Photo Shoots during COVID-19

COVID-19 has significantly changed so many lives and industries. For the photography industry, this is certainly an unprecedented time. The state of California has allowed photographers to resume business, and as such, I am booking clients. I’ve read how other family photographers are dealing with the pandemic and while there is definitely a range in precautions that are being taken, I prefer to be on the safer end of the spectrum.

I wanted to take a moment to outline some of the changes that I am making in my photo shoots. I want to make sure I set expectations between myself and my clients in this uncertain time. If there are any specific questions that I have not touched on, always feel free to reach out to me directly and I’d be happy to address them with you.

Going forward, here are the changes that will be made to my workflow for the foreseeable future:


  • I have welcomed clients to meet with me in person to discuss their photo shoot. This has always been an option and while most have communicated with me via email, some have preferred an in-person meeting. Instead of meeting in person now, I am happy to do a virtual online meeting.
  • I have made updates to my contract to reflect the pandemic risks. The amendment exists as a way so that both parties acknowledge the risks. To that point though, I have made changes in how I conduct a shoot so that I don’t increase those risks and I have made my rescheduling options more flexible if someone becomes ill, even on the day of the shoot.


  • I will maintain a minimum of 6 feet distance at all times, which means no physical contact will be made. Typically this would include things like greeting with a handshake, moving flyaway hair, helping to reposition someone, getting close-up shots, or hugging goodbye. I will rely solely on verbal posing, direction and guidance.
  • No props or other physical items will be brought to the session. I typically like to bring a blanket or quilt to a session. However, I ask that if clients would prefer to sit on something during the session, to please bring their own.
  • I will no longer hold personal items that belong to my clients, which has typically included items such as keys, sunglasses, hats, shoes, and bags. I suggest to carry the absolute minimum you need during the session and leave the rest in your car or bring one bag to store everything that can be comfortably put to the side while shooting.
  • I usually shoot with 2 camera bodies, with one longer lens and one wider lens. I typically use the wider lens to come in close and get detailed or close-up shots. With the 6-foot distance rule, I will no longer come in close to get those shots. I will still pose my families in the same way, but the shots will be taken at a further distance.


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Kim Belverud