Everyone is talking about the Coronavirus or COVID-19 – especially here in Seattle. I want to talk about what measures I’m taking as family and newborn photographer to keep your family safe during this unsettling time. I spent a year working as an in-hospital newborn photographer and am so thankful for my infection-prevention training. This involves using common sense precautions as well as taking extra steps to ensure the cleanest and safest environment for my clients.
First of all, if I have any sign of illness (sore throat, fever, cough, sneezing/stuff nose) I will reschedule. If anyone in my family is sick with a fever or respiratory illness I will also reschedule. Part of offering in-home newborn photography is to keep the baby safe in their own home and not exposing them to all of the germs that may exist out in public. I definitely don’t want to bring any germs into this safe little bubble and will always choose to be safe, not sorry.
The first thing I do when entering a clients home for a newborn photoshoot is wash my hands. I always have but now I do it multiple times throughout the shoot. I avoid touching my face and especially the baby’s face. Typically, I like to use my tricks to soothe baby which involves holding baby and rubbing their forehead or cheeks. I now encourage parents to do all of the baby handling which may mean just more holding and snuggling photos rather than solo baby portraits. For on-location shoots, I always wash my hands before leaving the house as well as using hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes in the car upon arrival (good thing I always stock up on these items and haven’t been affected by the shortage)! Offering posing suggestions and guiding my clients will all be verbal instead of physically touching them.
Clients love that I bring a collection of my own swaddles, headbands, beanbag, and clothing. I wash all of my items in Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent in hot water. Everything is stored in an airtight plastic bin. I wipe down my camera, phone, gear, and any hard surfaces with an alcohol solution after every shoot. AND, if client is uncomfortable using anything that I bring we don’t have to use it at all!
It is also worth noting that I am a LICENSED and INSURED professional business. This is important to note – as our industry is not regulated. If you are reading this and looking for a newborn or family photographer, please check that the photographer you choose to work with is both licensed and insured. Anyone can buy a camera and call themselves a photographer! Just something to consider – especially for newborn photography and photographers you invite into your home.
I hope these precautions will put your mind at ease. I’m always open to suggestions on how I can further protect my clients. Stay well!