Focusing on cannabis
Danielle Million is a cannabis enthusiast and talented artist bringing her unique perspective to Missouri’s cannabis industry.
For over a decade, Million has been learning, experimenting, and creating through photography.
“I bought my first professional DSLR camera right out of high school at age 19 in 2008 and didn’t even lay eyes on cannabis until about age 25. It may have been MySpace that activated my creative mind for photography and graphic design. I started with taking photos for local bands. I still enjoy shooting live music to this day. It’s crazy to think I didn’t start photographing cannabis until 2019 and quickly fell in love.”
For the last three years, Million, through her Cannabizarre brand, has taken that talent and breadth of knowledge to focus on creating dynamic cannabis imagery.
“Cannabis, to me, is an exploration tool. It’s here for us to use for a plethora of needs from pain to mental health. It’s up to you to find what it helps with most. Cannabis also means community. A community that is built around standing up for modern plant medicine and breaking the stigma behind the false narrative others have put on it.
“With every photo I take, I tell a story with cannabis art. I show how gorgeous cannabis can be and how normal it is in everyday life. Sometimes with Cannabizarre, I do like to show how abnormal, artful and ‘bizarre’ you can make it as well. I think that’s the beauty of cannabis, the help that it gives to people should be normalized and encouraged while the art of cannabis can still be bold and inviting.”
Cannabis is unique as an industry of balance, an industry that attempts to balance regulation and oversight with culture and community – while simultaneously balancing medicinal benefit and health and wellness aspects with a consumer base that grows exponentially with adult-use.
It’s that balance that can make it difficult for companies to maintain compliance while simultaneously exhibiting their products and brand identity in a way that is appealing to their target base.
Where do you see companies struggle with their media production?
“I see many companies that have a low online presence, struggling with creativity [in showcasing] their product or craft. Sort of a left brain vs right brain type of situation. The cannabis industry contains a lot of very intelligent left-brained business leaders that just need help with their creativity.”
“There are many factors to getting the ‘perfect image’ and while art is absolutely subjective, there are ways to improve your photos while expressing how you view your brand – such as lighting, location, and diversity. That’s where I come in. I love to help businesses and brands get their ideas into an art or photography form. I’d love to help you tell your story.”
What inspires you?
“I am inspired every day by other women in the industry. The creativity and design these women-led companies have with glass pieces, rolling papers, clothing, [and more] inspires me to want to partner with them and create cool art with their product.
“I am also very inspired by how far I’ve come from my past self. When I got into photography, I did it for the wrong reasons. Money and, well…money. I thought, ‘I have to do weddings, engagements, family portraits and so on. Those are what gets you where you want to be in the photography industry.’ Thinking back on that now just makes me want to hide my face. It took years for me to realize that I needed to focus on what art I wanted to see from myself. Once I found my niche in cannabis and portraits – that’s when I really saw growth in myself.”
Million has found balance in her life with cannabis, both personally and professionally, enabling her to create freely. If the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true, then Million is helping to turn images of the cannabis plant and the brands and companies involved in the industry into stories 1,000 words at a time.