[PHOTOS] Creative Brief: The Environment

Item Tagging Code: PNOV2019

Greta Thunberg is not the only one preoccupied with our planets’ future and companies are taking notice. As consumers continue to gain awareness of their impact on the environment, many companies are adjusting their products and values to meet that growing demand.

A few themes to consider:

  • Renewable energy
  • Minimalist lifestyle
  • Climate change
  • Eco responsible/Ethical Companies
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Organic farming
  • Vehicle electrification (making sure to avoid car designs as the main subject)
  • Sustainable development/overconsumption
  • Pollution (air/soil/water)
  • Planned obsolescence
  • Recycling (both domestic and industrial)
  • Vegan

Here are just a few examples: 

Ripe organic tomatoes growing on a branch in a greenhouse by nd3000

Nice natural lighting, colors and processing. Short depth of field that focuses our attention on the fresh tomatoes but retains enough of the surrounding environment, amplifying the fact that it’s not a factory-style harvest.

Welder on recycling site by shotsstudio

When thinking about recycling, we often associate it with the blue plastic bin but there’s also recycling done on industrial levels. Here we have a great example of a worker cutting large pieces of metal structures with a torch. 

Again, good use of the surrounding environment, good lighting, some smoke in the background, sparks in the foreground, resulting in a nice and useful shot.

Electric car plug charging in the winter by simbiothy

From hybrids to fully electric vehicles, even the most die-hard petrolheads will acknowledge the electrification of transportation will be unavoidable at some point soon. More and more manufacturers are offering at least one electric option in their lineup. Here we have a simple and effective representation of the concept.

The author was able to work around the car design restrictions (Intellectual Property) by combining a tight crop, short depth of field and an angle that results in the car looking more generic. 

Botanical Environment Greenery Pottery Nature by Rawpixel

Some images are meant more as a general “green” concepts. In this case, the author included different elements that have a strong symbolic look. From the seeds to the hands, greenery, soil, they all result in a very effective image representing the environment, earth, life, resources, etc.

Trending Search Terms/Keywords:

  • Air
  • Clean
  • Climate change
  • Conservation
  • Eco
  • Eco responsible
  • Ecology
  • Electric
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Ethical
  • Green
  • Minimalist lifestyle
  • Nature
  • Organic
  • Overconsumption
  • Planned obsolescence
  • Pollution
  • Pure
  • Recycling
  • Renewable
  • Reusable
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Soil
  • Solar
  • Sustainable
  • Water
  • Wind power


The audience includes a wide range of stakeholders, from Fortune 500 companies to startups on a shoestring to non-profit organizations. From tech to government or educational institutions, just about anywhere images are used (online and in print), high-quality diverse and authentic content representing humanity’s challenge to a cleaner world, is in demand.


Always consider how your photos will be used. This might imply that when shooting you include shots with copyspace, you might also want a mix of horizontal and vertical shots (very useful for social media advertisement), so that designers have options depending on their layout. Always consider usability and how your photos could work across contexts. Shooting in a real environment can also help make the shot more credible.

For example, if a model is working on an organic farm, including the surrounding (even if out of focus) will often help make the scene more realistic than if the model is simply posing in front of a white background.

We can’t stress enough how Authenticity is Key!

Casting Considerations: 

It goes without saying that there’s no shortage of middle-aged Caucasian men in stock photography. Consider representing a larger spectrum of society in different environments.

Also, even though professional models are often easier to work with (as they are more experienced), sometimes nothing looks as real as real people in real situations. If you travel, you can also use these opportunities to produce authentic regional content. Diversity is key!

Before You Shoot:

Location can play a significant role in how realistic the end result is. Maybe you have access to locations that aren’t easily accessible to most. If your sibling owns a vegan store, maybe you can plan a shoot there with your model(s) when the store is not being used (making sure to avoid brands and logos).

A good way to know if your photos are convincing or not, is noticing whether you can see the farmer, shopper or cyclist when looking at them, and not just John or Jane the model playing a role. Facial expressions, posture, interactions, all contribute greatly to making the scene credible.

Submission Checklist:

  • Create a new item (one or more) that fits in with the environment theme.
  • Tag your item with the custom tagging code [PNOV2019]. This is important, otherwise your item will not be included in the creative brief challenge.
  • Upload your item via FTP or via Photodune (if it’s just 1-2 photos).
  • Make sure it is available on Elements.
  • You’re done!

If you need any support, don’t forget to visit out Author Help Center for more information related to preparing, uploading and submitting items.

Please note that submission of an item or items in response to this Creative Brief doesn’t guarantee that those item(s) will be accepted for upload (and therefore be eligible for participation in any associated campaign). Envato’s usual terms, conditions and policies (including submission and review guidelines) will apply to such items.

What Happens Next:

  • Items will be accepted for two months from the date of this Creative Brief to be included in the customer campaign. This means that if you would like to have your item(s) considered for the campaign, you will need to submit these before 5pm AEDT on the 21st of January, 2020.
  • Best items (as chosen by judges from Envato) will be featured and shared to our global audience of customers and authors! Once the deadline is reached, you will receive notification if your item has been chosen to be featured.
  • Please keep in mind that you need to submit your items with enough time for them to be reviewed, approved and published on Elements by the deadline: 5pm AEDT, on the 21st of January, 2020.
  • Remember, as this theme is trending for customers, we would encourage you to continue creating items that fit within this criteria (even after two months) if you would like to draw upon this opportunity!
  • Don’t forget to tag your new item(s) with PNOV2019 otherwise we won’t be able to find them!

Publish Now!

As this is a pilot initiative that we are trialling, we would love your feedback on the ways we can improve the experience or add value in the future.

Please fill out this quick survey here once you’ve created, tagged and made your items available on Elements. It should only take a few minutes! 

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