• Lex Lea

COVID safe guidance for photographers

It’s over one year since the first COVID-19 cases were identified in the UK and we continue to weather the storm of the pandemic. There’s not one industry that hasn’t been affected in some way - professional photography is the same.

All businesses, whether in England or globally, have had to make changes to continue to operate. Many of these changes have now become commonplace among the broader population, and it’s currently difficult to see a future that doesn’t include face masks and social distancing.

Although they haven’t been as affected as some industries, photographers and photographic studios have had to introduce additional safety measures. The goal of operating a safe photography studio business while minimising the spread of the virus is at the forefront. By following the guidelines, photographers can operate safely:

  • Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, dry persistent cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell).

  • Follow latest government guidelines (wear a face mask in public, maintain social distancing, sanitise and/or wash hands regularly, stay at home unless necessary).

  • Pre-shoot planning - Secure confirmation from your client well in advance of the date of the shoot.

  • Try and keep your client meetings remote.

  • If you require castings to find a model for your shoot, go the remote route.

  • Allow extra time between studio shoots if you’re scheduling more than one for the same day.

  • If you’re working on a tight deadline for a shoot, have back up models lined up ready to step in should anyone need to self-isolate.

  • For a location shoot, ensure that you plan around social distancing.

  • During the shoot - Circulate the Health & Safety Covid protocols to everyone who will be attending the shoot.

  • Adults chaperoning your models must provide their details prior to the shoot, and comply with screening requirements on the day.

  • On arrival each member of the cast and crew must be screened. Ask questions to determine whether or not they’ve been in contact with anyone suspected of having COVID.

  • Ensure that masks are worn at all times, apart from when the shoot is in session.

  • Have sanitising stations positioned around the studio or location.

  • Keep cast and crew to a minimum.

  • Crew should not share equipment.

  • Models’ wardrobes should be steam cleaned prior to use.

  • Keep physical interaction between models to a minimum.

  • Shoot outdoors as much as possible. If indoor work is required, ensure that there is sufficient ventilation.

  • All indoor surfaces should be sanitised prior to the shoot taking place, and once the shoot has wrapped up.

  • Use remote locations where possible.

  • If possible, crew and cast members should provide their own refreshments.

  • Post-shoot - Remind all crew and models to keep you updated should they fee unwell or start to experience any symptoms.

  • All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned.

  • If possible, clients should view the images online.

The above points are purely guidelines to assist you in your preparation for a shoot. The goal is always to put health and safety first. If you can’t guarantee a safe environment for you and your team at a shoot, you may need to revisit your preparations until you can do so.