FOUNDING & MANAGING PARTNER, STOCK POT IMAGED
“I really feel that being a woman in this industry is powerful and that we have the capability to connect on a much deeper level, than say the men do – I am a sativa girl!”
THE POTENT PHOTOGRAPHER – A little over a year ago Ophelia Chong, a Photography teacher at The Art Center in Pasadena, was taking a shower and realized that there were no stock agencies specializing in cannabis imagery. That is precisely the moment that Stock Pot Images was born. A month after her revelation, she was funded and the LLC was established.
Ophelia explained to me that the standard stock image sites like Getty only offer limited and stereotypical images, “Anything you see on Getty are stereotypical images of what prohibition has done their view of the cannabis user, what they would label as “stoners”. It has nothing to do
with our community and doesn’t even look real. Stock Pot only
photographs real users and real communities. You can’t fake out a
cannabis user, they want authenticity.”
“The name just came from stock photography and pot pictures, so Stock Pot just came out of the blue. Plus, you can’t tell its cannabis right away. It is not as direct as “weed porn” or “weed pics” it has a little more of a playful tone with cannabis,” Ophelia noted about the name of her company.
Her background is in Photography and has been a creative director specializing in book and magazine design for over two decades. She earned a Photography BFA from the Art Center and is an instructor at her alma mater in the photo dept. since 2010. Before the cannabis industry, she worked for film companies and film festivals and moved into print and design after that. She explained that she got into the industry because of a family member who has a terminal illness and began using cannabis to help alleviate some of the symptoms. She also told me that she is not really a smoker but will vape from time to time but she jokingly admitted she mostly does edibles because she likes to snack.
When we discussed what it is like for her as a female in the industry, she said, “I think it’s easier to be a woman. There is less competition. People don’t want to go into it because it’s illegal and they have a misconception of what it is.” She also told me she loves the women in the industry because we are all quick to help one another and have not “reached the bi**hy factor” yet.
She also stated that as opposed to other industries, men and women are on more of an even playing field; it’s not so much about women as it is that there are difficulties for people in general. In the ever-changing market we live in, large companies are in fear of being shut down – this is something non-discriminant to women or men.
Ophelia is also the founder of Asian Americans for the Cannabis Education along with Monica Lo and Tiffany Wu. This is a group of Asian Americans that want to educate other Asians about cannabis. Ophelia explained to me that statistics show the two largest groups against cannabis legislation are Asians and Latinos, due to Schedule One drug concerns and misconceptions.
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