With the easing of the lockdown and the government advice to return to work but “Stay Alert”, the Association Of Photographers (AOP) have published some best practice guidelines for running a photoshoot with the health and safety of all involved as the main priority. As an accredited member of the AOP I am bound to adhere to the principles of the AOP and to follow their guidance, which will reassure my clients that all my jobs will be undertaken with everything being done to follow the government advice and keep everyone on set safe.
As the government guidelines are revised so will the AOP update their guidance, so I won’t list the guidance here as it may be out of date by the time you are reading this but you can find the latest copy here.
And because the internet is full of pictures of PPE I won’t illustrate this post with any more so here’s a couple of photos of the flowers in my garden taken during the lockdown.
What does a location photographer do during a major pandemic lockdown? Shifts some furniture and sets up a studio in the living room, that’s what. I even managed to convince Mrs Doug to be my “willing” assistant and help me move the furniture. “Don’t worry darling, the sun’s shining so we can live in the garden most of the time…” I opined, taking my life in my hands.
Luckily I’ve got previous when it comes to doing shoots from home managing to provide table top photography to some of my clients (that’s photography of things that fit on a table top rather than photos of actual table tops – not that it can’t be done), even managing to incorporate some video in to the jobs.
That’s all relatively straightforward, but now I’ve got to work out a way to tell Mrs Doug that there’s some outdoor barbecue equipment on it’s way and we’ve got to turn the garden in to a photoshoot location…
To start the decade that will henceforth be known as the “Double Twenties” (or Tweenies as the spell checker tried to enforce on me) I’ve published a new edition of Printagram, my showcase magazine. Avid blog followers (that’s only really me) will notice that some of this edition is based on elements of this blog, but take a look at it any way as it’s well worth a read and is full of pretty pictures, said the publisher, editor, writer and photographer.
You can download the latest issue here, and if that’s not enough you can get issue 1 here and issue 2 here. They’re quite big files as they’re full of images so may take a while depending on the speed of your internet connection. There are some double page spreads so they are best viewed as two page (here’s how).
They say never work with children or animals. but when one of my healthcare clients asked me if I was interested in shooting a Pets As Therapy calendar featuring the pets, I thought why not, after all what do “they” know; it’s either going to be fun or utter chaos! The parting shot from the brief being “if you can get them doing any tricks that would be brilliant – but we don’t expect it!”.
I sometimes question myself and my reasoning when I am out and about shooting personal work (that’s work I shoot just for myself with no third party brief and, no pay). It usually involves people I’ve met or approached who I think would make for an interesting portrait. My self doubt arises, usually when it’s cold, dark, wet and miserable and I’m lugging my gear around on my own (which I do for most of my personal work – it keeps me grounded by reminding me what it’s like to be an assistant again). It’s often further exacerbated when my subject asks me why I want to take their photo and what am I going to do with it? The very lovely Mrs Griffiths even went as far as to say that I couldn’t be a very busy photographer as nobody would want to buy her picture!
Now I’m used to photographing in very small places, as my project on bellringers will attest, but when I agreed to photograph artist Mr Mr Pearce in his studio on Johnson’s Island, I didn’t realise that it wasn’t much bigger than a desk, and had all the usual artist paraphernalia inside including a lot of his artworks (obviously).
I’m a music lover and an avid people watcher, and with the festival season well and truly upon us (does it actually ever end?) I was reminded that I took some time out last year at the BST Festival in Hyde Park, where we’d gone to watch primarily The Cure, and grabbed some candid shots of the festival goers.
How brave are you? Would you recommend that someone attend an anger management course? What if that someone was holding an axe? That’s what a former boss suggested to my latest subject Clay – before he left and set up his own business – as a tree surgeon, hence the axe. His leaving was more to do with paperwork and the safety ‘elf than anger management though.
Despite how that sounds Clay is a remarkably mild mannered man and a bell ringer at the local church in his spare time. He also lives in this beautiful old listed cottage in the heart of Surrey.