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Sustainable Summer Weddings


An interview with Mala Patel, local Auckland based photographer.

Planning a summer wedding? ⠀⠀

Mala Patel, an avid Dove Hospice shopper and also one of our amazing volunteers, created this ‘Sustainable Summer Wedding’ collaboration project which we wanted you to see and hope you agree is fresh, fun and fabulous!

Mala used outfits, accessories and decor from our Dove Hospice stores and working with the other collaborators aimed to highlight the way young couples can be more conscious of the things they could choose for their wedding day. It promotes giving back to the community, supporting local and living sustainably.

Live consciously, shop with a purpose 

We wanted to give you a greater insight into this project, and hope you enjoy this Q&A with Mala herself.

1. It is always interesting to learn how people working across such a variety of industries, apply sustainability into their business and job roles.  As a photographer, what have been some great wins and challenges of this?

I’m happy to say there have been more wins than challenges when it comes to sustainability within my business. When it comes to paperwork, my business is paperless. So, invoices, contracts, receipts and statements are sent to my clients via email. My marketing material is paperless as well. Rather than getting brochures printed, I have an online brochure that potential clients can view and flick through online. 

My wedding albums and photographic prints are made from archival, acid free materials. There are cheaper, non-sustainable products out there offered by other photographers. This creates a challenge and means I need to spend time educating potential clients about the quality, longevity and sustainable features of my albums and prints.

When I need new equipment like lenses, camera bodies, lights etc, I always look to buy second hand before buying brand new. I also hire equipment as I need it rather than buying things that I’ll use only occasionally.

2. What have been the benefits of working together in a collab for this project? And as a collective what were you hoping to achieve?

The biggest benefit for me was working with a group of people that enabled me to make the vision I had of a sustainable, vibrant, fun and unique wedding shoot into a reality. Working on this project gave us the opportunity to be ourselves, be creative, experiment and try new things. We had fun, got to know each other and made friends. Benefits to our businesses also come about through networking with each other, and referring and recommending one another through our work.

Through this shoot we were aiming to promote sustainability, give Dove Hospice more exposure and support local businesses.

3. We really appreciate you reaching out to us for this collab project.  What drew you to collaborate with Dove Hospice?

Dove Hospice was the obvious choice since I’ve been shopping at Dove stores for years and volunteering in the Epsom store for over two years. The work that Dove Hospice does for terminally ill people and their families is incredible, so it’s a charity I really want to get behind.

4. How do you envisage the future of photography playing a part in sustainability and a more circular economy?

Many photographers are self employed. This means we can make business decisions with sustainability in mind and lead by example. In this way we can bring about positive changes and play a major part in making sustainability the norm.

5. Thank you so much for bringing Dove Hospice on this project journey with you and the rest of your team.  How might we find you and following your work going forward?  And what do you have coming up that you think we might be interested in hearing about.

You can find me online at: www.malaphotography.com

I’m also on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mala.photography/

and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malaphotographynz

I’ve got some really cool stuff coming up in the next couple of months and later this year. I’ll be giving away a couple of photo shoots as well as a family photo session. I’m already thinking about my next styled wedding shoots. One is going to be a bright, bold and beautiful Indian inspired shoot. And I’d like to do another with a cool and funky disco/Motown vibe. 

Photographer, Mala Patel

See the full selection of photos created from this project here.

Find the list of collaborators on this project below… and say hi!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Mala Photography: @mala.photography⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Models: @nura_lo @eddie.lo⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Photoshoot venue:  @cocoonhouse.nz⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Videography: @matafilms⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Makeup artist: @madeupbynaeema⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Hair Stylist: @jaime.randell⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Wedding Stationery Designer: @curiously_creative⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Event Stylist/Decorator: @impressions_event_design_nz⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Florist: @prettyposiesnz⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Cupcake Maker: @heartsinblossom⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Burgers and Fries: @wiseboysnz

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