Friday, April 16, 2010

Green Wedding Friday - A Discussion Between Photographers

A few weeks ago I found this remark on my Facebook profile: "What does one do to become "Eco Friendly"? Is there a test or something?" It was from a local photographer and I referred him to the website to get started. While it's important to work toward lowering our carbon footprints, I believe it's vital to discuss where this is going and why it's important.

My friend Angela Simpson owner of Angelina Rose Photography and I have lately been discussing these issues and I wanted to share our discussion with you.

Is Green Photography a trend or a movement?

Marcia: It is definitely a movement, as an industry more of us are seeking to waste less, recycle more. in the past year I have seen more choices in the use of soy inks, recycled materials for albums and innovative packaging that can be re-used by the consumer after the photos have been delivered.

Look at what we've seen in the general community in just the past few months in terms of going solar, recycling, etc. As the people around us look for ways to conserve, recycle and re-use, it is only natural that they will want to extend their efforts to seeking businesses that support their beliefs about protecting the environment.

Angela: As we become more aware of the environmental impact our actions make upon earth and its inhabitants, I believe it’s vital to start making changes and offset our carbon footprint any way possible. It is a fact that weddings are among the events that make a huge impact on carbon emissions and waste issues. If we think about it, everything that goes into creating the atmosphere of a wedding; details such as materials, party favors, catering options, flower arrangements, transportation, etc. leave behind tons of wasted product and food. A good percentage ends up in the garbage.

With the step towards an eco-friendly wedding, we are able to offset some of that carbon waste by using natural and recycled product to reduce our footprint. More and more brides are getting creative and personalizing their weddings. I think making their wedding a green wedding provides an alternative option and narrower focus on what’s important to them and cutting out all of the unnecessary things like paper aisle runners and cheesy traditional cake toppers.

It was only a matter of time before the eco-conscious people starting thinking about their carbon offset for weddings as well as their daily activities. I think green weddings are a movement.

Having a Green Wedding is more expensive than a traditional wedding, True or False?

Marcia: I believe you can actually save money by having a Green Wedding. Think about the tenets of this, "reduce, re-use, recycle" and you can quickly see the savings. The average cost of a wedding gown is $1505 for a garment that is used once. Purchasing a pre-worn gown can save as much as 70% and borrowing a gown from a friend might be only the cost of shipping. Some photographers offer direct downloads as a part of their package or an adjunct, saving the families money on reprint costs. Every part of the wedding has the opportunity to find savings either by re-using, consolidating or re-purposing.

Angela: If people continue practicing green alternatives, I feel that having a green wedding will become very cost efficient. I think we’ve already seen that the more thought one puts in to their wedding day, the more personalized things become and having a wedding outside, for instance, whether in your backyard or at a park, already saves on electricity and venue fees.

Do you believe that Green Photography stays in the studio?

Marcia: No. At least for me it has been a lifestyle. Along with selling digitally and offering eco-friendly products and re-useable packaging, we compost, recycle as much as we can, consolidate trips in the car and I work in natural light as much as possible. Future plans include going solar and making the home/workspace more energy efficient. Is there room for improvement? Well, yeah, I'm still REALLY bad about soft drinks in individual plastic bottles, but at least they are recycled ;)

Angela: Over the past 3 years I have steadily transitioned my business standards to match my personal eco-conscious lifestyle. So, no, I do not feel that Green Photography stays in the studio. Everything I do on a daily basis reflects just as much in the to-do's for my business .
I work by day so there's no dependency on artificial lighting, my light bulbs are CFL's and I am currently finishing the switch to all energy efficient track lighting.
I route out my car trips and plan stops here and there as needed. Since I live outside of downtown Phoenix, a trip to the post office then leads to a meeting with a client that leads to a stop at the grocery store on my way home.

I refuse, recycle, and reuse a whole lot and have reduced the amount of CD's and DvD's that I use down to an absolute minimum. Yes, I recycle CDs as well. =)

How do you see Green Photography benefiting the public?

Marcia: Green Photography offers a way to create high quality family heirlooms in a lower impact method to the environment. Families can now have their personal history books created with post consumer product, soy inks, made by companies that work as hard to utilize eco-friendly production methods as to create beautiful products. Every step we take as individuals helps the whole.

Angela: With the use of digital imagery, information is passed through the internet at warp speed. With Green Photography, we get immediate results and reactions to the importance of a message. It's there to be shared with the entire world.

If we had waited around for the recorded images to come back from Haiti and processed a week after the massive earthquake, relief would not have made it there in time.

We started with Green photography when the first digital camera came about.

1 comment:

Calla Gold said...

This is a good discussion to have. With so much concern about going green, why not have greener weddings?