If you’re interested in melding your environmental awareness with your photography business, it’s never a bad time to see what’s new in eco-friendly photography practices. From film to ink to frames, companies are now making it easier for photographers to contribute to a greener world. Below are six ways photographers can become more environmentally sound.
Invest in a Digital (and Recycled) Camera
This one is a no-brainer: While the process of shooting with a digital camera may steal away from the intimate process of shooting with film, shooting digital is the simplest way to be green. But, for film shooters, hope is not lost. Sony’s Cyber Shot DSC-HX300 Camera as well as their Alpha series (α58) are made from recycled CD scraps.
Use Eco- Friendly Film Chemicals
There is a solution for the toxic chemicals found in film developing solutions. Eco-Pro advertises film chemicals with eco-friendly and low toxicity that promise to still produce high quality images. Products range from Eco-Pro Neutral Fixer, that is designed to “resist acid stop solution carryover,” to the Hypo Wash, that is designed to “optimize shelf life as well as the tray life of the solution.” All of Eco-Pro’s chemicals are free of carcinogens and many highly toxic materials found in other solutions, and are designed to minimize chemical wastage as well as water usage.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Gear
Camera bags serve as the “home base” for photographers on location. With that thought, solar powered camera bags have surfaced, providing photographers with a fully charged camera no matter where they may be. Yanko Design has even released a solar powered strap that is both practical and efficient. ATP’s Earthdrive, an SD card made from 100 percent recycled materials gives photographers the memory they need for photos without wasting plastic in the process.
Try to minimize paper usage whenever you can. Upload client information directly to the Internet. Have clients sign contracts and invoices via computer and have albums available for them via email and through your website. Setting up Google Docs is the quickest way to share files, contracts, and invoices with clients without the need for physical pieces of paper. For those with a larger client base, Paperless by Mariner Software has everything from file storage and sharing to image retouching, as well as built in workflow and calendar interfaces.
Paper and Frames
Quality recyclable paper now exists for the photographers printing client photos and work. Red River’s Greenpix paper is made of 100 percent recycled post-consumer content. Framing can also be made greener with Framerica, which uses frames that are composed of 100 percent wood byproducts that add both style and sustainability to all of your prints.
Greenerphotography.org allows photographers interested in becoming greener to become certified as green photographers through its website. In doing so, photographers can contact other eco-conscious artists and share information, products and tips. Photographers can also market themselves as certified green photographers, with a seal on their website, as well as list their business in the websites directory for potentials clients to see.
To read how three wedding photographers adopted greener practices, and other eco-friendly resources for photographers, check out PDN's Focus on Wedding Guide from 2013.