With the UAE beginning to open-up again after lockdown, I thought it would be useful to share with you 10 things you should be expecting from your photographer post Covid-19.
Note that these are 'common sense' suggestions and do not include any official healthcare professional advice, but rather should be taken as a starting point for best-practice ideas for our photography industry going forward.
1) Checks in advance
Your photographer should be asking you in advance if you or anyone in the family has experienced any Covid symptoms over the last 14 days. You should expect the same from them; and if either parties have shown symptoms then of course the session should be rescheduled with no additional cost for doing so. Check your photographer's booking policy in advance of booking your shoot.
2) Temperature checks
As it is standard procedure upon entering malls, supermarkets, shops and restaurants in the UAE, please be prepared for your photographer to temperature check you at the start of your shoot. It feels a bit socially awkward to do this as it definitely is not a rapport-building exercise! But it's definitely an essential to do so. Your photographer should also be temperature-checking him/herself and showing you the result. If any of you have raised temperatures then the shoot should not go ahead and should be rescheduled for another date.
3) Socially distancing
Back in 'normal times' there would be moments during a shoot where I would get close. Well, things have to change a little and so you should expect your photographer to be using either a zoom lens or a lens that allows them to retain the intention behind the image yet still maintain a suitable distance depending on the latest 'social distancing' regulations.
4) Masked up
As you are the one being photographed; you won't be wearing a mask but your photographer most certainly should be, no matter how 'far away' they are. Please make sure this is a suitable mask that falls into the current guidelines; and if you would prefer your photographer to change masks to a fresh one on arrival at your shoot, please ask them to do so. All photographers should have spare fresh masks with them. Better to all feel comfortable and as safe as we all can be.
5) Washing hands and sanitizer
Your photographer should have hand sanitizer for him/herself and for all members of your family to use. Again this can feel a little socially awkward but I think we are all used to regularly using hand sanitizer now, so shouldn't be something we are overly conscious of. If you would prefer your photographer to wear gloves as well, then please ask them. Photographers should have these in their kit bags as a matter of course now.
6) Offering drinks and snacks
This is specific to 'at home' shoots; your photographer would probably love that cup of tea or coffee. But for now, they shouldn't be using your mugs or eating snacks from your home. They should also be bringing along their own water bottles rather than using yours.
7) Moving your baby
For newborn lifestyle shoots at your home, your photographer should be asking you to move their baby into position. Remember that lifestyle shoots are not 'posed', as posing newborn babies requires specific training and posing your baby safely is of upmost importance. Posed baby shots should always be done by the trained newborn photographer (and whilst wearing gloves).
For the lifestyle newborn shoots that I do, I would ask the mum or dad to wrap the baby and give them clear guidance on where and how to place your baby on the bed / in their cot etc. If you are working with a posed newborn photographer, take a look at these studio guidelines by Aleksandra Mandic so that you know what to expect.
8) Small groups only
We do need to be mindful of the UAE guidelines on large groups and photographers should be following the most current government guidance. So for now, let's keep the photographing of groups to immediate family only.
9) Expect your photographer to sanitize their gear
Photographers should be using sanitizing wipes on their camera gear before commencing your shoot and upon finishing your shoot.
10) After your shoot
If you or any of your family feel unwell or test positive for Covid 19 in the 14 days following our shoot, please let your photographer know. He/she should be doing the same for you.
If you think of any additional points that I might have missed; or that you as a photographer have implemented, please let me know in my comments or send me a message.