Thursday, October 7, 2010

Going for the Green

By Justin DeMutiis

My photographic style for weddings and portraits has been called natural and organic, stemming from my background in nature photography, but also because of my use of natural light and natural posing. So it is only fitting that my product from start to finish reflect qualities of the natural and packaging that is as eco-friendly as possible.

In 2006, I was 1 of 10 students in North America awarded the College Scholarship award to attend NANPA’s annual Summit. My passion for nature, conservation, and photography were already evident, but to call that experience life altering would be an understatement.

Now I'm a full-time wedding and portrait photographer deeply rooted in my beginnings as a nature photographer and conservationist.

In Florida, being green is a hard sell. Yet, I’m not discouraged. Since college I have been passionate about creating recycling campaigns. It started by putting recycling bins in all the dorms at the University of South Florida. Through the years, I’ve participated in local coastal cleanups and river clean ups. Recently I had the chance to organize my own river clean up and beach cleanups. Today, I find myself making a difference by picking out recyclables out of the garbage on a nearby beach, almost on a weekly basis. Recently, I was contacted by Greener Corners, who specialize in creating public space recycling programs, after a blog posting about my efforts.

From image creation to the final product, I want to create an experience for my clients that is memorable, long lasting, and eco-friendly. All my packaging and shipping material is 100% recycled, and many of my products are eco-friendly or sustainable. I have spent countless hours searching for products that are not only beautiful and timeless, but also contribute to a greener tomorrow. The minimal paper I use with for printing, envelopes, and packaging is 100% recycled kraft paper. I deliver my digital files in a tin-case, or a Loktah DVD case, which are both eco-friendly. I’m also excited to begin working with Cypress Albums, who create the most gorgeous and elegant albums while having strong green business practices as well as green products. Finally, I recycle everything I can, and all boxes and packaging material that comes in is repurposed or recycled.

One of the most effective ways I’ve been able to reduce paper waste is an amazing system called ShootQ. Not only have I improved my client experience, but now my pricing, details about sessions/products, questionnaires, and contracts are all online, so no paper waste!

I have made many efforts in my personal life to be “green”, but I always have new goals to make my business as eco-friendly as possible, here are just three:

1. Spread awareness of Greener Photography methods to at least 3 portrait/wedding photographers.

2. Create at least 2 campaigns/competitions to reward clients and friends for being green this year.

3. I will recycle 100% of my failed discs (Something I just recently became aware of).

This is just a start! While I worked hard to make much of this happen, I didn’t anticipate how excited I would be to make a more eco-friendly business. There are more opportunities than ever to be green, so no excuses! Every little bit counts!

Some of the companies I have used:
Eco-Friendly Packaging:
Tin DVD Case:
Natural Media Products:
Green Album of Choice:

Links to more Green Products and Suppliers: