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Flying to Victory - © Paul H. Wright MPA

Friday, June 11, 2021



Photography: Returning to Work during COVID-19 Guidelines from the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC)

As we come through the Covid-19 pandemic, it will soon become time when we can start to re- open our studios and photography businesses and start to work again. When that happens will vary across the country and it is important that you follow the guidelines and restrictions from Public Health that are in place in your province and region. The pandemic is not over so it will be critical that we do all we can to prevent the further spread of the virus.

The following are some guidelines PPOC has created to help you re-open your business/studio while keeping yourself, your family and your clients as safe as possible. These are guidelines only. Above all, follow the specific restrictions of your local Public Health and government experts. A list of reliable resources is attached for reference.

The main “take home messages” are:

  • Stay at Home if you are sick;

  • Wash your hands;

  • Do not touch your face;

  • Maintain Physical Distancing;

  • Clean your space;

    Whatever you can do remotely (by phone, videoconference) that may include, pre-session consultation, sales and ordering sessions should be used if at all possible. This will reduce the amount of physical contact and trips to your studio required by the client. It is also suggested that payment be made by e-transfer, debit or credit card rather than the exchange of cash if at all possible.

    Studio set up:

    Clear away any unnecessary things (magazines, toys, props) and “close” areas (waiting room, play area) that clients may touch when they are in your studio space. This will save you additional cleaning in between clients.
    Hand sanitizer: have it readily available for you and your clients especially at entrance

    and exit areas or;
    Hand washing: ensure there is access to a hand washing station/washroom with soap

    and water.
    Proper hand washing techniques can be found HERE or on the Canada COVID-19 App.

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If you are sick:

(fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours), do not come to work or see new clients.

Screen your clients:

Prior to booking an appointment but also just before a scheduled session ask questions to screen your clients to ensure that no one in the scheduled group is sick. This includes their own symptoms as well as a travel history and their history of exposure to others with possible Covid- 19 symptoms. Manitoba has a good on-line “Self-Assessment Screening Tool” you can use to help screen you and your clients.

Small groups:

Client groups in your studio should be as small as possible and at minimum, limited to 10 people or less including you as the photographer (unless the number is smaller in your region). For groups that live together (a family unit), no social distancing between them is required. If you are photographing people that do not live together, they must maintain a distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) between those groups. You must also keep two metres between you and your clients. The same guidelines are recommended when doing a shoot “on location”

Physical distancing:

You must maintain a 2 metre (6 foot) distance between you and your client during your session. When posing your clients your directions must be verbal and/or example with “no touch” posing as much as possible.


Sessions should always be scheduled in advance. Ensure there is adequate time between scheduled sessions to allow you enough time to clean/disinfect your studio prior to the next session commencing.

Cleaning between clients:

After your clients leave, use disinfectant wipes to wipe down all surfaces that may have been touched by your clients – doorknob, railings, props, counter tops, washrooms.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

You may choose to wear a “non-medical” mask during your session. Given adequate screening, you do not need an N95 mask or gloves.



World Health Organization Hand Washing video

Government of Canada
Government of Manitoba
Canada COVID-19 App – for iPhone, iPad, iPhone – Available at the App Store Professional Photographers of America

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