5 Mistakes to Avoid When Going Back to Shooting After Quarantine

Here are 5 things I wish I did before my first photoshoot back after shelter-in-place was lifted!

I am back to shooting after quarantine! In San Francisco, you are allowed to do photoshoots now if you were an outdoor business before March 16.

Now that I’ve done 3 shoots post shelter in place, I just wanted to give you some mistakes that I did that I want you to avoid and when you’re going back to shooting after quarantine because things are so different.

…I didn’t realize these things. So here they are!

Not Having a “Permission Slip”

So far I have not had to use it- But it’s super comforting and helpful to have an email from the mayor’s office or the health department if you have it in your area. Actually, it’s super easy. You just email the mayor’s office. In my case, another photographer in the area did and that was really, really helpful.

Simply write an email asking “under the new ordinance, am I able to resume my outdoor photography business?” In San Francisco, outdoor businesses are permitted now and they did write back if you were primarily an outdoor business before March 16. That’s when the shelter in place happened.

Then, you know with confidence you are allowed. Just having that email quickly to show is super helpful. It’s also comforting that you can tell your clients you have permission!

So, do that real quick! They have been very responsive in my area – not just San Francisco, but the other counties too!

If you are in San Francisco or nearby area, let me know I might have a copy of an email like that for you.

Not Preparing Enough

Going back to a shoot was not like riding a bike! I thought, “I’ve done this so many times, I’m going to be fine!” However, once I got there, I blanked out on poses a lot. Because it had been over a month and a half/two months. So go over your poses that you usually do or add some new ones! Unscripted is one of my favorite apps for that.

It’s good to go over and visualize what the session is going to be like, just as a reminder and refresher.

And, I’m sure you’re more than ready to go back out there. So you might be inspired to do something new and fun! Just take notes on those.

Not Preparing My Clients Enough

I just sent them my regular preparation, but there are things that you want to prepare your clients for. Here are some examples.

  • The fact that you will be wearing a mask or about all the precautions you will be taking.
  • Your posing style will be different.
  • You won’t be able to carry their stuff like you usually do. (Especially thing in men’s pockets)

I used to be hands-on. I used to carry my clients’ stuff. I used to maybe adjust their poses a little… I had to be mindful not to do that.

Not Asking For Client Preferences

The next thing is not asking for your clients’ preferences. The first shoot was super awkward because the entire time – even though I was like 10 feet away – I wasn’t sure if they were comfortable. It was hard to tell how people felt and I wasn’t sure how to act with the new rules- even if I lifted down my mask a little bit to tell them something if they couldn’t hear me through my mask and my camera in front of me.

It would have cleared the air (pun totally intended) a lot if I had just asked them in the beginning, “What are your preferences? I will be staying far away from you. If you can’t hear me, is it okay if I bring down my mask a little?” And I know if I would have asked that they would have been like “Emily, Yeah, go for it!”, but I was too self-conscious. We are living in a weird time, guys.

So, just in the beginning, break the ice and be like, “Okay, this is such a weird time. I thought I would never have to ask you, but what are you comfortable with?” The entire session will go much smoother after that.

Not Having These in Your Photoshoot Packing List

I had my standard packing list of like extra batteries, camera lenses. But to that, definitely these items.

  • Mask or two
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes

I was super thankful I had gloves so many times! I would have never thought to bring gloves to a session/ it’s just professional that you have these items to show that you have them. Or, you don’t even have to announce you’re using it, but just putting it on before the session will probably make them a lot more comfortable.

These are the five things that I learned to do when you’re going back to shooting after quarantine!

But besides that- have fun! It felt so good to go back out there!

There you have it!

Going back to photoshoots are unfortunately not the same as they used to be, but seriously – it feels so good to be back out there!!! As always, feel free to DM me on Instagram or Facebook if you have any questions!!

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