COVID-19 Photography Protocols For Health & Safety

COVID-19 Photography Protocols graphic for Calgary photography studio, Gilmour Photography

Gilmour Photography has implemented a COVID-19 Photography Protocols 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 photo shoot.

COVID-19 Photography Protocols

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Payments must be contactless.


  • Scheduling needs to accommodate additional cleaning and disinfecting measures.
  • Other safety measures will also take more time, and the schedule will reflect this.
  • If possible, shooting times will be staggered to reduce the number of individuals on set.
  • People should arrive and leave at separate times. Shoots should be scheduled with health and safety measures in mind.

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.
    • It is recommended that anyone coming to set use the Alberta COVID-19 online self-assessment tool:
  • 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.
  • Anyone who has travelled internationally within the previous 14-days is not permitted on set.

Physical Distancing

  • Remote working options will be employed whenever possible to reduce the amount of people required on set. 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 maintain the recommended minimum physical distance of 2m. 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.
  • 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.

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.
  • Separate transportation to and from the set needs to be planned for.
  • Minimize the time spent on set. The shorter the length of time shooting, the lower the risk of transmission.

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. PPE such as masks or face shields will 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 Photography Protocol Officer. This individual will be responsible for the planning, scheduling, and executing COVID-19 measures. This role can be provided by Gilmour Photography as an additional health and safety expense.

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