I never thought I would be writing a post like this.
Such a critical question at the moment – can photographers work during Coronavirus? Yes is the short answer, as long as you do not have any symptoms, are able to maintain social distancing, have appropriate safe working practices and appropriate PPE. In this post I will expand on all of these points, and tell where I am and am not prepared to work during Coronavirus.
I will also tell you what guidance you need to refer to if like me you work in the architectural and construction photography areas.
1 – Work at home if you have Coronavirus symptoms
I am quoting the Government here. If you display any of these three symptoms stay at home
- Fever/ high temperature
- New persistent dry cough
- New loss of taste or smell
It is that simple. Stay at home. If you are alone stay at home for 7 days. If there are others in your house hold you must all stay at home for 14 days.
This is matter of fact and not the subject of interpretation.
Stay at home and do the things that you have not had time to do. And I have enjoyed going back through old photos finding things to edit with my new skills and knowledge.
Make the best of being at home – me May 2020!
2 – Social distancing
Keep 2 metres away from anyone and everyone. It is that simple. I do not understand how anyone can be within 2m of someone for more than 15 minutes – as in the track and trace contacting.
If am not able to do that, and if there are people who are impacting on my 2m bubble I will immediately remove myself from that situation.
3 – Safe working practices
I wash my hands when I leave the house.
I wear disposable gloves whenever I need to touch anything. I also carry disposable tissues which I use to open doors so I am not touching door handles.
No-one else is touching my camera gear but will clean it down with diluted Dettol after. The only thing in contact with anything else is the tripod feet. My tripod goes in the garage, which is fine this time of year.
Hand washing is a problem out and about, so I use anti-bacterial hand gel straight after taking my gloves off. And then I do not touch my face until I have thoroughly washed my hands somewhere.
When I get home I clean the surfaces of my car that I have touched and the wash my hands. I carefully unpack and clean all my gear.
And then I wash my hands again.
If I have used my debit card to buy something I clean that when I get home as well with Dettol.
If I am going up ladders/ stairs I wear an additional pair of gloves for just that bit which I take off and put in a bag. If I need them again I put them back on. When I get home I sanitise them and leave them in the garage until needed again.
I tend to walk round with my hands in my pockets anyway so don’t touch things as much as others might.
I also carry disposable pens for the rare times where I have to press lift buttons.
And I have hand sanitiser with me at all times, and anti-bacterial wipes in my car.
I will wear a mask if I feel I need to, but to be honest I do not want to put myself in a position where I need to wear a mask – I prefer eliminating that requirement by just avoiding other people. But I have them with me just in case.
4 – PPE
My main photography gear is in a backpack. There is room for these extra items
- Antibacterial hand gel
- Disposable gloves
- Site gloves
- Disposable face masks
- Packs of tissues
- Disposable plastic bags for putting stuff in
5 – Where I am prepared to work
- Already compliant construction sites
- Empty buildings
- Any other commercial, engineering or industrial facility complying with current Government guidance.
6 – Where I am not prepared to work
- High risk areas such as care and nursing homes – sorry.
- Anywhere indoors where there are other people
- Non compliant construction sites
- Anywhere where social distancing is not taken seriously
A few other things that I thought about whilst writing this.
Speak to clients
This is a difficult time for everyone so speak to clients about Coronavirus before committing to anything. This is in everyones interests of course.
Do you need to reconsider costs for a shoot – it might take more time and you will need to take additional precautions after all for your own and everyone else’s sake.
But only ask for legitimate additional costs.
It might take much longer than the time before Coronavirus – make sure you factor this into our planning.
Are you insured? Check with your insurance company to make sure that you are.
Can you do the work another time and stay at home? It may be that you can, and if so do that. You are eliminating the risk of contracting Coronavirus if you stay at home.
But if you cannot, and there are many perfectly reasonable reasons why not, make sure you follow all current Government Guidance. And I mean current as the situation has evolved rapidly and is changing all the time.
If I am not happy with a situation I am off.
A quick word on construction sites.
For me to work on a construction site it has to be fully compliant with the Construction Leadership Council Site Operating Procedure 3. It if is not then I am not going on it.
Make sure you keep going back to this website as the guidance changes as the science and medical knowledge develop.
Please check the latest Government guidance.
Thanks for reading this and stay safe.