Industry News

Washington State’s Reopen Guidelines for Photographers

May 21, 2020

By Jacqueline Tobin

Last Friday, the state of Washington published its reopen guidelines for photographers looking to open their businesses as the state’s stay-at-home restrictions ease up. As part of the state’s 4-phase Safe Start plan to re-open non-essential services, studio, event, freelance and artistic photographers are part of phase 2, allowing them to re-open in most of Washington state by June 1, 2020.

According to the guidelines, professional photographers must “adopt a written procedure for professional photography activity that is at least as strict as the Phase 2 safety and health requirements,” outlined in the full PDF.

Reopen requirements for photographers include the following:

1. All unnecessary paper products and decor should be removed (including marketing materials).

2. All equipment, including props, chairs, benches or anything a client might come into contact with, must be frequently sanitized.

3. Clients must be booked by appointment only, allowing enough time to sanitize all equipment and common areas between photo shoots.

4. Outdoor sessions are recommended and should be used whenever possible.

5. Photographers must maintain social distancing, using “no-touch” posing techniques.

6. No groups are allowed. Only one client may be in the studio or photography area at a time. If the client is a minor, they may have one family member with them. (Exceptions may be made for group shoots, including only immediate family members.)

7. Business owners must provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate or required to any employees for the activity being performed. Cloth facial coverings must be worn by every employee not working alone on the job site unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection under Department of Labor & Industries safety and health rules and guidance. Refer to Coronavirus Facial Covering and Mask Requirements for additional details. A cloth facial covering is described in the Department of Health guidance.

8. Business owners must screen employees for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 at the start of a shift. Make sure sick employees stay home or immediately go home if they feel or appear sick. Cordon off any areas where an employee with probable or confirmed COVID-19 illness worked, touched surfaces, etc. until the area and equipment is cleaned and sanitized. Follow the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC to deep clean and sanitize.

Read the full document of Washington State’s Phase 2 Professional Photography COVID-19 Requirements here.

Related Links:

COVID-19: How To Disinfect Your Camera Equipment

Work From Home: How Photographers Can Book and Shoot New Sessions Now [VIDEO]

Moving Your Business to a New City: How Two Photographers Left New York City and Kept Their Clients