This is changing a lot about the way we live our lives, but also about how we work in the studio (I’ll put different arrangements in place for any location shoots).
I’m now fully double jabbed, so should be at maximum protection.
I take a lateral flow test the day before all my shoots, so I can give notice if it comes back positive (none so far 🤞).
I don’t shoot more than once/week.
[Feb 2021 – following our PM’s ‘Roadmap’ plan]
I’ve now had my first ‘jab’, and the second one should be fully in effect by June. This means I probably won’t end up in hospital (which matters to me 😉 ) but I’m also (apparently) less likely to transmit the virus.
I’m expecting to start shooting in April, although I’ll be limiting this to local models for a month or two. This will depend on virus prevalence.
I’ll be keeping the social distancing aspects of my shoots, certainly for the time being.
And, as before, I’ll be keeping a break between shoots (I’ll normally aim for 10 days or so).
If either of us lives in a “surge testing” area, then we’ll need to postpone the shoot (and, of course, if either of us is symptomatic, then we’ll postpone).
Many local pharmacies now offer “lateral flow” tests. These are fairly quick, and we get results back in an hour. I had one last week, and they’re pretty gross, but I’m happy to take one (on a mutual basis) if you’ll feel safer.
So far as I understand it, these don’t tell whether you’ve got the virus; they show positive if you’re infectious at the time. So we’ll need to take these either the day before, or the day of, the shoot to have confidence in them.
As we’re in lockdown mode again, we won’t be using the studio until things settle down a bit and restrictions ease up.
At the moment, I don’t expect this to be before April 2021.
Stay safe, everybody 😷🙏
Studio building general rules
There are some rules which apply to the studio building :
- No more than one person in the lift at any time
- Follow the arrows when in corridors etc.
And specifically to the studio :
- We keep a 3 hour time gap between the end of one shoot, and the start of the next
- There is a hand sanitiser dispenser on the right, just as you enter the studio. Please use it frequently.
- Please bring your own cup for drinks.
- Table surfaces are wiped with anti-bacterial wipes before & after shoots
- Please note that we can’t be sure how often the toilets are cleaned – please sanitise accordingly
On the shoot …
Wherever possible, I’ll be mounting the camera on a tripod, and shooting “tethered” – the camera will be connected to a laptop (at the back of the studio) from where I can control the shots.
I’ve put a clip on my Instagram, where you can get an idea of the setup.
However, I will need to get to the camera to move the tripod and align the shot, or to focus. I’ll wear a mask for those operations, if it means I’m getting closer than 2m.
I’ll also probably also need to rearrange the set, lighting, or props from time-to-time.
I’ll be minimising the number of people in the studio – including MUAs – as much as possible.
Cancellations & Infections
There may be reasons – outside our control – why we’re not able to hold the shoot.
Specifically, we may be symptomatic ourselves, we may be notified by the government’s Track & Trace that we should isolate, or there may be a ‘local lockdown’.
Or we may end up on the wrong end of a local lockdown.
I’m trying to minimised the risk of this happening on my side (see “Behaviours” below.)
But this this sort of case, I’ve decided to adopt a “no blame” policy.
That means no negative references on either side, and no cancellation fees will be paid, either way.
(I don’t have a track record of cancellations, and I’m doing my best to reduce the risk of this happening).
Obviously, it’s polite (and professional) to give as much notice as possible.
We’ll try and arrange the shoot for a later date, if we’re both comfortable with that.
Please note that if I’m asked to provide your details to Track & Trace, I will provide them (although I’ll try and give you warning). This may result in lost business for you.
Similarly I expect my details to be provided in the event that you’re asked.
It’s important that we’re both comfortable with the shoot.
From my own point of view, I’m lucky enough to be able to still live a relatively “locked down” life.
I don’t have another job.
I’m not going to pubs, restaurants, or mass gatherings, and I’m avoiding large shops where possible.
I’m not using public transport.
So my shoots probably represent the biggest risk of my being infected – irrespective of distancing, we will be sharing air for a few hours.
So I’m keeping a minimum of 10 days between shoots.
Where possible, my preference (at the moment) is for booking local models, or those who don’t need to travel on public transport.