SHOOTING IN THE TIME OF COVID
I hope you're all surviving and staying sane in these strange days. I've put together a little info for the curious on how photoshoots will be conducted going forward, whilst observing the rules of the dystopian future we now find ourselves in:
Lock-downs permitting, sessions will take place at my London home studio (for which social distancing guidelines will be observed.. please wear gloves and a mask for travelling to the session and don't expect a hug) - it's a big open space and bi-folding doors will open to the garden so there will be plenty of airflow. There is metered street parking outside (download the ringo app). All contact surfaces will be sanitised thoroughly between clients and there is a dedicated guest bathroom. During the session we will be walking to nearby secluded outdoor locations where we can work peacefully at a safe distance and get some lovely outdoor shots too, without coming into contact with anyone else. I normally shoot on long lenses and stand around 2 meters away from my clients when shooting portraits anyway, so with a bit of spacial awareness it will be possible to maintain social distancing during sessions without any great change to the style of my work. I may shoot slightly wider than normal (head-hips) and crop in post, so if you have any nice dresses/suits you want to shoot in please feel free to bring those along. I never touch clients (please make sure to bring a hand mirror and hair grips to do your own hair adjustments). The only major difference will be that you should allow additional time for travel as I recommend walking, cycling or driving to sessions so as to avoid public transport.
On a practical level - In addition to closely monitoring the government advice on a daily basis - I'm very happy to be led by my clients in terms of how they're feeling in the run up to the session. If you or anyone in your household develops any of the following symptoms: sore throat, dry cough, shortness of breath, fever, abdominal pain, achy spine, loss of taste or smell - please contact me immediately and we can reschedule your session; it is essential that all clients follow these guidelines so that I can continue shooting whilst protecting the well-being of my clients, my family and myself. In order to make this possible I am waiving all cancellation fees for the next few months. If you or anyone in your household develops even mild symptoms you should definitely cancel. Obviously giving sufficient notice is good for my business - but if this is not possible, then am perfectly happy for you to cancel on the morning of the session. Please text me at the earliest opportunity so I can stay in bed instead..
If you have symptoms you can now order an NHS home test - which might give you some peace of mind and an idea of when you might be safe to stop self-isolating: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
Likewise, I'm a strong believer that it's important to be in a positive frame of mind when you come and shoot headshots.. it takes a lot of energy, and the best shots tend to emerge when clients are feeling open and playful.. if you're having a bad day or an existential crisis this will probably be reflected in the images. So if everything gets too much and you're feeling crippled with apocalypse related anxiety / depression / struggling to change out of your night pyjamas into your day pyjamas / have been surviving for the past few weeks on a diet of stockpiled pasta and wine or have done something impulsive involving bottled hair dye and late night decision making please just let me know and we can postpone. I am 100% ok with this.
I'm hoping the above might seek to reassure any anxious actors out there who are keen to tick new headshots off a to-do list whilst still managing to avoid the plague... please don't hesitate to let me know if any other questions remain unanswered. It's a super strange time so just give yourself a moment to pause, reset and adapt. Switching things off for a while is not the worst thing to happen, especially in an industry like film & tv that expects you to be available 24/7... it's ok to hit pause and take some time to do the things that make you happy. The world is not going anywhere without you. On the up-side I have been thoroughly enjoying everyone's apocalypse social media content and I cannot wait for all the works of isolation and booze fuelled musical, literary and creative genius to flood the world with art in a few months. When we look back, this will be known as the virus renaissance.
On a personal note, I'm finding the most helpful thing to do on a daily basis is to get up in the morning and do some yoga. It clears your mind and sets you up for a vague sense of accomplishment before breakfast. And then you can get on with enacting Chekhov plays with your cats and day-drinking etc.. so in the spirit of sharing good things.. One of my favourite online libraries: https://yogisanonymous.com is offering a 15 day unlimited yoga & meditation free trial for new users - check out classes by Noelle. And most of the brilliant London yoga teachers are running round the clock live zoom classes, contact me if you want recommendations for turning your lock-down into a super restorative living room yoga retreat...
PS: I'm running out of good books. If you've read something excellent please drop me a line.
Sending you all the good vibes... 💜