Eco Friendly Wedding Photography
Over the past few years we’ve made a conscious effort to reduce our impact on the environment. From reducing meat consumption to switching to products that use less or no plastic at all. From using public transport as much as possible to off setting carbon emissions on flights (more on this below).
We’ve also instilled these values and efforts in our wedding photography, to make it as eco friendly and green as possible.
Every time we fly (which is not often but worth mentioning) we use a carbon calculator to measure the carbon footprint of the flight. We then donate money to environment friendly initiatives to offset this impact relative to its size. These initiatives include planting trees, clean energy projects, compliance projects and education initiatives.
This is actually super easy to do thanks to a bunch of great organisations like MyClimate.org, Clevel.co.uk and ClimateCare.org. As well as telling you the size of your flight’s carbon footprint, they tell you the monetary amount to offset this amount which you can pay to them directly.
A study by the ‘Energy Saving Trust’ found that a car creates on average 4x more CO2 emissions than a train going the same distance. We use public transport when traveling for work as often as possible. If we have a wedding or engagement shoot in London or the centre of another UK city we always use public transport instead of driving. An added bonus is that we can use this time to relax or work and don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic.
For weddings located away from good transport links we do drive. When choosing a car, we hire one that has a smaller impact on the environment. The Energy Saving Trust offers a useful calculator for viewing the fuel efficiency and emissions of different cars.
Video Calls for Client Meetings and Mentoring
We’ve also reduced travel by no longer doing client meetings or mentoring sessions in person. Instead we video call where we can still enjoy a personal connection and even a glass of wine.
Preferred Search Engine
Ecosia is a search engine that donates 80% of their ad profits to eco friendly charities. They claim that on average for every 45 searches they will plant a tree. Ecosia raises money through Ad revenue like other search engines. They started in 2019 and at the time of writing this article they’ve planted over 75 million trees!
For keen Chrome users like myself, you can add Ecosia as a Chrome Extension so you don’t have to give up on any other extensions you currently have set up.
From a business standpoint, their search engine is powered by Bing so you don’t have to re-optimize your website’s content to be found.
Going paperless reduces trees being cut down for paper and the CO2 emissions created in transportation of the paper and documents. Thanks to the digital world it’s easy today to go paperless. As a bonus we’ve found digital options to be more convenient, create a better experience for our couples and offer peace of mind with cloud backups.
Contracts, Invoices, Forms, Banking
For contracts and invoices we use fully electronic methods and our bank and accountants both offer digital integrations to avoid paper.
When we first started we used to deliver our couples photos on a USB Stick via post. We then began delivering photos on a USB Stick and in an Online Gallery (this is easier access, acts as backup and simple to share with guests).
After some feedback we discovered that the USB sticks were rarely used as couples already had access to their photos via their online gallery. So we decided to stop doing USB sticks (once the current stock runs out) and instead invested this cost into a better online gallery experience.
This decision was based on both improving the experience our couples have with us and reducing the impact on the environment.
As a wedding photographer my main use of energy comes in two forms: 1) the use of my home as my office, and 2) batteries that power my camera bodies and flashes. To reduce the environmental impact we use a renewable energy supplier for our gas and electricity.
ALBUMS & PRINTS
As a big believer that photos in physical form bring the most value, we do offer prints and albums to couples as a paid extra. Below is how we reduce the environmental impact these physical products will have. As well as being eco friendly, our suppliers offer incredibly high quality products that couples love.
Both our print suppliers (Loxley Colour) and Album suppliers (Folio) are UK based which reduces the transport distances involved in delivery and therefore CO2 emissions created.
Eco Friendly Suppliers
As well as using local Suppliers we wanted to use/support suppliers who shared our values and who took actions to reduce their impact on the environment. We’ve been very impressed with both 'Folio' and 'Loxley Colour’ green credentials.
Folio are powered by green electrify from Ecotricity, 95% of their office waste is recycled, their PAS 2060 servers are carbon neutral, everything used in their printing process is FSC approved and their workshop is heavily insulated and climate controlled. They also use shipping partners with a carbon neutral approach.
Loxley Colour are part of the Carbon Capture Scheme (they donate to the Woodland Trust that plants trees to offset the amount of Carbon they create), all products used in printing are FSC approved and they use couriers DPD that vow to provide carbon-neutral shipping for all deliveries.
When it comes to photography gear, these are the steps we take to reduce our impact on the environment.
Since starting we’ve always used rechargeable batteries.
It’s easy to get excited about buying new gear. But every time we buy gear there’s an environment impact created by shipping, the packaging thrown away and the product itself. We rarely buy new gear unless something needs replacing and when upgrading we always rent first to ensure we’re investing in gear we’ll get full use out of.
This year we will start doing something special for all our couples that book us to photograph their full wedding. After they’ve booked us we will have an Oak tree planted and dedicated in their name in the National Forest. The National Forest will provide a digital certificate with our couples names and a personal message which is a lovely touch.