If you’re an ethically-minded couple striving to incorporate your values into every aspect of your wedding day, you’re going to want to delve deep when you’re searching for a photographer and ask more than just the standard questions before booking.
Not only do you want to find someone you vibe with and who you can trust to create totally bomb images, you want to be sure they can do it without trashing the planet and humanity.
Here’s 5 of our top questions to ask your potential wedding photographer to discover if they’re on a similar ethical wavelength to your fine self!
Do you actively support marriage equality?
This question should be numero uno for any couple getting to know a potential photographer.
Talking the talk here just ain’t good enough.
Any photographer can blithely reply, ‘Oh yeah, sure, we work with all couples’. But do they answer you passionately and with conviction?
Does this photographer walk the walk?
Take a look at their website, their blog, their Instagram: do you SEE a wide range of couples? Or are you only seeing model-esque hetero white couples staring back at you?
Do you follow Leave No Trace Principles when shooting out in nature?
With the rapid rise in micro weddings and elopements (thanks COVID!), more and more couples are choosing to ‘wed in the wild.’
For the eco-conscious couple, getting married in the great outdoors brings with it a specific set of concerns to be sure you find wedding professionals that match your vibe.
Is your photographer going to interact sensitively and respectfully with the natural environment and encourage you to do the same?
You don’t want to work with a photographer who is going to trample across sensitive terrain, crush rare wildflowers and generally leave a path of destruction behind them just to get ‘that’ Insta-worthy shot.
Can you advise us on ethical wedding attire?
A GOOD wedding photographer should know what style of attire works best in different environments.
If you’re planning a wedding on a mountaintop or a rugged cliffside, for example, a lightweight flowing gown looks totally DREAMY as it catches the wind! Serious goddess-vibes. If you’re going for a more urban feel, a sleek fitted dress or jumpsuit looks BAD-ASS.
A GREAT outdoor wedding photographer can also point you in the right direction if sustainability matters to you.
They have their finger on the wedding-industry pulse and can tell you which designers use planet-friendly textiles, treat their employees fairly and ensure their products are cruelty-free.
HINT HINT, you might want to check out: Leanne Marshall, Reformation, Rolling in Roses and Lost in Paris.
Do you avoid paper waste where possible and offer sustainable physical products?
Most photographers offer a variety of guides to support you through the oh-so-confusing planning process: advice on what to wear, how to create your timeline, a bit about their workflow, that kinda thing.
Whilst it sure feels exciting to be sent a nice shiny brochure full of pretty things to look at, your photographer should also be willing to send these digitally if you’d rather avoid the waste.
Likewise, images should be delivered digitally unless you request physical albums and prints. In which case, do they source their products through environmentally sensitive companies?
What does your photography business do to give back?
Your photographer may well be a one (wo)man show but even the tiniest businesses can ensure they are socially and environmentally conscious.
Whether it’s striving to be carbon neutral, donating a certain amount of profits, or simply giving the gift of time; EVERYONE can do SOMETHING to make this crazy world just a little bit of a brighter place.
Can you recommend other ‘eco vendors’?
If your photographer truly lives by their values, they probably prefer to work with other like-minded wedding pros rather than the ones who overindulge in the waste of a typical wedding every chance they get.
It’s very likely your photographer has a whole network of tried, tested and trusted florists, planners, caterers and other wedding professionals who can all support you in creating the eco-conscious wedding of your dreams.
About the Author
Hey there! We’re Chad and Vanessa and we are ’The Outlovers‘. We’re an elopement photography and planning assistance team based in Colorado and Utah, adventuring with couples across the US and worldwide. We work with ALL couples who find their deepest connection in the great outdoors. We create epic elopement experiences that live up to your wildest dreams!
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