Working under Covid-19 restrictions
I get a lot of people asking me whether I can work at the moment, under current Covid-19 restrictions. Because the vast majority of the work I’ve done for the past few years centres around people, they assume that I can’t. However, they’re mistaken. The simple answer is … yes, I can work at present, and am doing so.
Getting great photos of people has always relied on two things: developing a rapport with the subject, and figuring out where the best angle is for a photo. Those things haven’t changed because of the presence of a virus.
Sure, I’ve changed the way that I work a little bit. For years I’ve tried to get up close to the subject. A close up shot of action has an unmatched dynamism and energy about it – you’re drawn more into what’s going on; you have more of a sense that you’re there as things are happening. I can’t get as close to the action at the moment, but even stepping back a couple of metres, I’m still able to observe and record what is happening.
And people are still wonderful, emotional, responsive creatures, whether you’re standing a foot or a couple of metres (or further) away from them. So, again, I’m there to record what they’re up to, and still try to convey how they feel at that precise moment. Those things haven’t changed; the representation of them has, but only a bit.
Here’s an example of the kind of thing that I’ve done many times in the past, and will continue to do for a long time to come. I was asked to shoot the opening launch of the recently refurbished L&M Building in Broadheath, Altrincham for Morris Homes. Known in former times as the Linotype estate (there’s a little bit about its history here), Morris Homes has extensively refurbished the site, turning it into a block of 11 apartments. The building has been sympathetically restored, looking very much like it did when opened in 1897. I was asked along to the official launch day, to take photos of the Mayor of Trafford and a former employee of the Linotype company being given a VIP tour, along with represenatives of Morris Homes. As well as shots of the building exterior (which looks brilliant doesn’t it), my job was to capture documentary scenes of the guided tour and take some (socially distanced) group shots for PR use. As you can see, all perfectly possible while still sticking to Covid-19 guidelines.
As you can see, apart from the gaps being a bit bigger than in other shots (normally I’d be telling people to snuggle up in the group shots), and the presence of face masks, not so very different to what I shot in the past.