Since reopening my studio in June I have implemented some new safety measures to help protect my clients and my family from illness.
My photography studio is in my home so it has always been a high priority minimize the chance of germs being brought into my home as well as to minimize the chance that our family’s germs will be passed on to clients. On top of that, my primary photography focus is on tiny babies who are vulnerable to illness and who need extra precautions to stay safe. There are many things I already did with each session and a few new measures I have put in place to add layers of protection. Here are the ways I am working to keep my studio environment as safe as possible.
Up to date Vaccinations
One thing I do to keep myself healthy and protect my clients is to keep up to date with my vaccinations. I have received my first Covid -19 vaccine and will get the second shot when it’s my turn. I have my seasonal flu shot, pertussis vaccine and all other recommended vaccines.
The first way I keep my studio safe is by ensuring I never work when I have any illness. I also check in with clients to ensure they are healthy and able to come into the studio environment. If you have any signs of illness in your family, no matter how minor, I ask that you cancel or reschedule your session. Before your session you will sign a contract that explains the symptoms of Covid 19 and requires you to declare you understand the symptoms and are symptom free. Before your session please take a moment to visit the BC COVID-19 Self-Check and answer these questions with your whole household in mind. Also please note that although schools and daycares have removed the runny nose from their list of symptoms, work safe BC recommends that you do not enter a business with a runny nose. This means that even if your child has been attending school or daycare with a cold they are not permitted to come into the studio. Consider the newborns who come and remember that even a minor cold can be a severe illness to a premature baby just released from the NICU.
I have always been a stickler for keeping hard surfaces disinfected and always clean before each session. The common surfaces that I clean are: counters, table tops, door knobs, light switches, props, camera equipment, bathrooms and floors. After disinfecting I use Microban surface cleaner which provides 24 hour protection. After each session I clean all the surfaces again. For soft surfaces that can not go through the washer I use disinfecting spray after each session and remove them from circulation for a minimum of one week. Canada.ca has more information on how to clean and disinfect.
I will be using a Honeywell HPA160C True HEPA Air Purifier that helps to filter out allergens, dust and up to 99% of viruses, bacteria and spores. During portrait sessions I keep windows open and a fan blowing to maximize air circulation in the room (except for newborn sessions which need to be warm for baby.) After each session I open all the studio windows and blast the fans on full to clean and refresh the air in between clients.
Before entering the studio I will do a touch-less temperature check as an added measure to prevent the spread of illness. Clients with a fever are required to reschedule their session.
Immediately before each session I put on fresh clothes and thoroughly clean my hands. I also have disposable gowns available to use during your session. Before I start the session I always use hand sanitizer and continue to use sanitizer through my session to maintain cleanliness. I have hand sanitizer at the front door, and in the studio. I ask all clients to use hand sanitizer before they enter the house and throughout their session. It’s also a great idea to sanitize your hands again when you leave. Here is a video created by Canada.ca. According to the current advice it is better to sanitize hands rather than to wear gloves, however I do have disposable gloves I can use. I’m also loving my new gelclip which attaches to my pants so I can apply hand sanitizer with one hand quickly and easily during my photography sessions. Bonus is that gelclip was created by my lovely friend in John in Vancouver!
I ask clients to wear a 3 layer mask before they enter the building and to wear their mask when walking through the halls. If a client forgets their mask I have 3 layer disposable masks available. During the session I ask all clients to wear a face coverings when they are not being photographed. This means during a newborn session parents will wear their mask the entire time except for their parent poses. I also use an N95 mask with a disposable mask over top and leave my mask on for the entire session. For current scientific information about masks visit the Canada.ca site. For how to wear a mask visit Worksafe BC. In addition to the face masks I have face shields that I can use during part of your session.
During mini sessions sufficient time is given for me to clean all the surfaces between bookings. There is a 30 minute gap for me to wipe down knobs, doors, counters, props etc. Clients are asked to wait in their car for their scheduled time slot and text me when they arrive. This way only one family is in the studio at a time. Mini sessions are limited to immediate family members only, this reduces the number of people in the room to less than 6 and helps to keep us all safe. For more information on how to prepare your children for a mini session please visit this post.
If you have any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org