When I ask Eugene-based photographer Wind Home to describe his work in three words, he thinks for a few moments, lightheartedly agonizing over the task, then laughs.
“Love. Love. Love,” he chuckles. “Like my mom always used to say.”
With a carefree name like Wind — and hippie parents easy-going enough to name him that — it’s not too surprising to hear this prolific photographer takes such a calm, cool and collected approach to his craft when it comes to capturing his signature sleek images of some of the most beautiful and impressively crafted pieces of glass.
After all, it wasn’t his intention to become one of the most sought out glass art and cannabis photographers. It wasn’t until one of his friends, Greg Adams of Trident Glass and Lore Haus, asked him to shoot some pictures that things started to take off in the cannabis industry a little bit.
Even then, it was still a struggle to get solid footing.
“Photography is a tough industry to get into in general. So, to make it in the glass art industry was pretty difficult at first,” he said. “I had to develop a certain amount of trust between artists and myself because they would need to be willing to drop off a rig or who knows what to me. I was being entrusted with valuable items and that’s a big deal for people who may not know you.”
Growing up in Eugene, Oregon — a region now considered one of the meccas of the glass art scene — definitely played a part in getting him established and catapulting his career to where it is now.
“Luckily, I had a little bit of an ‘in’ here just from having grown up in the area around so many glass artists,” he said. “So, when it came to the newer or bigger artists, I had a bit of a reputation I could rely on thanks to guys like Greg and Marcel (Braun) who were familiar with my work and could vouch for me.”
These days, he’s booked to the brim with hundreds of clients every year, from glass shops to independent glass artists to cannabis farms and is shooting up to 12 products in a single day. He’s become a go-to in the industry because of the quality and attention to detail he brings to each photo. He has mastered the art of capturing the intricacies of each handmade glass piece — the swirls of colors and patterns, a range of textures and shapes — without losing the functionality of it.
“Really, what I’m producing is an extremely high end product shot out of a really fine art,” he says. “I do try to do very minor editing on my shots, because what I’ve done is just fine tuned my skill over time by paying close attention to the balancing of light or softening the light with the reflective black background that I have found people really love.”
Home said he absolutely cannot stand to see my photography from three or four years ago.
“Although my style has remained very much the same for most of the time I’ve been doing glass,” he said, “my work has gotten much neater and much tighter.”
He shoots from his home studio in Eugene, and has the same full set up as he did in his warehouse, where he used to shoot more commercial photography. These days, though, it’s just him, a camera and his products.
“I’m a one person show. I can’t hire anyone because of what I shoot — glass and grass. Half the time I’m taking a bong hit while I’m working,” he said with a chuckle.
When he’s not working, he loves spending time with his wife and kids — his inspiration for what he calls his “professionally unprofessional” approach to work. He keeps it casual and handles business without letting himself get drowned by the nonstop hustle and bustle of being in such high demand.
“I never wanted to be the corporate dad who spends his whole life busy working. I didn’t want my kids’ memories of me to be that I was gone. I’m not the type of parent that wants to go on a vacation to Hawaii and leave the kids at home,” he said. “My wife and I love being around our kids. That’s why I work from home and also why I make time to do things with them like go camping or swimming even though I’m busy.”
It may seem difficult to juggle a successful business with the family life, but Home takes it all in stride. Passion is what motivates him and inspires him both personally and professionally.
“I just love my family and I love what I do,” he said. “I really can’t complain.”
TELL US, have you ever tried to photograph cannabis?