Starting Saturday 4th July, the COVID-19 lockdown measures will be eased in England. I have put several precautions in place as I start taking nursery photos. Please note, however, that these precautions may differ from what other photographers will do. Every photographer should have their own risk assessment in place and like me, work closely with nurseries/preschools to ensure that their precautions are incorporated (particularly with regards to PPE). The government has put their 5 steps to working safely which should also be referred to. In anycase, I hope this guide is useful for nurseries and photographers alike.
7 ways to make social distancing work for Nursery & Preschool children’s photos
1. All portraits are taken outdoors
This time of year, my portraits are mainly outdoors because of the nice weather. For those nurseries/pre-schools where I would normally take their photos inside, we make arrangements for me to take them outdoors instead. All you need is a dry day and somewhere nice in the outdoor area. Where possible, I will be accessing the outdoor area without first coming through any buildings.
2. I will have appropriate PPE
I’m not sure what else to say about this except for it makes sense to do!
3. The props will be from the nursery rather than from my stash.
I would normally bring a rocking chair or blankets but I’ll work with nurseries to find something suitably cute for the children to sit on They will also be thoroughly wiped between ‘pods’ (see below).
4. The children will be photographed in ‘pods’ or ‘bubbles’
Most nurseries will have their own system of keeping group sizes small. I will work alongside the system that’s in place. I’ll photograph children one by one and do one pod/bubble at a time. The equipment can be wiped between pods or individual children.
5. I will be using my special lens and working from 2m away
I have a fantastic 135mm lens that takes great portraits. In order to use this lens, I need to step back quite a bit and allow distance between me and the sitter. This means that in nurseries, outdoor photos will make sure I have more than 2m from where I position myself and where the children are located. Perfect for social distancing!
6. I’ll use online ordering rather than printed proofs
To avoid the nursery having to handle printed material, my proofs will all be found online. Parents can order via their phone or their laptop/tablet.
7. Any prints orders will go straight to parents
Normally I would have all print orders come to me and then I deliver to parents. During the current situation with COVID-19, all prints will be sent straight to parents. That way there are fewer people ‘handling’ the photos before it reaches it’s final destination!