Spanora Media


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?

More and more companies are aligning their actions with sustainability. There is also noticeable change in the creative industry. 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?

Introduction To Sustainable Photography.

It is time to get serious about sustainability in the photography industry. Let’s start with its meaning. Sustainable photography is how photographers can account for their ecological footprint. This new method of photography aims to reduce as many CO2 emissions as possible.     

Contrary to what one might think, Digital photography is not an environmentally friendly medium. It generates electronic waste, the production of SD memory cards produces high CO2 emissions and, in some cases, rare minerals are used. Batteries only last a maximum of three years, not to mention data storage in the cloud, which also consumes resources. And the lifespan of the equipment? On average, photographers have to replace their cameras, computers and phones every five years because they become obsolete. Photographers generates a lot of waste from printing and selling photo paper and prints, so many products are not being sold and go to waste.

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.

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 entail 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.

Photography isn’t an artform that screams waste but those gadgets don’t charge themselves! From lighting equipment to the battery packs that ensure you don’t run out of juice mid-shot, there are many, many electronics required to get that shot.

Reduce the environmental impact of your devices through good energy consumption practices. For example, turning off your cameras and gear when you aren’t using them. This avoids unnecessary power waste and offers an alternative to leaving fully charged batteries on charging docks for hours on end. Some modern devices stop charging to preserve the battery quality, but if it’s plugged in, energy is still being utilized.

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 grounds.

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.

Again, the less equipment you have to buy, the lower your impact will be.

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.

5. 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.

6. Avoid wrecking nature.

‘If I could just chop those ten trees down, I would have a perfect shot!’ Sound like you? Probably not, that’s a bit extreme.

But some photographers do have a habit of breaking branches and wrecking bushes to get the perfect shot. It’s tempting, but you should resist. Each time you do this, you leave a scar on the natural area. Be kind to nature.

Another common issue is waste. Bring your own reusable bottles of water or hot drinks when you shoot. And if not possible, don’t leave it behind you in the natural environment. Take all rubbish home to dispose of it properly or even better recycle!

Summing it up,

These were the 6 most influential factors to help you make photography more environmentally friendly.

It is widely believed that a sustainable photography increases costs. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is true that the implementation of green technology and sustainable practices requires an upfront investment, and this cost can be passed on to the photographer as a whole. However, whereas sustainable photography is more expensive, it is often because it is of a higher quality. Also, incorporating sustainability into the core of your business, you’ll attract more customers eco-friendly, gain their trust and loyalty, and help protect the environment.

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