Photographing (People) During Coronavirus Pandemic?

Selfies with my new mask, which was made in Mexico to help support indigenous (mostly female or trans) communities in Mexico affected by Covid-19.

What to consider if/when resuming photographing people this Covid-19 summer?

It’s mid-July and Coronavirus is still very much with us. While some states have made significant progress “flattening the curve,” others, not so much. Regardless of the state, Coronavirus is still everywhere in the air, invisible to the naked eye, and deadly.

“Under the Covid-19 Dome” by Alina Oswald. Also part of The Pandemic Archive Project

If, as photographers, you think of resuming photographing people this Covid-19 summer, here are a few things you might want to consider first:

  • project/payment: is it worth putting your health/life and/or your loved ones health/life at risk of contracting Coronavirus?
  • client/subject willingness to work with you in terms of respecting Covid-19 safety guidelines: i.e. wearing mask, keeping safe distance, agreeing to on-location (outdoors) shoot and from a distance, and to touch-less contact with you (no hand shaking, hugging, etc, for safety reasons), etc.
  • to reiterate: location (preferably outdoors, and safe and convenient for both parties)
  • transportation: safety (public transportation), as well as but not necessarily related to Covid-19, driving time, distance, gas price, parking fees if any, etc.
  • equipment: long lens, to allow for 6″ social distancing
  • good to have: disinfecting wipes or gel, mask (maybe two masks, in case one gets damaged), paper towels or napkins to use when/if touching surfaces in public places, maybe a pair or two of thin rubber gloves, again, for touching surfaces or just in case; also, awareness –Covid-19 awareness–at all times when going out in public nowadays

It feels that we’re still trying to figure out how to survive in an age of Covid-19. It’s a long and slow-learning process. Yet, I believe that taking our time to adjust and learn is not necessarily a bad thing, but rather something we need. By giving ourselves that additional time to think through our next move, we also give ourselves a chance to better understand how best (and why) to protect ourselves from Coronavirus.

So, stay safe and healthy out there and, as always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

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