Being Green?

No, I do not being envious of staff photographers and their access to a huge pool of kit. I mean being environmentally conscious and friendly.

Flying Home – iPhone Photo

This subject is front and centre in the news (and so it should be), with many business looking at thier green credentials.

Last week I documented “Greening the Big Screen” – the title for this year’s Cinema Association conference. Only 72 hours after getting off a flight from LA.

I was photographing (and listening!) sessions that were quite inspiring on how businesses can reduce thier carbon footprint. At that moment I did not exactly feel the most environmentally friendly person in the room!

The conference. GFX50R with Laowa 17mm triggered with Pocket Wizards. (Spot the photographer!)

Like most people, I do my upmost with recycling, heating and lighting but this conference made me think about how I can reduce the environmental impact of my business.

As a photographer, I don’t operate in a single location, the major necessity of being of a photographer is having to travel to the subject or client – there is just no getting around that! (No zoom/teams meeting option here!). The distance I travel varies greatly, from local, to as I did recently, intercontinental.

Obviously cutting out the international jobs would reduce my carbon footprint but then I would reduce my earnings. The larger agencies have the option of using only local photographers (but this is not something I am seeing happen). One-person businesses like freelancers? No real option. (Although one of my clients has switched to local only photographers which has reduced the number of times we could have worked together).

How about travel within the UK? Well quite some time ago I made the decision to no longer own a car and to use public transport as much a possible (as the car would sit in our street probably 3 or 4 days a week – totally cost ineffective). Travel on public transport with a full portrait kit (lights and backdrops) is a pain but it is getting easier year on year as the efficiency of lights and cameras improve and shrink.

Full disclosure – I do own a Motorbike which can carry a light kit set and gets 70mpg. Here shown loaded for a weekend festival shoot. iPhone picture.

When I have no option but to use a car to get kit to a client (I always charge transport on, no matter the method of travel), I try to hire a hybrid vehicle (there seems not to be any EV’s on the hire fleet I use). This is something I will improve (insist) on going forward.

Of course there are other ways we can make sure we are environmentally friendly as photographers; batteries and power are items that springs to mind, as is the other elephant in the room – shooting on film.

I’ll finish up with this frighting quote

The report continued: “In all regions increases in extreme heat events have resulted in human mortality and morbidity (very high confidence). The occurrence of climate-related food-borne and water-borne diseases (very high confidence) and the incidence of vector-borne diseases (high confidence) have increased.”
In other words: Climate change is already killing people. And, the report makes clear, it will kill more.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report

As I move forward and try to write an environmental policy for my business, what else can I think about? How are you reducing your impact? Are you even trying to?


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