The May 2014 cover of High Times magazine features a photograph by Cannabist photographer Ry Prichard. (Via High Times)

Denver’s “biggest weed nerd in town” shoots his first High Times cover (interview)

Photographer Ry Prichard on Bruce Banner #3 and his "Strongest Strains on Earth" cover shoot

Placing one of your weed-worship photos on the cover of High Times magazine isn’t unlike your band being featured “on the cover of the Rolling Stone.” And one Colorado photographer (who also shoots nug-porn for The Cannabist!) achieved that goal this month.

You’ll recognize Ry Prichard by his keen attention to detail, his loving close-ups of flower and his being called “the biggest weed nerd in town” by Rolling Stone magazine. We chatted with Prichard about his first-ever cover shot for High Times (May 2014 edition), his experience with his subject (Bruce Banner #3) and his future projects.

The Cannabist: So you really shot the cover of this month’s High Times magazine? Has it sunk in yet?

Ry Prichard: Yeah, it was a really nice surprise to find out that I had a real shot at the cover of an international magazine like High Times. I’ve been a reader since I was 14, so it’s a true honor.

TC: This is High Times’ “Strongest Strains on Earth” cover story, and you shot Bruce Banner #3 for them. Were you already pretty familiar with the strain?

RP: Yeah, I have smoked a ton of Banner over the last 5 years as a strain reviewer and photographer in the Colorado marijuana scene. The company I used to work for, KindReviews, actually was the first site to review the Bruce Banner #3 back in 2009, giving it the site’s first A+ and sparking a crazy furor at the dispensary that originally bred it. There were lines out the door for the first three harvests of that strain … it’s a true Colorado hype story, but the herb itself is definitely high-quality.

High Times' May 2014 cover includes a juicy Bruce Banner #3 shot by Cannabist photographer Ry Prichard.
High Times’ May 2014 cover includes a juicy Bruce Banner #3 shot by Cannabist photographer Ry Prichard.

TC: What do you most appreciate about BB #3 from a visual, photogenic perspective?

RP: It is always extremely frosty, even when grown by someone without a ton of skill. The nugs are dense and tend to not have a ton of leaf coverage, so they are pretty easy to photograph, as well as nice for growers to cultivate. The nugs of the #3 Banner phenotype have a very OG Kush-dominant appearance, and I have a personal affinity for that growth style as well. The plants are also usually very pretty by harvest, normally turning all varieties of red, yellow, purple and gold.

TC: And what about how it makes you feel — are you a fan of smoking BB#3?

RP: I like Banner well enough, even though I have had it so much over the last few years that I’ve become a little jaded. The original batches of Banner were still the best in my eyes — to this day, I still haven’t had quite the same deeply sweet OG flavor out of a sample … it’s like the clones have degenerated and lost some of their original uniqueness over the last 3-4 years.

TC: You’ve shot for High Times before, right?

RP: Yeah, back in August of 2011, my friend Phillip (known locally as breeder “Tierra Rojo”) had me do some photography at his dispensary grow and later introduced me to Rick Cusick, who is the associate publisher at High Times. Rick really liked my photos when he saw them at KushCon and asked me to contribute some for an upcoming story on Colorado breeders, which included Phillip, Scott from Rare Dankness Seeds and Adam Dunn of T.H.Seeds. I actually ended up with the centerfold, the “flaps” (the glossy full-page shots on either side of the centerfold) and quite a few shots used throughout the feature article for my first internationally published work.

Since then, I have been asked to cover a few assignments for them here and there, shot all 300-plus entries for the Denver Cannabis Cups in 2012 and 2013, and have had my archive photos used in almost every issue over the last 2 years. It’s great working with them, and I really appreciate Danny Danko and Nico Escondido specifically for always reaching out to me when they need “beauty shots” or shots of specific strains.

Read the rest of our interview with cannabis photographer Ry Prichard here