Covid-Safe Photography and Video
As 2021 begins to pick up speed, it’s clear that Covid-19 is going to continue to present challenges. We’re ecstatic to see the vaccine rolling out, and – for the first time in our lives – we’re actually excited about getting jabbed. BUT, despite the rollout, it’s safe to expect some level of Coronavirus disruption throughout 2021, and maybe even beyond. So, rather than battening down the hatches and trying to weather the storm using pre-Covid working practices, we’ve adapted our workflows to suit what is – at least for now – the new normal: social distancing, remote working, and smothering everything in anti-bac.
In this blog, we’re going to go over the main ways we’re keeping our clients and colleagues safe while still delivering the high quality film and photography we’re known for.
A little strapped for time? Here’s a video we made covering some of the same points:
Working from Home
Probably the most obvious change is that those of us able to work from home are doing so. Our project management, accounts, and admin staff are all working from home for the foreseeable future, only heading into the studio if doing so is critical to a project. We’ve even got our creatives editing from home for the most part.
While this took a bit of getting used to (and our pets are sick of us!) things are flowing nicely now. As with most organisations, team video calls are now the norm, and all our client meetings have gone online too. While we certainly miss being able to invite clients to see our lovely studio, we are finding screen sharing to be particularly useful when discussing briefs and exchanging ideas.
Essential Studio Staff Only
Shoot days used to be days that brought all members of the team together. There’d be photographers and videographers, stylists, makeup artists, assistants, set designers, project managers and more. From the first day of the first lockdown, we’ve stripped this back, putting extra time into planning to make sure the end result isn’t impacted.
Where possible, we’ve cut right back to one photographer or videographer per shoot, with editing done remotely. Some shoots are still too complex for a single person to manage, or require specific skills not possessed by our in-house team (makeup artistry, for example). For these, we’re adhering to social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, and keeping plenty of hand sanitiser around.
On the plus side, with admin and project management staff working from home, we now have multiple studio rooms available to shoot in. This means we can have several projects running at once without sacrificing the safety of our beloved creatives. Our meeting room is now a fully fledged second studio, allowing us to grow our capacity. In fact, us project managers are pretty sure we’re not getting this room back…
Hands-Free Product Deliveries
Many of our projects require us to work with client products in-house, so there are always boxes of products coming and going. As this is our main source of contact with the outside world, and therefore our biggest risk, we’ve switched to hands-free product pickups and collections.
It’s pretty much as simple as it sounds. If we’re picking products up from you or receiving a delivery, we’ll ask you to put the box down and step back to allow us to collect them. The same goes for if we’re delivering products back to you, or having them picked up from the studio. We’ll let you know if the products have been recently handled in case you want to leave them to sit for a while before handling them yourself.
Sanitation and Cleaning
The studio has always been a clean environment to work in (note: clean and tidy are different things!) but in 2020 we put added emphasis on sanitation and cleanliness. This continues into 2021.
We’ve installed hand sanitiser dispensers by the studio entrance and exit, have upped the frequency of studio deep cleaning, and ensure all surfaces and equipment are wiped down at the end of every day. Our photographers and videographers wash their hands frequently, and sanitise their hands after working with products if they’ve only recently been delivered.
Though most of our projects have been able to continue with modified shooting practices, we wanted to offer our clients an expanded range of options to compensate for the limitations imposed by lockdown and social distancing. We know our clients rely on varied content mixes to engage with their audiences, and that money has been a little tighter for many companies in the last year, so the solution we came up with would have to bear this in mind too.
So, we refined our workflows to get more outputs from the same or similar amounts of studio work. We came up with ways of turning even simple product shots into animations, gifs, and even mini-movies. Not only does this mean we can produce full campaigns for our clients without putting people at more risk, but it potentially saves clients money too.
These workflows are something we’re incredibly proud of. If you’d like to find out more about them, please click here.
The result of all this is that we can produce photography and video now that’s exactly the same quality as it was pre-Covid. While lockdown has caused huge amounts of disruption, we’re pleased to say that our flexibility meant we only lost out on a few days of production in 2020.