COVID-19 Photography Policy

As we return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gilmour Photography has implemented a COVID-19 Photography Policy for Health and Safety to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. We are taking additional measures to protect all employees, independent contractors, and anyone on set participating in the shoot from the spread of COVID-19.

Quarantine Protocols

  • There will be no disincentive for any employees and independent contractors to stay home if they are sick or isolating.
  • A back-up plan must be established in the event an individual is not be able to attend the shoot because on the day of the shoot they are ill or are isolating.
  • If photographers are made aware of any persons present during the shoot becoming symptomatic within 48 hours, all other individuals who were on set on the same day will be informed immediately.
  • Prior to shooting a complete contact list of all individuals attending the shoot is required.
  • A complete contact list of all individuals present on set, the times they were present, and their roles, must be maintained to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a positive case. This contact sheet should include names, phone numbers, and addresses. Public Health may request records from up to two-weeks prior to an individual becoming ill.
  • All contracts with clients and crew must include a cancellation and postponement policy related directly to COVID-19 health and safety. Production could be postponed or cancelled entirely for uncontrollable reasons related to the pandemic and associated restrictions. Gilmour Photography will work to minimize this risk and have a contingency plan in place.

Preventing Transmission

  • Time Spent on Set
    • All shoots should be precisely scheduled ahead of time with health and safety measures in mind.
    • All shoots should be done in the shortest amount of time possible. Longer times spent in enclosed spaces increases the risk of virus transmission. Shorter shoot times will also allow for additional time to be allocated to cleaning and disinfecting. Additional measures will take extra time and this needs to be taken into consideration. Schedule accordingly.
  • Payment
    • All payments must be contactless.

Scheduling

  • Scheduling needs to accommodate for additional cleaning and disinfecting measures. Other safety measures will also take more time, and the schedule will reflect this.
  • It is recommended that the fewest people possible are on set at any given time. If possible, shooting times will be staggered to reduce the number of individuals on set.
  • People should arrive and leave at separate times to avoid coming into close contact. Areas such as doorways make physical distancing difficult.

Screening For COVID-19

  • 24 hours prior to the shoot:
    •  remote screening questionnaires need to be completed by all individuals who will be on set. This is our opportunity to screen everyone ahead of time and become aware of anyone who may not be able to work/attend because they are sick, caring for someone who is sick, or isolating.
    • The remote screening questionnaire will include questions on physical symptoms, travel history, and whether individuals have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
    • It is recommended that anyone coming to set use the Alberta COVID-19 online self-assessment tool: https://bit.ly/3crq7sZ
  • Day of the shoot:
    • Everyone must be screened for symptoms prior to entering the studio and/or set. Symptoms may include:
      • Fever (temperature checks may be appropriate for large scale productions)
      • Runny nose
      • Cough
      • Sore throat
      • Difficulty breathing
    • Anyone with symptoms will not be permitted to enter and will be encouraged to return home and contact their local public health unit for further directives on isolating.
  • Anyone who has had close contact within the previous 7 days with an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19 is not permitted on set (please note that most individuals is this position will have already been contacted by public health and will already be self-isolating at home).
  • Anyone who has travelled internationally within the previous 14-days is not permitted on set.

Hygiene

  • Frequent hand washing is recommended.
    • Water and soap and/or a 60% hydroalcoholic solution must always be available for hand washing on set.
  • Hand washing and sanitizing must be easily accessible to everyone on set
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Consider your phone as another hand and clean it just as frequently. This mindset should be applied to any other device that you handle constantly.
  • Hair and beards should be freshly washed. Long hair should be tied back.

Physical Distancing

  • Remote working options will be employed whenever possible to reduce the amount of people required on set. Anything that can be done remotely should be. This includes pre-production meetings, live streaming of shoots for clients, image review, and post-production. Whenever possible, the shoot should also be live streamed to art directors and creative directors. All productions will be limited to essential staff on set. No visitors will be permitted on set.
  • On set the public health authorities recommended minimum physical distance of 2m is to be maintained.
  • Physical distance must be maintained between all individuals on set whenever possible. This applies to all persons, including talent.
  • Anticipate that the concept of the shoot may need modification to allow for health and safety measures to be implemented. For example, if the concept is that the talent be shot in proximity to one another this may need to be altered. These discussions must be included in pre-production meetings.
  • Exceptions to physical distancing measures can only be made for those persons who are from the same shared household. If someone does not live under the same roof as another, they must keep a minimum of 2m distance.
  • Physical contact must be avoided whenever possible.
  • If physical distancing is not possible, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn and made available to all people working on set.
  • Physical distancing measures must be considered when organizing the layout of the set. Consideration will be given to where individuals will be working and in what roles. Plan for any movement that will need to happen on set and control this movement by establishing one-way traffic flows where possible. Doorways are areas that will need special consideration as there is a higher risk of creating a bottleneck.

Cleaning & Sanitation (Workspaces & Equipment)

  • Extra time must be allocated to cleaning and disinfecting. Ensure all cleaning products are approved by Health Canada and are safe to use.
  • Avoid sweeping and dusting as this can stir up contaminating materials into the air. You should use cleaning wipes and mops instead.
  • Workspace
    • The entire set/studio will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after every shoot. This includes all workstations and changing rooms.
    • High contact areas such as interior and exterior door handles, light switches, and surfaces such as tables, counters, and chairs, must be cleaned frequently throughout the duration of the shoot.
    • If possible, we will avoid using props in the shoot. If props are used, they must be cleaned frequently.
    • Remove any unnecessary objects from the environment. Only essential items should be on set and each item should only be handled by a single person. For example, everyone uses their own pen. Pay close attention to commonly shared objects and remove them if they are not necessary. Remember that everything that is touched will need to be cleaned.
  • Equipment
    • All equipment and gear must be cleaned. Use alcohol wipes and soap when possible, taking caution to not damage photography equipment.
    • Details on what crew will be assigned what equipment must be clearly established in the remote pre-production meetings. It is essential that all persons understand their roles and what equipment they can handle ahead of the shoot. This will avoid any confusion on set, as well as decrease any risk of cross-contamination and transmission.
    • Equipment must not be shared whenever possible. This may mean additional equipment is required on set.
    • If it is not possible to have separate equipment for crew, then all shared equipment must be cleaned and disinfected following each single point of contact. Disinfectant wipes or cleaning products must be readily available to facilitate cleaning.
    • It is recommended to store gear separately to avoid having heavy cases that will require more than one person to carry them. This will require more cases than usual. If this is not possible, PPE must be worn when multiple people are carrying cases as physical distancing will be impossible to maintain. In addition, disinfectant wipes must be used to clean the cases after every point of contact.

Shared Spaces (Including bathrooms, kitchens, and doorways)

  • When possible, individuals present on set should be restricted to separate areas. The layout of the space needs to be planned for this separation. Consider using space markers to clearly designate specific areas. For example, tape on the floor or physical barriers can be used to section off designated areas.
  • Movement of people on set must be controlled whenever possible. Establishing a one-way flow of traffic will reduce the risk of physical distancing measures not being respected. This can be done with arrows taped to the floor or clearly posted signs.
  • Bathrooms
    • Bathrooms must be thoroughly cleaned after every use and disinfected daily. Any surface touched must be wiped down (taps, handles, soap dispenser, etc.). Ensure that disinfectant wipes or other cleaning products are available for people to use in the bathroom.
  • Kitchens and Food
    • If possible, kitchens should not be used during the shoot. These are spaces with many touch spots and are high risk. If a kitchen is to be used, it should be only by a single designated person and needs to be cleaned thoroughly after every use.
    • It is recommended that all food and drink available on set should be packaged. Food and drink should not be shared in any way and packages must be disposed of safely in designated waste containers, as does PPE.
    • Consider having all individuals bring their own food and drink to reduce the risk of any contamination. People should bring their own water bottles already filled. Water bottles should not be filled on set.
  • Hair and Makeup
    • Hair and makeup workstations must be minimum of 2m apart.
    • Surfaces in stations should be reserved for essential tools only. Food, drink, and other items unrelated to the work of the stylists and artists is prohibited at their workstations.
    • PPE should be used when setting up the workstations to avoid contamination.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • PPE should be worn when possible. This is of the utmost importance when adequate physical distancing is difficult to maintain and when individuals are expected to be in the same enclosed space for lengthy amounts of time. Examples of PPE are:
    • Masks
    • Gloves
    • Face shields
    • Barriers in place where appropriate or possible
  • It is required that photography crew members bring their own individual PPE to set. This ensures that masks and gloves will fit well.
  • Gilmour Photography will make every effort to ensure the health and safety of the crew on set by supplying adequate PPE (masks and gloves), for any crew and clients scheduled to be on set who do not have any of their own, with the exception of Hair and Makeup.
    • Hair and Makeup have specialized needs and their work puts them at a higher risk. As such, they will be required to bring their own PPE to the shoot to ensure that it is well-fitted and tailored to their specific needs.
  • PPE is an additional and necessary health and safety expense and will be included in the total cost of production for the client.
  • Proper disposal of used PPE
    • It is essential that used PPE is disposed of safely. Once worn, PPE should be treated as contaminated.
    • Used PPE should be disposed of in designated waste receptacles.
    • Waste bins should be easily accessible to ensure that used masks and gloves can be disposed of quickly when needed.
    • Waste containers should be ready with a sealable bag inside and should not have a lid that needs to be touched to be opened. The bag should be sealed and removed after every shoot.
    • Masks should be worn only once and by a single person. Before removing a mask you should first wash your hands, remove it by the straps, dispose of it, and then wash your hands once more. In the case of reusable masks, follow the same steps, but place the used mask in a sealable bag until it can be laundered.
    • Gloves should be worn only once and by a single person. Consider the outside of the gloves as hands that can’t be washed. When removing gloves ensure that you do not touch the outsides of them, dispose of them in appropriate containers, and wash your hands.
    • Face shields should be worn only once and by a single person. They are reusable and can be cleaned and disinfected. Before removal ensure to wash your hands, place the used face shield into a sealable bag until it is time for it to be cleaned, and wash your hands once more.

Shooting on Location

  • Locations must be large enough to accommodate physical distancing measures. Confirm that other health and safety standards can also be maintained before choosing a location. It is recommended that locations be scouted by a single person, if possible.
  • If possible, shoots should be outdoors.
  • Ensure that physical distancing measures are followed at all times during the shoot.
  • Separate transportation to and from the set needs to be planned for. If possible, do not share a vehicle with others from outside of your immediate household.
  • Minimize the time spent on set. The shorter the length of time shooting, the lower the risk of transmission.

COVID-19 related responsibilities of Crew, Models, and Clients.

We realize that other stakeholders on set will come with their own COVID-19 photography policy and guidelines for working safely during the shoot. All parties involved should meet remotely prior to the shoot to discuss their respective policies. This will allow us to mitigate any foreseeable issues and clearly establish the responsibilities of all persons in implementing health and safety measures on the day of the shoot.

Certain members of the crew, such as makeup artists and hair stylists, will be working in the highest risk positions as physical distancing becomes nearly impossible. Specific PPE such as masks, gloves, and face shields will need to be used. Prepare for them to also have the strictest protocols and understand that respecting and accommodating these guidelines is crucial for the health and safety of all.

Projects can vary greatly in scale and productions will require different sizes of crews based on need. Regardless of the size of the production, the photographer is the one who is overall responsible for the health and safety of all on set.

It is recommended that a single individual be assigned the role of COVID-19 Protocol Officer. This individual will be responsible for the planning, scheduling, and executing the enhanced COVID-19 health and safety measures for any given shoot. These additional measures will be extensive, and it is essential that all protocols are followed. This role can be provided by Gilmour Photography as an additional health and safety expense.

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