COVID-19 Secure updates: 14 and 18 September 2020, and previous
In accordance with current Government regulations and recommendations, I am available for location and studio photography throughout the UK. (Safe-distance and remote photography is also possible. See bottom of this page for more info.)
All photography must, of course, be carried out in a safe manner to preserve the health and lives of everyone involved.
I will therefore require that discussions and agreements regarding safety be a key part of the planning process for any photo shoot. Below are suggested topics to consider, many of which have come from the Government’s COVID-19 website:
Working under pandemic conditions is new to us all, so this is going to be a learning process. But if we work together with planning and during the shoot, we can reasonably minimise the risk of anyone’s health being affected.
1) Social Distancing of Two Metres
- Can this be upheld at the shoot location?
- When and where might this not be possible?
- Can this be mitigated? Limiting the amount of time and distance helps.
2) Use of Face Coverings and Gloves
- Will the use of face coverings or normal surgical masks* help?
- Will the use of N95* masks help?
- Will the use of gloves help?
* Surgical masks reduce the spread of exhaled air from the user, and thus lowers the risk that others may become infected. N95 masks, if property fitted, protect the user from airborne contaminates, including bacteria and viruses.
Government regulation: Face coverings are currently compulsory in most enclosed/indoor facilities, and especially where social distancing is not possible
3) Hand Washing, Disinfecting, and Ventilation
- Is there a hand basin nearby? Is there warm water, soap and towels?
- Or, will hand sanitiser be used, with towels and waste bag? Who will provide this?
- Which touched objects and surfaces at the shoot will require cleaning and disinfecting frequently? Who will have responsibility for this?
- Which equipment for photography, or otherwise, requires disinfecting on arrival to the shoot location?
- Can Indoor spaces be kept well ventilated?
4) Clinically Vulnerable People
- Is it possible to limit their involvement to remote interaction via video conferencing, like Zoom, Skype, etc.?
- Can anything be done to shield and protect them, like staying in a vehicle or at a long distance?
5) Transportation and Clothing
- Everyone will need their own vehicle, as only those from the same household are permitted to ride in the same vehicle
- Can arrangements be made for those without a vehicle so they can avoid using public transport on the way to the shoot location?
- Wear clean clothes for the shoot, as freshly washed clothing reduces risk of virus buildup
6) Control and Responsibility at the Shoot
- What is the minimum number of people required at the shoot?
- Does the complexity or number of people involved at a shoot require a “Corona Guard”? This person’s sole responsibility would be to observe and warn those who are getting too close to others. This can possibly reduce stress levels for everyone, and thereby lead to quicker and better results.
- Can the shoot area be controlled to the extent that an entrance and exit can be created, and perhaps establish a one-way direction rule for how and where people can move about. Areas can be roped off, or rope/tape laid to mark boundaries.
7) Health Check – Pre and Post Shoot
- The afternoon prior to the shoot date, everyone involved should be contacted to inquire about their health; is anyone showing symptoms? A decision should then be made that afternoon as to whether the shoot will take place, be delayed, or cancelled.
- The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of one or both of the following:
- new continuous cough
- high temperature (above 37.8°C)
- loss of smell or taste
- Likewise, everyone involved at the shoot will be made aware that, should they develop symptoms within 21 days after the shoot, they have a responsibility to notify those in charge. As of 18 September 2020 it is a mandatory requirement to collect the names and contact phone numbers, and keep this data on file for 21 days, to support the track and trace process.
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The Government’s COVID-19 website provides more information and guidance regarding working safely.
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Safe-Distance and Remote Photography
If for any reason the subject(s) are not able or willing to participate in a normal shoot (with COVID-19 safety protocol), there are two alternatives:
- With the use of telephoto lenses, people can be photographed at a safe distance of 4 to 10 metres. Environmental portraiture typically requires longer subject-to-photographer distances, so considering this approach may be an appropriate solution.
- Possible lighting equipment can be positioned by a member of the subject’s household, and ditto for hair and makeup.
- With remote photography, the subject can be directed via online video conferencing, like Zoom, Facebook, or Skype. If members of his/her household are available, they can be involved with positioning a camera (mobile phone), lights, etc. If the subject is alone, their webcam can be used for both communication as well as the camera.