I judge the success of my business on more than just profits. I prefer to use the triple bottom line, and take account of people and planet as well as profit.  Here’s a summary of some of the things I am doing to create positive outcomes for people and planet through my work, with a wish list and resources section at the end.


Much of this relates to how I treat my clients, and also about how I interact with other professionals and ‘give back’ to my community.

-        I promote positive body image through my photography and editing, refusing to perpetuate the idea that we would all look better with a few tweaks.  I show my clients how great they really look, without airbrushing, and I am a regional photographer for A Beautiful Body Project.

-        I do not rip people off.  Unlike some photographers, my prices are transparent and stated clearly upfront with no hidden charges.  I take time to explain to each client what is included in each package, and avoid legalese in my contracts and agreements.

-        I do not use high-pressure sales techniques.  I am here to listen to my clients’ wants and needs, and to do my best to meet them, not to tell them what they should buy from me.

-        Honesty and trust are important in my business.  I am open and clear with clients, and I work to create a trusting and productive relationship every time, treating every individual I meet with respect.  If I make a mistake, I apologise and do my best to resolve the issue.  I do not use my clients’ images without their consent.

-        I give back to my community.  I offer reduced rates for charities and not-for-profits, and do a limited number of pro bono jobs each year for good causes.  I am a trustee at Barracks Lane Community Garden and a member of the Oxford Time Bank, offering others help with deciphering their camera equipment and editing software.

-        I support other local businesses.  I am part of a self-employed women’s  business network.  I support other freelance professionals with advice and guidance.  I use local businesses for things like bookkeeping (Marshes, I’m looking at you).  And I spend a lot of time in local independent coffee shops (my current favourite is Quarterhorse Coffee on Cowley Road).

-        I have a no tolerance policy to cruelty.  My office is run on fairtrade tea and chocolate.  I do not actively promote albums with leather covers, but if clients wish to order them, I work with eco album-makers Folio, who source from suppliers committed to sustainability and the ethical treatment of animals.

-        Some of my images are available under a Creative Commons License.


I reduce, reuse and recycle, and choose sustainable options wherever possible.

-        When choosing suppliers, I select on quality, price and eco-credentials.  I currently work in partnership with Folio and Artifact Uprising, both companies with similar priorities.  I am looking for the best environmentally friendly options for prints.

-        I am reducing paper use in my office, and am researching paperless contracts, which I hope to start using by July 2014.  Invoices and receipts will be shared electronically only and I use recycled paper and packaging wherever possible, and FSC-certified as a minimum.  I recycle my office waste.

-        Images are shared with portrait and commercial clients electronically to avoid unnecessary packaging, and wedding clients are given images on a reuseable USB stick or DVDs.

-        I use rechargeable batteries for my photography equipment. My office is powered by Ecotricity, phone and broadband by The Phone Co-op.

-        I buy new equipment only where a professional quality second hand option is unavailable.

-        I use a bike and trailer for travel where possible, and offer meetings over Skype.  When I do need a car, I use one from my local car club, Commonwheels.


As mentioned above, I am currently researching the greenest printing methods for professional prints, so I can source prints for clients appropriately and keep them informed; I am also looking into paperless contracts.  In addition, better banking options and eco web hosting are both still on my ‘to do’ list.


The Triple Bottom Line – People, Planet & Profit
Permaculture Ethics – People Care, Earth Care, Fair Shares
A Beautiful Body Project and the brilliant Jade Beall

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