Wednesday 25th March, 2020
On Tuesday 19th March, the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) published a list of suggestions from its members regarding best practice for their photographers in and around this COVID-19 pandemic.
We’re sharing the wisdom of our friendly neighbours from ‘across the ditch’ here with you and reiterating their reminders to all that the situation is evolving rapidly so please be mindful that information may become quickly outdated as a result.
We are not medical, legal or financial experts, and the suggestions provided should be used as a guideline only.– NZIPP Board
* AUSTRALIANS PLEASE NOTE: documents linked within the original post may be specific to New Zealand. Please refer to Australian government updates for local information.
Personal Safety During Sessions (in Regards to COVID-19 or Other Illnesses):
● Create and advertise a sickness policy for your clients
● Clean areas thoroughly in between sessions
● Take minimal gear with you to sessions if possible
● Avoid personal contact with clients where possible, including hand shaking
● Wash hands regularly with soap and water and have washing facilities available…
A session considered to be of higher risk may be the following:
● Birth photography and “Fresh 48” sessions
● Newborn and under 1-year-old sessions
● Photography of clients who have recently arrived from overseas
● Sessions by photographers who have recently returned from overseas
● Immuno-suppressed clients and elderly
● Sessions involving large gatherings
Photographers who have a session booked that fits into this category should carefully consider the appropriateness of going ahead with these sessions and think about what extra precautions they could take, should they go ahead.
Requests for Cancellations: What you can do
● Refer to your contract terms and conditions. You may choose to hold your clients to your contract and retain the deposit with a cancellation, or you may wish to give more flexibility
● We all have a part to play in preventing the spread of the disease, and if there is cause for concern in going ahead with a session, leniency might be the appropriate route. Stamping out the disease will be less painful economically for us all in the long run but more importantly is better for our collective health and wellbeing…
We’ve had reports of clients trying to cancel orders after these have been placed or not go ahead with purchases. The photographer has outlaid the cost of goods to sell to the client, and is now taking the hit personally.
Suggested measures you can take:
● Delay your own purchase of products where possible until the client has fully committed to the purchase
● Introduce a payment option through a third-party provider such as Laybuy, Genoapay, Afterpay, Payright, Gilrose Finance or other providers. If using this option, please do your research. Talk to others who have used these services, and read the fine print to make sure the liability doesn’t fall back on you. In most cases, this will pass the payment contract over from you. You will receive the payment up front minus the fee, and the contract will be between the client and the payment provider…
We need to support each other, our suppliers, our local small businesses.
While you may see a downturn in business at the moment, use this opportunity to connect with your local suppliers and other businesses to formulate a marketing plan, a referral system, or a collective advertising program.
Another way we can support local is to consider how our own decisions can affect others in our industry.
For example, someone in a position to offer concerned clients full refunds might consider doing this on a one-to-one basis rather than advertising it publicly, which could create difficult client expectations for photographers who are not in a financial position to be able to do the same.