Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives

Marketing Yourself as a Greener Portrait Photographer

By Dawn Tacker

It's relatively easy to show the world that you care about the environment. Demonstrate your green-ness in your business as well to connect with the educated, savvy group of families that make wonderful, caring portrait clients. Together you and your clients can help bring positive change.

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Understanding the Eco-Aware Family

Many families who are concerned about the environment view all their purchasing decisions through a green lens. The power of supply demand is a beautiful thing - as more like-minded consumers ask for and purchase greener options, more options are available to them. The photographic industry is in its infancy when it comes to offering greener products. Ride the wave of change by understanding your eco-friendly options in photography, educating your clients about their greener options, and letting your environmentalism shine through all that you do.

Educate consumers

  • Have a well-articulated environmental policy on your website that indicates all the things you do to run a greener business. Going through Greener Photography's certification process will provide a roadmap for writing your statement.
  • Help your clients understand the environmental impact of traditional photographic products. For example, explain why RC prints are not eco-friendly.
  • Ensure all aspects of your business reflect your environmentalism. For example, use recycled paper/natural paper options for printing promotional materials. Start with Greener Photography's list of offset printers offering such products.

Offer greener portrait products

  • Add natural fiber prints to your offerings, such as giclee-printed sugarcane, bamboo, or cotton rag paper, and canvas gallery wraps. Several options are listed on Greener Photography's Green Guide.
  • Provide albums that are giclee printed and covered with natural fibers. You can get specific ideas on companies here. Read more about the eco-friendly album here.
  • Finish your eco-friendly portraits with greener framing options. For example, use reclaimed wood frames, or frames made from recycled materials. Check out more on greener framing options here.
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Walk the walk

Wave your green flag in any number of ways to show how green you are. A few ideas:

  • Plant a tree to commemorate your clients' new babies, high school graduation, and every milestone in between. Check out Plant a Tree USA, or purchase a potted plant or tree for your portrait clients to plant.
  • Donate a percentage of your profits to an environmental non-profit such as 1% for the Planet. Check out non-profit ratings on Charity Navigator.
  • Become certified with Greener Photography at the Basic, Premiere, or Leadership Circle Level to demonstrate your commitment to running a greener photography business.

Dawn Tacker of Eos Photography is a portrait photographer based in San Diego County. She is co-founder of Greener Photography.