We can always improve the way we live and work to make our routines more sustainable and eco-friendly, even in sectors that may seem at first glance to be nonpolluting. The photography industry is no exception. For those running a business, changes and solutions are available to help you create a more environmentally friendly, sustainable photography business.
Why Sustainability Is Important
The more changes we make to support the environment increases our potential to help the planet turn the tide on some of the damage that has occurred as a result of carbon emissions and industrial activity. The pandemic, surprisingly, had a positive effect on our global emissions, but it also showed just how much needs to change in order to see the right results.
Sustainability is a long-term change, not a short-term fix, and if enough people make small changes, it can accumulate into big impact. Sustainability is essential for our futures. We rely on natural resources for survival, as well as business, and ignoring our responsibilities could lead to an early exhaustion of those resources and devastating effects on the planet. Notable tweaks to how you live and work every day are the answer to making a collective difference, starting with your own sustainable photography business.
Shoot Locally to Cut Back on Travel
Travel contributes significantly to CO2 emissions, and if you’re running a photography business, there’s a good chance your clients will be based all over the country, if not abroad. Naturally, you want your business to be successful, but reducing the amount of travel you do each month can make a big difference to the emissions your sustainable photography business produces.
Shooting locally as much as possible can help to improve the sustainability of your business, so it can be beneficial to increase the number of local clients your company has on its books. Depending on the type of photography you do, it could also be possible for clients to send their products to you so that you can work with them remotely. If you need to be in the location to carry out your work, try to book trips more strategically so that you’re minimising your travel to each location and use transport that releases fewer emissions, such as travelling by train rather than flying.
Use High Quality, Secondhand Equipment for a Sustainable Photography Business
Investing in high quality equipment is essential, especially if you’re running a business. A loss of equipment or constantly needing to spend money on repairs not only eats into your profits but also slows down productivity. Buying well the first time will save you money in the long term but it’s also better for the planet, because you’re not throwing disused items into the landfill.
Secondhand equipment isn’t just beneficial for amateurs and those new to the field, it can also be a valid way of helping the environment for established photographers running a sustainable photography business, too. In fact, research published by MPB found that 66% photographers recognize there is no need to purchase a brand new photography kit, and under-35s are more likely to embrace buying secondhand to reduce the environmental impact of their photography. Whether it’s a new camera or branching out your skills with new lenses, buying what’s already been produced is far more sustainable than contributing to the production of more and depleting resources further.
Stick to Rechargeable Batteries
Disposable batteries are a burden to our environment, leaching toxic chemicals into the soil when they wind up in landfill and polluting our planet. However, they can be useful for photographers, especially when working on big campaigns and projects. Rechargeable batteries are the solution and the perfect compromise for creating a more sustainable photography business. These batteries last a far longer time and can save businesses money in the process, because they don’t need replacing as quickly, but they’re also easily recyclable so when you do need to replace them, they won’t do as much harm to the environment.
Like so many sustainable switches, rechargeable batteries do require a bit more of an upfront investment. But when you factor in the lifespan of a rechargeable battery compared to the number of disposables that would be needed for the same period, it’s money well worth spending.
Reduce Power Consumption for a Sustainable Photography Business
As any professional photographer knows, the number of devices you end up carrying around can soon add up when you’re working. But what they all have in common is that they depend on electricity to work, and when you’re working on projects every day, that amounts to a considerable build-up of power.
One of the biggest changes we can all make is to minimize climate change is to reduce our power consumption. So, turn off devices when they’re not being used, whether that’s your printer, laptop, camera or any other devices you need to work. Similarly, when it comes time to recharge these devices, don’t leave them on charge for hours on end, as this contributes to wasted energy and results in higher electricity bills, too. Once the device has recharged, switch it off until you need it. Photography is a wonderful medium for creativity and communication, and with just a few tweaks to how you operate, it’s possible to make your business a more sustainable photography business that is kinder to the environment. No matter what type of photography you specialize in, there are ways to work in an eco-friendlier way and reduce the carbon footprint of your business.