @Muh_riah
Portrait Instagram @Uprisephotography__ (that's two underscores ;) )
- High Quality Life @highquality.life
Book her for your next project by emailing her at: Uprisephotography@gmail.com
Not too long ago we asked Mariah to tell us about her favorite strains. Check out the story here.