photo by nickalbi via iStock
There’s been a lot of talk about environmental awareness lately, and for really good reason. We have polluted our planet for decades and if we hope to prevent any further climate change damage, then we all need to do our part.
But, as photographers, it can seem sort of confusing figuring out how to be an activist for the wellbeing of our planet. While I don’t necessarily want to pivot my entire career in order to rebrand as an eco-friendly photographer, I do want to do what I can.
For people who are thinking along the same lines, I have good news. If you want to be an eco-friendly photographer, there are a few really simple steps you can take that won’t require much money or effort on your part.
Use Less Electricity
photo by isayildiz via iStock
I’m sure you’ve seen these statistics before, but your desktop computer uses 175 kg of CO2 per year. In order to be a more eco-friendly photographer, all you need to do is remember to turn off your desktop, your laptop, and unplug your batteries when you are no longer using them.
The bigger your setup is, the more money you’re spending on charging it every year and the more CO2 you’re sending into the atmosphere. I think this is one of those best practices for photographers that we all get into the habit of ignoring.
Plus, a lot of times being an eco-friendly photographer also means you’re going to save yourself a lot of hassle in the long run. When you unplug your chargers, you extend the shelf-life of those chargers.
Use High-Quality Batteries
photo by Black_Kira via iStock
This is another way that you can both strive to be an eco-friendly photographer and save yourself time and money.
I know it can be tempting to purchase cheap, third party batteries, but those cheap, third party batteries never last as long as the batteries from your camera manufacturer. Spend a little more money upfront to purchase a Sony or Canon battery and you won’t just save money over the years, but you’ll also send less batteries to the landfill.
Since each one of your batteries will take a century to decompose, buying the more expensive brands and cutting your battery usage in half is one of the best ways to be an eco-friendly photographer.
Be Vocal About the Environment
photo by amriphoto via iStock
We all know those photographers who spend all of their time talking about the environment. I’m not really saying you have to do this to be considered an environmentally-friendly photographer.
But, if you have a large platform, you can be vocal about different environmental themes that you’re passionate about. For instance, if you love animals, you can make it a goal to go photograph an endangered species. Conversely, if you run educational courses for photographers, maybe think about building one to specifically teach people how to be an eco-friendly photographer.
I think PhotographyTalk is a great example of this. We cover all sorts of photography business tips, camera reviews, etc., but we also occasionally host articles like this one because we think it’s important.
Resist the Temptation to Trespass
photo by donald_gruener via iStock
This is one of those pet peeves that really frustrate me. You can’t claim to be an eco-friendly photographer and trespass (especially in state or national parks).
There’s a reason why those signs requesting you to stay on the trail are up. Usually it’s because the parks are trying to create a safe area for endangered flora and fauna. When you trespass to grab the perfect shot, you may also be killing the same plants or animals that you’re there to photograph.
Be Mindful of the Products You’re Buying
In some ways learning how to be an eco-friendly photographer is just like learning how to be an eco-friendly human.
For instance, you should be paying attention to the environmental impact of different products you’re buying for your photography business, like photo albums.
You hate to see trees being cut down for your business, and now you don’t have to. The BloomBook, by QTAlbums, is built for every eco-friendly photographer. It’s a lay flat photo book that is made out of remnants of RAW linen that the company has left over from their main production.
It comes in a wooden box that is salvaged from a timber mill. Essentially, no part of this photo album is brand new and yet it is absolutely gorgeous and timeless.
As with every QTAlbums product, your photos are rated for 60+ years of enjoyment, but you get the added benefit of knowing you’re helping the planet out.