I hold the view that in a world with depleting resources, we have a responsibility to minimise our impact on the planet. I feel obliged to look for ways that as a business and individual, I can reduce my footprint on the environment I love; that my children will continue to live in.
Some factors to consider can be obvious whereas others require more consideration for how a photography business can be sensitive to the environment. Crucially, this must be done whilst maintaining the high quality service and product delivery my clients value.
It is important that my suppliers share this approach and it turns out that many of my clients do also. It's a positive sign that people are aware and conscious of how what we do affects others now and in the future. Here's a bit more about some of the things I am doing.
I need to get to venues easily and to get there on time. A wedding commission might involve three or four separate venues with some distances between them. Public transport often isn't an option and as much as I love cycling, that's not practical either. So, for now at least, I need to use a car whilst minimising the impact of that.
- Share lifts whenever possible or practical
- Use modern, fuel efficient vehicles
- Offset carbon emmissions
- Use electronic communications to minimise meetings, eg. Skype
Albums, Printing and Framing
UK sourced albums have always been part of my product line but the most popular - and best quality - have often come from a long distance away.
In 2010, a UK company launched an innovative and high-quality album which has been hugely popular, and now become my most popular wedding presentation. The Folio is one of the most eco-friendly books available and the suppliers green credentials are exceptional.
- UK sourced albums and materials
- Papers from FSC certified and managed forests
Take a look at my eco-friendly wedding albums on the eco-friendly album page.
This is the hardest area to identify eco-friendly alternatives. Photography has always carried some environmental impact whether using chemicals for processing, or the use of polluting materials in manufacturing electronic equipment.
Some may claim that a lack of chemical usage with digital imaging is a benefit, but it can be argued that the rapid depreciation of digital equipment is equally if not more damaging. Whichever side of the argument you favour, we need tools to do the job.
Film cameras can last for years - or even decades - before needing replacement. Digital imaging has grown beyond imagining, and cameras have been replaced much more frequently as technology progresses and model revisions are released. What happens to the older digital cameras? Often they go to waste.
The pace of development over the last few years means that older digital SLRs just aren't comparable to modern equipment. The manufacture of electronics has huge impact to the environment with the usage and release of toxic chemicals and rare elements to produce the latest and greatest kit. That applies equally for computers as well.
I try to avoid replacing gear just for the sake of it. I am quite tough on my gear and typically go through a complete change every 2 years. Even though it's well used by then I always try to sell on rather than completely waste it.
I've had more changes than usual over the last 18 months since developing shoulder problems partly caused by working long commissions with two heavy SLRs on my shoulders. As a result I have been testing and using more compact mirrorless cameras from the likes of Fuji and Olympus.
The technology is now at the point where it can replace the bigger, more traditional SLRs for me, and I've used exclusively Olympus cameras for wedding photography since 2014.
Whilst we're talking about old cameras: film rocks. Film has a colour, grain, 'look' that is difficult or impossible to replicate and in my opinion, it can't be beaten. The romantic in me thinks there is something very special about actual light on your wedding being captured forever on actual physical film. I work digitally now but if it's the right light on the right day, I still enjoy shooting film with my family, and maybe will do so at weddings again sometime.
- High quality, well-maintained cameras and lenses
- Power-efficient Apple computers with top environmental ratings
- Use of renewable energy suppliers
- Use public transport whenever possible for London wedding photography