COVID-19 threw everyone for a loop. Whether we like it or not, our world looks different than it did back in early March. Everyone is having to adjust the way we do things, photographers included.
I know it isn’t the most fun topic to talk about, but it’s definitely important!
How do we shoot mini-sessions during COVID-19?
Minis by definition are designed to be high-volume photo sessions with lots of families booked on the same day at the same location within a certain time frame. (Read “What Is a Mini-Session (And What Isn’t)?”) But if we’re having that many people in and out of a location, how do we make sure they all stay safe and healthy?
Here are a few things I’m doing to adjust my sessions with health in mind:
If shooting outdoors is an option, TAKE IT! Being indoors creates several challenges of its own, but we’ll get into that in a second. Thankfully you don’t have to worry about many of those challenges by simply shooting outside! It’s easier to maintain social distancing, and you won’t have as many things to sanitize (if any).
I currently live in Texas, and it’s HOT right now. I wear a mask to every session, but I typically only have it on when I’m posing my clients up close. If my clients are comfortable with me taking my mask off when I’m far away shooting, then I do. (They’re able to hear me better without it.)
The more props you have, the more you’re going to have to sanitize between sessions. Try to minimize your prop usage, or only have props in the background of your photos. Some photographers are opting to have their clients bring a blanket if they want to use one.
I’m choosing to still shoot my minis back-to-back, rather than leaving 5 minutes between to sanitize. Because my props will be minimal, I’ll be able to wipe everything down between clients while my assistant preps the next family. (Read “5 Ways to Use an Assistant During Mini-Sessions”) I don’t think it’s necessary to leave time between sessions to do this because it can be done quickly, and it may actually help to have your clients see you do it so they feel extra comfortable if they were a little uneasy.
A major thing to consider when you’re shooting lots of families at a time is to try to minimize their contact with each other. If you’re shooting outdoors it won’t be as difficult to keep different families socially distanced. But if you do have some indoor sessions, this will get a little more challenging.
One of the studios I’m shooting in this year for Christmas Minis has two doors. Instead of having all of my clients enter and exit through the front door like I usually do, this year I’m having them enter through the front door and exit through the back door. This creates a flow so that families won’t have to pass each other.
If your location only has one entrance, you could have the next family wait in their car until you come get them. Just be sure to communicate whatever plan you put into place so that all of your families know your procedures ahead of time.
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