For some time now, we’ve been committed to reducing our carbon footprint as a business. As photographers, this does create some challenges – creating beautiful, high quality printed products (prints, albums, frames) has always been a key part of our work. That said, we’re working on ways to maintain our luxury products whilst reducing waste and minimising our impact on the environment.

Horse photographer Portugal Jo Hansford

Our key approach is to:

1.    Use less power. We obviously need gadgets, and lots of them (cameras, macs, laptops, projector, flash, studio lighting….), so keeping devices off whenever possible obviously saves power. All of our macs/laptops go into sleep mode when out of use, our office and home lighting is set to switch off automatically when someone leaves a room. Any photographic kit in our kit room is off, except when its being charged for use.

2.    Respect the natural environment when out shooting. Of course, we are always keen to get that cracking shot and we love shooting in settings like wheat and poppy fields. However, we’ve trained ourselves over the years to be disciplined about sticking to the path, and not disturbing nature. That may mean not getting the shot exactly as we wanted, but we know we can still get a sensational image!

Sustainable photography Jo Hansford

3.    Eco friendly and sustainable packaging. This is a big area for us as we frequently need to send out products like fine art prints, frames and albums all of which need to be well wrapped so they don‘t get damaged in transit. Wherever possible, we have reduced our use of bubble wrap or plastic wrapping, and swopped to using recycled paper and more eco-friendly materials.

Sustainable photography Jo Hansford

4.    Using local suppliers. Wherever possible, we use local suppliers for printing and framing of our photographs. Our handmade framers are based under two miles away; our printers are all Bristol based. Maintaining high quality products has always been a hugely important aspect of our business, and we are lucky that we can achieve this within our local area.

5. Cloud storage. When I started out back in 2000, all our images were shot on film and stored as sheets of negatives, which were then stored in boxes. In 2007, we switched to shooting on digital cameras, and our image backups were then on CD and DVD. Creating backups on disc took time and energy along with physical space, and retrieving images for use from CDs also used power. More recently, in 2013, we switched to Cloud storage which is now our way to archive all our shoot images, is far more efficient and has a far lower carbon footprint.

6. Travel. The majority of our work is within 50 miles radius of home which helps keep our carbon footprint low. For wedding shoots, we used to always travel in two cars, in order to take photos of both parties – the last few years we have found ways to reduce this to one car – one of us can usually hitch a lift with bridesmaids or groomsmen to a venue or church for the ceremony and its never been an issue. 

Sustainable photography Jo Hansford

We continue to develop and maintain ways to be more eco friendly and reduce our carbon footprint both in the office and outside.

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