Photography is a great form of communication between the sender and the audience. So it is often used for illustration of editorials, advertisements, publications, among others. However, how often do we ask ourselves if photography is environmentally friendly?

A year ago, Vogue Italia brought attention to the impact big photographic productions hold on the environment. Their issue produced with solely original photography involved productions with hundred and fifty people, food wastage from catering, a great amount of plastic usage to wrap clothes, as well as transports and energy over-usage.

With sustainability being at the center of an ideal future, there is a constant desire to adopt more conscious ways into every aspect of life. So how can photography decrease its impact?

We’ve asked ourselves this question and tried to highlight a couple of points that can help you, as a photographer, to make photography more environmentally friendly. Have a look.

What is sustainable photography?

Sustainable photography is the way in which photographers can account for their ecological footprint. This new method of photography seeks to produce as few CO2 emissions as possible.

How to become an eco-friendly photographer?

An eco-friendly photographer is someone aware of what procedures are harming the environment.

While becoming an eco-friendly photographer entails leaving as little of a carbon footprint as possible, there are many factors that can further contribute to becoming more sustainable.

Let’s dive into the 6 key factors that can make photography more environmentally friendly.

#1 Use less power

Keeping your power consumption to a minimum is a simple way to become a more sustainable photographer. Turning off, or putting to sleep, your camera gear, display, computer, scanner, or printer is a simple and easy way to reduce your impact on the planet.

‘Phantom electricity’ is a significant contributor to the output of coal plants, thus increasing fossil fuel emissions in the atmosphere.

#2 Use rechargeable batteries

Every photographer is aware of how many batteries are needed for the production of a project or campaign. While they are the essential piece to the puzzle, they are extremely harmful to the environment.

By using rechargeable batteries, you as a photographer are limiting the release of toxic chemicals to the environment.

While rechargeable batteries may seem a bit pricey at first glance, they are an extremely important investment. Once you consider the lifespan and the sustainability, you will see that they will save you and the environment a fortune.

#3 Invest in high-quality and durable gear

A part of growing your photography business is having good gear. We understand that it isn’t always easy to dish out a couple of thousand euros on top-notch equipment. However, it is an extremely sustainable approach.

By acquiring high-quality, durable gear you are investing in the next few years. As a result, less plastic is being sent to waste grouds.

When the time comes to purchase a new camera, light, or computer, think about donating them or re-selling the equipment you have grown out of.

#4 Be aware when printing

A further way you can reduce your impact on the planet is by spending more time choosing what photographs you want to print, before sending them to the printers. And if you can, print on recycled paper and with non-toxic plant-based inks.

By remaining as conservative as possible, you are able to increase your sustainability.

Also, keep in mind that it is perfectly fine to recycle old images you have captured for newer projects.

Discover how Vogue Italia was able to integrate sustainable photography tactics in their January 2020 issue, here.

#5 Shoot locally, or consider a remote shooting

A great component that contributes to CO2 emission and greenhouse gases is transportation.

If you are already applying all the above-mentioned recommended factors, then it would be a shame to take a massive step back by carrying out all your shoots internationally.

For this reason, try to acquire more local clients for whom you can conduct most of the shootings in your region.

Another suggestion can be motivating international clients to send their products to you and your team. Doing photography productions remotely can save extra travel and therefore, negative environmental impact.

At Cherrydeck we enable clients to organize remote shootings with our community of creatives. Have a look at a remote production for Apricot Beauty, here, or for Vitamalz, here.

#6 Shoot the change you want to make

While practicing sustainable shooting methods can already make a drastic difference, capturing the change you want to see can positively support the importance of environmental awareness.

For this, you should think about how your photographs are representing the environmental crisis. Or work with clients that are contributing to a greener global future.

Summing it up

These were the 6 most influential factors to help you make photography more environmentally friendly. Take a look at the sum-up of all the above-mentioned factors:

  1. Use less power
  2. Use rechargeable batteries
  3. Invest in high-quality and durable gear
  4. Be aware when printing
  5. Shoot locally, or consider a remote shooting
  6. Shoot the change you want to make

Read more about the importance of sustainability in photography on our blog. Take a look at the photo series “We’ll Sea” by Wolf Silveri.

Want to join our community of creatives? Sign-up and start showcasing your work on Cherrydeck today.

Posted by:Cherrydeck Editorial

Our mission is to enable brands to source custom visual content at scale through our global creative community. Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates @cherrydeck

3 replies on “How to Make Photography More Environmentally Friendly

  1. Yo! nice approach and sweet intention. not deep enough for me, though. what about:

    -reducing waste when ordering food or catering (single use plastic stuff, ect.)
    -don’t over order catering and throw half of it away
    -reducing waste on packaging (also client side)
    -rent or buy used equipment. there is enough on the market.
    -solar power for (on location) productions (eg goal zero (no payed add))
    -carpool when possible
    -avoid single use plastic stuff

    fight for the planet not for a country or a religion.

    peace and cheers