Choosing to Be Eco Friendly

This post is kind of a mish-mash of several different things that have been going on behind the scenes for my business.  It’s definitely been a busy season and I’ve had a ton of WONDERFUL shoots!  At the same time, I’ve also been working hard on refining the look and feel of my business, both on the web, in print, and in person.

It all started about two months ago, when I started researching packaging options, trying to visualize what will reflect my style and brand the best. It’s always been slightly difficult for me to define what is really “me” when it comes to my brand (which is probably why I changed my logo 3 times in 1 year!). But working on my packaging has been surprisingly easy, and it actually helped clarify some of my branding as well!  The whole process gave me a greater sense of who I am as a photographer, and how I want to present myself and my style to clients.

After a bit of reflection, looking back at the shoots and weddings I really loved, as well as the type of things I’m drawn to, I made a list of words to guide my branding and style. This list helped formulate how I redesigned both my blog and website, as well as the look & feel of my packaging.  Here’s what made the cut!

– natural/organic
– modern, with a bit of “punch” 🙂
– artistic
– romantic, but not too girly (yes, I’m a wedding photographer, but it didn’t want  to be too girly!)
– simple and timeless

Such a great list!  Not only do I feel like this list reflects my photographic style, it also reflects me.  🙂

Once I had the list of descriptions for my brand, I looked at elements that would tie in my brand visually – colors, patterns, and textures.  I zeroed in on the grey moroccan style tile background you now see on my website & blog, homemade papers, kraft recycled paper, the robin’s egg/turquoise of my logo, and natural jute or twine.  I then started looking for companies that brought this vision to life.  The more I looked into materials and papers, the more I realized that I wanted everything to be as green and eco-friendly as possible.  Not just because that’s the current trend in our world, but because it is also something I care about.  I’ve never been one to be wasteful, and I love the idea that as a photographer, I can “give back” by giving my clients 100% recycled or biodegradable materials and/or products!  I’m excited to be an eco-friendly photographer!

For those who are curious about the specifics of being green and eco-friendly, here’s what it boils down to:

  • All printed consultation materials, brochures, business cards, folders, etc are printed using either 100% recycled paper, 100% wind power manufactured, 100% post-consumer waste, or other equivalent recycled materials.  Whenever possible, electronic materials are used instead of printed.
  • All prints are packaged using 100% recycled kraft boxes, with recycled tissue paper, wrapped with jute or twine and tagged with homemade recycled paper.
  • CDs are packaged using recycled handmade papers.
  • I do not offer printed proofs.  I find most clients prefer online viewing anyways, and this saves paper.
  •  Many products I offer are available with green options: coffee table books, gallery wrap canvases, cards, and albums.
And for those who are dying for a visual after all of this talk, here’s what my new consultaiton package looks like, along with my cards, and envelopes!
I put a large white folder, stamped with a custom stamp I had designed online, inside a large kraft envelope.  Inside the folder is a copy of tips for your session, a brochure including prices and other FAQs, a copy of the client invoice, and a referral card.
Thank you notes are printed on recycled stipple paper, and come in these awesome ornate shapes.  I’ve always loved receiving mail, so it’s fun for me to send off a hand written note to clients after their wedding or portrait session is complete.
Inside the folder or with the thank you note, I’ll include a few referral cards.  These are great to pass around to friends and help you earn print credits!
My favorite part of my packaging are these beautiful CD cases from Loktah.  Their unique and beautiful handmade papers combined with a few different choices of beads makes for a unique CD case.  It adds that extra something special 🙂

Now I can check off a few things on my 101 in 1001 list!

1. Improve my product packaging (I’ll have to add a picture of my print packaging soon!)

2. Develop a new client kit

82.  Be as eco-friendly of a photographer as possible.

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