by Christopher Alexander
We Know It's Rough Thinking About Getting Back Out There in This Crazy COVID World (But don't hide)
The number one thing you can do to stay safe during all of this is to prepare, especially when it comes to the safety of your clients and yourself!
So what does that even mean? How does one prepare for something like a global pandemic?
Well the best thing you can do is to stay informed. I like to visit the CDC website to stay knowledgeable in an environment where there's so much misinformation.
Obviously the number one thing that you can do is to wear your mask. There are lots of different types of masks and the guidelines are always changing so stay informed! Check out that previous link for more information on the differences in masks, and places you can get them (or make them)!
With the mask on, there's already a physical barrier to help protect you, but more than that, it shows you care about your clients and that their safety is important to you.
At the end of the day, masking up is just good customer service.
Graduation season is almost here! Not to mention wedding season! Don't lose opportunities!
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE (BRING THE BIG LENS)
The next thing you can do is to stay away from them as much as possible. Obviously there are payment arrangements but if possible, use an app based payment system like Cash App, Venmo, Square, or so many others!
The payment is something that can even be handled before or after through texts, so there's really no reason you should approach your clients.
Will this be awkward? Maybe. Probably. Nowadays we want to shake hands or hug, it's rude not to right? Well the world is changing and in many cultures it's rude to touch someone, so just get used to it for now.
What that means for you is that you need to be prepared. You are still going to want to get those close-ups so make sure to rent or buy a good lens with a longer focal length. A 70-200mm would be great and you can always rent them from some trusted vendors. This one for example is my go to and they literally have the best customer service.
So just keep your distance when possible, it reduces the risk of transmission and it might even be a good learning opportunity to compose more carefully since you get a wider view of the picture. See? Positives.
STAY INFORMED OF THOSE AROUND YOU
Another thing is to ensure you know whether or not your team has been exposed. Or if you work alone then check in with roommates, coworkers, anyone you see frequently. If they test positive then it's best to get tested and know for yourself.
It's better to be safe than sorry and end up getting a client sick.
WHEN IN DOUBT...
If you are unsure or anxious, that's okay! Remember these are unprecedented times. It's perfectly normal to feel afraid.
You can always let your clients know beforehand that you're jumping back into the photography game and that while you may be anxious, their safety is your number one priority and 9 times out of 10, they will be cool and understand.
If you lose a client because they didn't understand, well then that just means they weren't the right client for you and this is a good lesson in learning when to say no to a job that just isn't a good fit for you. There's plenty of photographer and even more people looking for them, you aren't always going to line up with every single one.
And that's it!
Just keep in mind that information is always changing, especially as vaccines roll out. So until we get back to a somewhat regular world, just do your part, mask up, keep your distance, stay prepared, and use the tools at your disposal. And above all...keep practicing!