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What Photographers Need To Know About The Coronavirus COVID 19

***Updated as of 3/17/20

**The advice in this article is simply advice. It is not medical advice or backed by any scientific research.

*** At this time, I would suspend shoots until we have flattened the curve. Hopefully in a few months we can start using these guidelines again but for now I believe self isolation is important. More info coming.

Unless you have been living under a rock you have heard nothing but Coronavirus news. It is all anyone can talk about right now and for good reason.

It would seem that our world is facing a global pandemic and for those of us here in Seattle, WA the threat is even more acute.

As photographers there are a few safety concerns and precautions that we should take to protect the health of our clients and ourselves. While these aren’t different than the precautions that anyone in the world should take, I wanted to outline them here and be a bit more photographer specific. We work with humans and for those of us who are family and newborn photographers we work closely with babies and children and sometimes elderly family members as well.

  1. Reschedule your outdoor shoot if yourself or anyone in your home has a fever or respiratory illness. There is no reason to expose anyone to any kind of illness at this time. Even if it isn’t actually COVID 19, we don’t need to be bogging down doctors offices and emergency rooms with patients “thinking” they may have the virus. This is a good time to be extra cautious until we learn more about this virus.

  2. Work from home. I love to hit up local coffee shops just to change up the scene. However, at this time it is best to work from home and stay away from crowds to stay healthy.

  3. Wash your hands before every single shoot. I always do this, however I am being extra careful about it right now. As soon as I enter a clients home for a newborn shoot I ask where the sink is so I can wash my hands. I wash my hands when I leave the house for an outdoor shoot, hand sanitize in the car when I arrive, hand sanitize when I leave, and then wash my hands when I return home. Washing your hands is the number one defense against the virus so do it! Remember, you must wash for at least 20 seconds and don’t forget to get the tips of your fingers and in between your fingers.

  4. If you have a studio or use any props, wash every single blanket and cloth item every time and wipe down any hard surface with a bleach wipe or solution every single time. Including door handles.

  5. Wipe down your camera after every use. I make a bleach solution at home and spray a paper towel and then wipe down my camera, paying special attention to the grip and shutter button.

  6. Guide with your words, not your hands. Now normally I teach that you need to touch your subjects in order to pose them. However, until the Coronavirus is under control, I am making a conscious effort not to touch my subjects. When I greet them I am bumping elbows instead of hugging or shaking hands. Better to be extra safe right now.

  7. Educate your clients and ask them request a reschedule and accommodate that reschedule, if anyone in their family is ill. You can do this via a blog post and share on social media. You can also send an email via your email list. Your clients will appreciate that you are thinking of their safety over trying to stay on schedule.

I believe that in times like this it is important to stay calm and to stay informed. Please feel free to share this article with your photography communities so that we can all continue to thrive and grow during this uncertain time.

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