Posts Tagged ‘commercial photography’

Branding the Heartstorming Way, Pithy Quotes, New Videoconference

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012



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I hope this finds you well and thriving.

Today’s edition offers some strong branding advice,

a look at Scott Indernaur’s book Revealed

and some more Pithy Quotes

along with a special offer.

I am inviting nine people to particpate in a new


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Heartstorming Think Tank Team Videoconference

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All you need is a webcam and an open mind.

You probably have both already.

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Over the past few years, many photographers and other creators have participated in Heartstorming Think Tank Team Teleconferences. They meet together in 90 minute videoconference sessions twice a month. In addition members meet with me for a minimum of one hour a month in individual sessions.

The facilitated teleconferences function like a think tank. Members present challenges, explore opportunities, and solve problems. Members have stretches between sessions which encourage them to reach outside their comfort zones. Photographs are posted on a private blog.

While the topics vary based upon the needs and desires of participants, they are likely to include:

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Sales and Marketing

Portfolio Enhancement

Sales Promotion

Sales Training

Create a Manifesto

Social Media

How to Find the People Who May Give You What You Want

How to Create Proposals That Sell

Alternative Markets for Creative Professionals

Peer and Coach Reviews

Vacuum Clean the Universe for Ideas

Creation of Personal Work

How to Send Effective eMail

How to Use the Telephone Effectively

Branding

And Much More

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Videoconference participants call from anywhere in the world. I am a great believer in diversity. While some people have never seen each other in person, videoconferencing is the next best thing.  We have built remarkable trust and support. Members have expanded their services. Some are creating books. Another has offered a television pilot to a network. Several have had exhibitions in galleries. Their businesses are growing and changing.

All have grown creatively and developed new products. They have expanded their markets. They have clarity on who they are and what they stand for.

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The first 90 minute session is free.

If you decide to continue,

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Group videoconference sessions are $75.00 and payable via creditcard

Group participants receive a 25% discount on individual sessions.

I invite you to try out this new format and to experience it for yourself.


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Interested or Curious?

Call me.

610-393-6816

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Please visit www.heartstorming.com for more information

and to read past articles and newsletters.

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How to Create a Strong Brand Without

Branding Yourself into a Box

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Effective branding puts you first in line in the minds of potential clients. I liken it to taking a flag to the top of a mountain that represents your brand and saying, “This is my mountain. This is how I want you to see me.”  Knowing who you are and what you stand for makes you more attractive.

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Synergy

Copyright © 2000 Greg Leshé

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This image, sent by artist Greg Leshé, arrived as I was writing this article. To me, it illustrates the home as a metaphor for the heart radiating passion in all directions. Each heart processes infinite energy differently.

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The most successful entrepreneurs learn to transfer their passions into their brand. In a sense, they create their own box that expands and contracts as they grow and change.

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Artists may brand themselves based upon Jungian archetypes. The storyteller. The dream weaver. The taste maker. Etc. Modifying these positions make them unique. For example, I create images that weave dreams and encourage people to identify with their own wants and desires. Or more commercially, I tell stories which touch people’s emotions in the deepest places that helps them remember my clients’ products.

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An artist’s brand represents where he or she is and where they are going. It is significant for an artist to claim what he or she stands for.

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Branding is the outward representation of being who you want to be, doing what you want to do, and having what you want to have. Branding can lead to personal fulfillment.

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The good news is that when you are clear what you are passionate about, there is infinite room for new work. It allows you to grow out of category and into expressing your vision.

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If your brand is based upon the ways you see, it will represent you in a unique way because we are all different.

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Some Heartstorming questions to ask yourself:

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Are you really different? How do you know?

Are the ways you see yourself congruent with the ways others see you?

Is your brand so tight that it forces you into a corner?

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Scott Indermaur

REVEALED


Heartstormer Scott Indermaur was primarily a corporate photographer until a few years ago. Scott was a member of one of my on-going Heartstorming Think Tank Team Teleconferences when this idea was conceived. He ventured outside of the box and created a personal project called Revealed.

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Read how Scott’s vision and brand found clarity and revealed itself to him through spiritual investigation and collaboration with other seekers. See how Rhode Island NPR saw how their national show - THIS I BELIEVE became THIS I BELIEVE REVEALED.

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REVEALED is an exploration of self – ​a glimpse into the spiritual expressins and personal beliefs of the participants. Using individual portraits and short personal essays, Scott Indermaur has created a one-of-a-kind photographic series that uncovers what lies beneath the surface in each.

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In giving subjects the time to reflect and connect with their inner selves, The REVEALED Project demonstrates both out singular uniqueness and the common thread we share with one another. The result is the intention of expression as revealed in a wooden box.

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REVEALED: Personal Visions of Transformation and Discovery is a fine art hard-cover book containing 123 REVEALED subjects from around the country. This book is a beautiful and insightful.  9″ X 12″ 128  page book.

Here’s a peak into REVEALED.

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Ian Summers by Scott Indermaur

Copyright © 2012 Scott Indermaur

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Choosing symbols for my box would likely be different on any given day, but my revelations would likely be similar. The box rests on a book, not just any book. It is a high school yearbook which represents a major passion and theme in my life — teaching. My career began as a high school art teacher. Teaching is giving. Painting represents a kind of going to the well for fuel. The two small prints are representative of a collection of over a thousand small prints created in three months after 9/11. I was mesmerized and sat in front of the TV sketching everyone who appeared on the screen. The pastels symbolize a lifetime love of color. A headset plugs into my MAC or into my iPhone and connects me to the outside world and allows the world to become my classroom. The sounding of the small Tibetan bell reminds me to center when sressed. I see the box as a collection of symbols for the relationships between giving and receiving.

There are people on the planet who are takers. For them, it feels so good to take they need to take more.There are people on the planet who give only with an attachment to what they will receive. There are others who give and that feels so good they give more. That is where I used to live until I ran out of gas. I have learned to focus on another possible configuration. I receive in order to give. In that sense, creating is receiving the energy from the universe and giving it to others.This way of teaching allows me to give away what I have received. This means living a life of conscious balance.

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What would you put into your box?

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.Copyright © 2007 Ian Summers

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1001 More Pithy Quotes Questions & Pondering on

The Creative Process

Richard Avedon said…

A PORTRAIT IS NOT a likeness.

The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a  photograph,

it is no longer a fact, but an opinion.

There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph.

All photographs are inaccurate! None of them is the truth.

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Peter Galassi (Curator at MOMA) said…

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MAKING PICTURES has become a way of finding a path to the heart.

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Lewis Carroll said…

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WHEN YOU ARE DESCRIBING,

A shape, a sound, or tint;

Don’t state the matter plainly,

But put it in a hint,

And learn to look at all things,

With a kind of mental squint.

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Phillipe Halsman said…


I DRIFTED into photography like one drifts into prostitution.

First, I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and eventually

I did it for the money.

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Doctor Seuss said…


BE WHO YOU ARE and say what you feel

because those who mind don’t matter,

and those who matter don’t mind.

Call me for more information about my

group and individual coaching services.

Does your organization need a speaker

for your next event?

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Ian Summers, Raconteur

Career Coach, Public Speaker, Workshop Presenter, Artist

145 South Eleventh Street, Loft #4

Easton PA 18042

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610-393-6816

.eMail
www.heartstorming.com
www.iansummersartwork.com
www.glowartworks.com

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Multimedia is not a Panacea

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Today’s post contains a discussion on why multimedia is not likely to save the commercial photography industry and what may.

In a previous post, I wrote about the 70,000 or so advertising agency people who are out of work and do not know what to do. Many are spending buckets of energy to get jobs similar to those they left and have discovered those jobs no longer exist. So if that affects you or someone you know, it is time to take different actions.

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Change everything, except your passions.

Voltaire

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The use of the term art medium is , to say the least. misleading,

for it is the artist that creates a work of art not the medium.

It is the artist in photography that gives form to content by a distillation of

ideas, thought, experience, insight, and understanding.

Edward Steichen

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Multimedia is not a Panacea

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Photographers frequently ask me what I think of the multimedia market?

Some photography pundits emphasize multimedia as being the savior of the commercial photography business. Photographers are encouraged to get into the multimedia markets.

Multimedia is not a market. It is a medium in the same ways that the Internet, magazines, newspapers, movies, poor old television, etc. are media. Media are ‘devices’ for disseminating information, culture, news, entertainment, sales messages, and much more.

Multimedia has been around for at least forty years. It simply means using two or more combinations of media to tell a story. When I first entered the business, the technology consisted of nothing more than racks of carousel projectors, dissolve units programmed with tape, some footage, a script, a narrator, live actors, a script, perhaps some live entertainers or speakers. The applications were for sales meetings, new product introductions, motivation, public relations, etc.

As a young producer/director I was responsible for new business, client contact, proposal writing, sussing out a story, hiring scriptwriters, still photographers, cameramen, editors, choreographers, recording studios, sound engineering, and an array of other technicians. The producer/director was the orchestrator. Being a producer/director opened the door for me to the advertising world.

It is not enough to learn multimedia technology. In fact, it is probably mandatory. However, if a photographer is only a technician, s/he will be competing with thousands of people who have already entered the field and the tens of thousands about to arrive believing it is a panacea. The competition will be keen. It is unknown how much work will be available. Technical expertise is important but it is only part of the picture.

Those who will offer multimedia assignments, include art buyers and others who assign still photography and those learning new media themselves .Television commercials, sales meetings, trainings, in-store promos, etc. may be media or applications themselves. I believe a large part of the market will come from corporate direct.

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Multimedia Requires Storytelling

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Still photographers need to learn a very different way of storytelling. They need to learn how to direct and to produce multimedia. They need to think sequentially. According to Albert Maysles one of the greatest and most original American documentarians, “A documentarian finds stories where none seemed to exist.”

My concern is that so many still photographers believe they ‘should’ learn multimedia as a survival action rather than having heard the calling.

Vision is a calling. A calling is an inner urge or a strong impulse, a passion, some believe a calling may be divinely inspired. How will the world be a different place as a result of your visit on the planet? What is your calling? What is it that you feel the urge and passion to bring into being no matter what?

Do you have a natural marked innate urge for artistic accomplishment? That is a definition of talent. Talent and calling must be present to sustain a career as a professional artist.

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Some Storytelling Essentials

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The graphic novel as a model for multimedia storytelling

The following excerpt is from Will Eisner’s classic book Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative

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Will Eisner 1946

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The telling of a story lies deep in the social behavior of human groups — ancient and modern. Stories are used to teach behavior with the community, to discuss morals and values, or to satisfy curiosity. They dramatize social relations and the problems of living, convey ideas or act our fantasies. The telling of a story requires skill.

In primitive times, the teller of stories in a clan or tribe served as entertainer, teacher and historian. Storytelling preserved knowledge by passing it from generation to generation. This mission has continued into modern times. The storyteller must first have something to tell, and then must be able to master the tools to relay it.

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The Story Itself Abides

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…A story is the narration of a sequence of events deliberately arranged for telling. It is kind of like reporting an event except that the storyteller controls the events. All stories have a structure. A story has a beginning, an end,and a thread of events laid upon a framework that holds it together. Whether the medium is text, film, comics, or any combination of these elements, the skeleton is the same. The style and manner of its telling may be influenced by the medium, but the story itself abides.

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Basic Principles of Storytelling

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…A story may begin as an abstraction. At this point, it is still a lot of thoughts, memories, fantasies, ideas, floating around in one’s head waiting for it to find structure. It becomes a story when told in an arranged and purposeful order. The basic principles of narration are the same whether told orally or visually or both.

The story form is a vehicle for conveying information in an easily absorbed manner. It can relate very abstract ideas, or unfamiliar analogous use of familiar forms of phenomena.

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A Good Place to Begin: Tell Your Own Story

Themata

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How Your Earliest Childhood Memory May Forecast a Life Theme

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I am a reader of autobiographies, journals and letters between people who interest me. I recognized a phenomenon while reading the Letters of Georgia O’Keefe. There she described her earliest childhood memory. She recalled being kept in her dark bedroom before the age of two. Her mother would bring her outdoors on sunny days and place her on a patchwork quilt. Young O’Keefe remembered the great joy of watching the ways the light changed the colors of the quilt. This triggered something in me and I ran to my library and started pulling books off the shelf.

I found an interview with Mike Tyson. He said, “The first thing I remember is being a naughty little boy of two. My father threw me into my crib. I pulled the arms and legs off all of my dolls. It was orgasmic.”

Next I found a letter by young Albert Einstein to a colleague. He wrote about his earliest childhood memory. Albert had no clear memory of his father before the age of five. He caught some childhood disease. His father took the day off from work and spent the entire day with him. Father Einstein brought his son a compass. They spent the day trying to figure out why the needle always pointed in the same direction.

O’Keefe, Einstein, and Tyson remembered incidents which forecast their life themes. Since then, I have found dozens of examples.Hundreds of my clients

I recall my own memories. I see a corner of a room in a house I moved from just before I turned two. There was a Victorian painted porcelain light switch on the school green painted wall. I saw a table which held a Tiffany lamp and an upright telephone. The interpretation was fast. My life is about communications and turning on lights. My early childhood memory confirmed my life purpose. I am a compassionate teacher who helps others turn on the lights.

What is your earliest childhood memory and how does it forecast your life theme? How might you turn your life adventure into a multimedia presentation?

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Watch Examples from a Variety of Non-Fiction Storytellers (Each Image is a Link)

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Capturing Reality A National Film Board of Canada presentation of brief interviews with 33 documentarians

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An Interview with Albert Maysles

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Salesman – a 1968 documentary classic by Albert and David Maysles (Here is 9 minute segment)

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Help Gail Mooney and her Daughter Erin Kelly Open Your Eyes 2010

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Stavit Allweis’ Photographic Novel in Progress was funded through Kickstarter

Jason Lindsey Creates Sustainable Photography Studio

Friday, October 8th, 2010

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Creating a Sustainable Photography Studio

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What does a sustainable photography studio look like? How do you create one? Jason Lindsey worked hard for several years to make our studio sustainable. In the process, we’ve encountered some unexpected challenges and reaped some surprising rewards.

It all started when we relocated our studio to a 2200-square-foot brick building that was constructed between 1890 and 1900. We knew we had our work cut out for us. The building was drafty. It had an earthen crawl space, no insulation, including the attic, and a few loosely fit, single-pane windows. An inefficient, dilapidated natural gas-powered, forced-air HVAC unit was used to heat and cool the building. It was lit with energy-guzzling T12 fluorescent, incandescent and halogen lamps. The owner of a store located in the front half of the building was paying $350 in winter for electricity and heat. Since we’d be using the entire building, we realized that if we did nothing, we’d be paying a staggering $700 per month for the same services.

We planned to rent out the front half of the building for retail use, and remodel the back half, dividing it into two rooms that would serve as the office, studio, and gallery. To plan the project, we asked for help from the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), a division of the University of Illinois that helps business owners improve energy efficiency. Their staff completed an energy and cost analysis, and suggested several improvements, most of which we followed.

First, we weatherized. We added insulation to the walls and attic. SEDAC recommended that the attic floor be insulated to R-30, potentially with 9.25″ of fiberglass batt insulation or 9″ of cellulose. We decided on a formaldehyde-free fiberglass insulation made from 25 percent recycled glass. On SEDAC’s recommendations, we insulated the attic hatch with rigid insulation on the attic side of the door and installed weather stripping around the edges. We sealed drafty spots in our brick walls by tuck pointing filling in crumbling mortar between old bricks. This also reduced moisture and bolstered the structure of the building. To reduce humidity in the basement, an earthen crawl space, we installed a sturdy cross-laminated polyethylene plastic vapor barrier to the earthen floor of the crawlspace and replaced an old energy-guzzling dehumidifier in this space with an Energy Star dehumidifier.

We created two zones with different HVAC and thermostat settings for each, which allowed us to spend less energy heating or cooling the rental space in the front of the building if it is not in use.

Drafty windows waste tons of energy, and so we replaced ours with double-pane windows. Specifically, we installed low-e, well-sealed, windows with non-metallic sash and a U-value less than 0.4.

We also overhauled the lighting, replacing T12 and halogen lamps with high-efficiency T8 and Compact Flourescent Lighting (CFL) lights. We also installed light-emitting diode (LED) undercabinet lights in kitchen, replacing 25 percent of the incandescent lights and 20 percent of the halogen bulbs with LED lights. (More recently, we replaced our interior CFL with LED lights, which are more expensive but last for many years. We also replaced our outdoor lighting with solar-powered motion detection lights.)

Finally, we slashed our use of fossil fuels by installing a five-ton vertical geothermal system. Such systems circulate fluid through tubes sunk deep into the earth, where it equilibrates with the soil around it, which remains at a relatively constant 55 degrees, regardless of season. Then that fluid circulates up to cool the building in summer and warm it in winter, slashing the need for fossil fuel-based heating. Although we installed our geothermal system to reduce our impact on the environment, we knew that investing in this technology was a smart business decision as well. This investment will reduce our operating costs for the next 20 years. For example, we now pay just $250 per month to heat and provide electricity for the entire building, as opposed to $350 the previous owner paid to operate half of it. These savings come despite the fact that we operate three Mac Towers, a refrigerator, and an array of lights in space that was formerly unused.

In all, we spent $23,000 up front on energy efficiency improvements. We paid some of it up front, and rolled other improvements into the mortgage. The bank was fine with that because they knew our improvements would increase the value of the property.

There’s more to greening a studio, however, than simply making it energy efficient. To reduce our environmental footprint, we also sought to reduce our water use. Consuming bottled water is hugely wasteful, and includes the oil and electricity it takes to produce, fill and ship the plastic container. We installed a Britta water filter on faucet so can filter water instead of drinking bottled water. We also replaced an old toilet that used 5 gallons per flush with a new one that uses 1.5 gallons per flush.

We kept in mind the environmental mantra: reduce, reuse and recycle. We chose to redo our aging hardwood flooring rather than replace it. Two of the three contractors we invited in gave us estimates only to replace the floor, while the third said he could redo it. We hired him. He ended up using reclaimed wood to replace areas of the existing wood floor that needed repair. We also recycled the wood studs and lumber from a torn out wall and reused it as we remodeled the building. And, as mentioned earlier, we bought insulation with recycled glass. Such purchases promote recycling by helping create a market for recycled products.

As we remodeled our interior space, we also tried to reduce our use of toxic chemicals. As a guideline, we used the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. LEED principles recommend using paint and floor coatings that do not contain any volatile organic compounds (VOC), which can, at high enough doses, irritate eyes, nose and throat, cause headaches and nausea, damage the  liver, kidneys and brain, and heighten cancer risks.

We asked our flooring contractor for a zero-VOC floor sealer. He had never used one, and we did the legwork to help him find a citrus-based product to strip the floors and a water-based, low-VOC clear coat to seal the floors and wood trim. Afterwards, he told us he loved not having to breathe the nasty chemicals in ordinary floor sealer all day, and he was going to recommend it to all his customers. Similarly, the painter we hired had never used zero-VOC interior paints. Afterwards, he said, “This is awesome. It doesn’t stink all day when I’m in here painting. By insisting on greener products, we helped educate several contractors about the products available, and we had a broader impact then we could have foreseen.

Finally, we’ve considered sustainability when planting greenery around our studio. This year we converted about one-third of the grass into native prairie plants, and we’ll complete the conversion to native prairie over the next few years.

In the five years since we began to green our studio, contractors and suppliers have become much more knowledgeable about sustainable practices and materials, which has been surprising and rewarding to see. Also rewarding is the satisfaction that comes from having created a workspace that’s good for our bottom line, good for the health of everyone who works or visits there, and good for the planet. You, too, can green with your space by choosing sustainable practices and making a reasonable investment in your future. In doing so, you’ll create a greener workspace, one that’s a pleasant and positive place to work.

Written by Dan Ferber

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For more information about Jason Lindsey and his photography visit http://www.jasonlindsey.com

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