In honor of Earth Day this year, we’re taking time to share on Instagram about how Katie Day Photos is a sustainable, ethical, and eco-friendly small business – letting the world in on one piece of ‘insider information’ per day. Many people have no idea of the amount of thought and work that goes into each step of their photography experience, so this short journey takes a peek into what that process looks like. Here are five earth friendly photography business practices that we conduct with every client:
Earth Friendly Business Practice 1:
When meeting clients for their consultation, if it’s not in the comfort of their own home, it’s likely to happen in a coffee shop that makes an avid attempt to avoid or reduce waste. Thankfully, the Seattle area isn’t short on sustainable coffee shops or eco-conscious baristas. Reusable mugs, dishes, and cutlery are all a part of the solution. These are the same shops that usually source organic coffee beans and tea leaves from properly-paid farmers who avoid synthetic pesticides and non-organic fertilizers. When booking an engagement, an elopement, an anniversary session, or a wedding, there won’t be any talk about this, but you will be reducing your carbon-footprint, perhaps without even realizing it. You champ, you.
Earth Friendly Business Practice 2/5:
1) Recycle old equipment, and 2) Purchase what is used; this is one detail that we focus on to create less waste. Things like SD cards, main camera bodies, heavily used equipment, in addition to hard drives, are NEVER purchased secondhand (waaaay too much at stake). Risks aren’t taken when it comes to equipment – if clients are paying good money, then they should expect great service, backed by great equipment. That said, if a local camera shop has a gently-used lens that I’m on the market for, I’m absolutely going to take advantage of the lens rather than investing in a new one. There’s no need to consume more than what I need or to hold onto what I don’t need; all of my old camera parts and lenses are recycled into a shop that fixes up equipment and resells the bodies and parts. Circular economy, holler at cha girl.
Earth Friendly Business Practice 3/5:
Hahnemühle photography prints. Upon receiving my own hahnemühle prints, I let out an audible gasp. I teared up, too. After testing prints from more than twenty labs over the course of eight months, nothing took my breath away more than these prints from Musea. Hahnemühle is an heirloom-quality paper made out of cotton that has a life expectancy of approximately 100 years over the standard lustre print. This solution is equally sustainable and earth-friendly as it is the most stunning quality on the market. The paper company maintains the following merits. They:
- Hold strict standards on waste water.
- Use recycled raw materials without losing quality.
- Includes only primary fibers, not treated with bound chlorine.
- Utilize renewable raw materials (bamboo and bagasse – a by-product of sugar cane that is usually burned).
- Source electricity from water, wind, and solar energy.
In addition, Hahnemühle prints display the richest tones. The end result is a print that I can’t keep to myself; it’s available to all of my clients (in addition to matte/lustre). Ask to see samples of this paper during your consultation, and judge for yourself the difference of quality and color – there’s absolutely nothing like it.
Earth Friendly Business Practice 4/5:
I am proud to support four small business across the U.S.. It feels good to partner with other business owners, as opposed to big companies, knowing that all of my products are ethically sourced – each carefully hand printed, hand stretched, hand designed, and handmade. Four of our main products: albums; prints; canvases; and hand-crafted heirloom boxes, come from the best labs in the nation. When I transitioned my business to serving my clients fully (as opposed to handing over digitals), I went through an eight-month process of investing, communicating, testing, reviewing, and hardcore scrutiny of every piece of art that returned to my doorstep.
The process helped us narrow down the four essentials of completing a clients’ photography experience: their choice of album, print, canvas, and / or heirloom box(es). Each business that I work with is ethical and sustainable. In addition, Musea gives a portion of money from every print order to build wells throughout impoverished countries.
Supporting businesses like these makes me proud of people like you who believe in what I do and choose to fill your home with beautiful memories. Finishing off every clients’ experience with something to take home and hold onto forever is so, so satisfying.
Earth Friendly Business Post 6/5 (BONUS):
As a wrap, before I start telling you about the benefits of tooth powder and homemade deodorant (please don’t run), I understand that this environmental stuff might throw you off – believe me, the words ‘ethical,’ ‘sustainable,’ and ‘eco-friendly’ catch me off guard, too. Know that these business practices are not set in place due to any trend. Running an ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly business has been something of an ongoing process; one that I’m learning to be more conscious of as a business owner.
In short, we’ve been given an amazing planet and resources to work with, so this is one attempt to steward it well. This approach has been an opportunity to invite others to look ‘behind-the-scenes’ – covering a series of topics that I haven’t shared openly before, so thank you for paying attention and following along. For those who have questions or who would like to know more, I’m always open to conversation. Call or email anytime.
As a ‘Thank you’, I’m running an ‘Earth Day Special’ exclusive to today (4/22/17). For every person who emails or calls about booking a session (engagement, anniversary, elopement, wedding, or truth session) by the end of the night (4/22/17 at 11:59 PST), they will receive a $50 gift certificate to go toward professional [ethically made] photography products. That’s a gift of fifty green US dollars, people! Email (email@example.com) // use the contact form above // or call 425-399-3438, to book today. Can’t wait to hear from you!