A corporate headshot is suddenly a much more useful tool than it’s ever been. As business is taking place remotely and online, it’s so much more important to have a well crafted digital representation of yourself. However, the irony is that if you don’t have a professional headshot, the act of getting one has become much more difficult than ever as a result of having to maintain a safe social distance.
There are social measures that can be put in place to conform with the government guidelines to keep everyone safe through the use of social distancing, face coverings and sanitisation but there are other barriers too. Infection control tops the list but the practicalities of attending a photo shoot have increased for a number of reasons.
Before getting into a room with a photographer some of the hurdles to overcome are the logistical issues created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Child care and transportation are two such challenges. When schools are closed, many working parents aren’t able to attend a photoshoot. Equally, getting to a shoot presents a number of challenges and it’s important that people follow the government guidelines on their journey to the shoot.
Once safely at the studio, office or wherever the photo session is planned, the photographer will need to ensure that necessary measures are in place to protect the welfare of all involved and to prevent the spread of the virus.
Incorporating socially distant photography into corporate shoots is an easy thing to achieve but requires a little concentration, discipline and planning to achieve. Here are a few steps that will be used to achieve this goal. Thes five rules will ensure that a safe distance is maintained.
Reduce the number of people on site
To ensure that a safe distance can be maintained it is essential that the number of people on set is reduced to the absolute minimum. This means that the photographer will be working alone and that the person being photographed also arrives solo.
To ensure the number of people at the shoot is minimised it is crucial that scheduling is adhered to protect against having too many people in the room at the same time. A schedule needs to exist that prevents a cross over of people. The schedule should leave ample time for one person to leave the shoot before the next person arrives.
This also means that if a person is running late for their scheduled shoot they will need to phone ahead to check that it is still possible for them to attend. If there isn’t enough available time for them to attend their initial slot they will need to be rescheduled to later in the day, depending on the availability.
Photographing at distance
Photographing a corporate portrait at 2m or more is easily achieved. The reality is that the photographer will be using a lens that requires them to stand more than 2m away from the subject anyway.
To avoid a lapse in concentration markers can be used to maintain the social distancing on the shoot. Despite the fact that the photographer is likely to stand more than 2m when taking the picture, floor markings such as lines of tape will act as a constant aid to keep the distance between the photographer and the subject at the required space.
More often than not the built in display at the back of the camera will be used to show the subject their photographs. This must be avoided to ensure social distancing is achieved. An alternative is to use a separate monitor or laptop (with a large enough screen) to present the subject’s likeness. Again, markings will need to be used to ensure that a safe distance is maintained between the subject and photographer while viewing the images and to discourage sharing of equipment.
It’s also important to remember why social distancing is required. To stop the spread of infection. With that in mind, it’s also important to adopt the everyday efforts used to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
It’s obviously not possible to wear a face covering while having a headshot taken, however, the face covering will be required at all other times. When arriving, departing and while looking at the images on the monitor.
Hand sanitiser should be supplied and used regularly for 30 seconds by both the photographer and the subject.
Equipment & surfaces
All equipment and surfaces and equipment should be cleaned and sanitised before arrival and after departure of each person.
The equipment should also be reduced to a minimum. For example, some photographers will invite subjects to sit on a posing box for their picture to be taken. Rather than adding an additional shared surface it’s best practice to avoid using a posing box, or any other seat.
The final piece of advice is to ensure that everybody attending the shoot uses the NHS track and trace app to allow for the successful use of the track and trace system.
Lizzie Tschornow is a Photographer for Photoheads, a London-based company specialising in commercial, events, editorial and product photography with a proven track record of successful shoots and satisfied clients.