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Photographing newborns and families during covid

Photographing newborns and families during covid

It feels like the guidelines are changing daily on what we need to do to be ‘covid safe’.  Currently, Birmingham is at the start of a local social lockdown.  From the guidelines I have read, it purely means that you cannot socialise with other families or friends in your own house or garden and cannot use family or friends for child care.

 

I think there are many different reasons for this.  Apart from it being the first small step to reducing our numbers, we do become more relaxed when in a home of a family member or friend.  We would be using their facilities and maybe not quite as ‘on guard’ with hand washing etc.  Businesses have to show that they are ‘covid safe’ which means complying to regulations which obviously our homes wouldn’t have to.  I do believe that if our numbers don’t go down, then a stricter lockdown (including closing some businesses) may have to happen similar to in Manchester.  Having been given ZERO in the way of support from the first lockdown (for 6 months!) for having to close my business, I really hope, from a personal/business point of view, that another retail/hair dresser lockdown isn’t enforced.

 

So what are we allowed to do in our current Birmingham Lockdown?

Photoshoots are allowed to happen both in my studio and outdoors.  I can photograph and pose newborns and parents and siblings are allowed for their portraits at the beginning of the session.  Siblings will then have to leave once we have captured those images.  

I am not able to photograph sessions with more than 6 people – this does not include myself as I am there for a business purpose.  If your household is more than 6, then that is fine but we wouldn’t be able to have extended family in these photos.

 

What am I putting in place to keep you safe?

Dettol.

For those clients who have been to the studio since reopening, they can vouch for the many different Dettol products and the vast amount of anti bac gel available.  I do laugh about it – it’s become a bit of an obsession for me.  My studio is sprayed and cleaned (within an inch of its life) from top to bottom before and after a session.  You will see me wiping down the door handles when you leave – sometimes clients haven’t even started their engines before I’m out there.  

As always, all items are cleaned either washed if they’re material or sprayed/wiped down with Dettol after being used.  Sessions are spread out with 72 hours between each session and props/backdrops/outfits and my studio is quarantined for 72 hours between uses.  I am currently only shooting on Mondays and Fridays.  

Covid-19 is a virus.  Many cleaning products state that they kill bacteria but as Covid-19 is a virus I have chosen my products with great care.  Dettol is one of the only products that states it kills 99.9% of viruses too.  This is why I have chosen Dettol as my cleaning product.  All my anti bac gel – available for parents, children and myself – is over the 60% ethanol threshold advised for killing the Covid-19 virus.  One is 70% and the other is 75%.  

Unfortunately, toilet facilities are out of order.  This minimises the area of my home that you, as my clients, can go to for the protection of my family but also to minimise the amount of contact for you too.

Although my refreshment area is set up and looks amazing, I am currently not offering refreshments.  You’re welcome (and encouraged) to bring your own drinks and snacks but I do ask that all rubbish (including nappies) is taken home with you.

Shoes need to be removed in the porch and masks are now to be worn.  During the family portrait part of the session, masks may be removed.

A questionaire is sent out to all clients and must be signed to say that they haven’t been in contact with anyone who has had Covid-19 symptoms and that anyone in their household hasn’t displayed any symptoms over the past 14 days.  If they have, the session will be rearranged.  I also assure families, in a text the night before, that myself and all in my household are Covid-19 symptom free.

 

As a business, I have signed up to the new NHS track and trace which I believe will be launched on 24/09/2020. I do ask that ALL families scan the QR code to log in upon their arrival.  This is to ensure that a speedy notification can be sent out (should that be necessary) and therefore help stop any spread more than necessary.  I feel that this is best for all my clients protection.

 

My covid risk assessment is available should you wish to see it.

If you have any questions or concerns, please message me.

 

If you were in a similar situation to me whereby you were excluded from any meaningful support from the government during our first lockdown, please head to www.excludeduk.org