How the modeling industry will stay safe when photography studios reopen: experts

Just like how production on TV and movie sets shut down as the coronavirus outbreak spread across the country, photography studios were closed and photoshoots were put on hold as well.

As the United States begins to reopen, new safety guidelines, such as maintaining a social distance of 6 feet and wearing masks, are being enforced to ensure all participants’ safety.

Photography studios, crew and models will have to adhere to these new rules in place as they try to continue doing their jobs.

“Photography sets now have reduced numbers of workers and nonessential people are being included via video call,” Connor Mollison, a full-time commercial photographer in the U.S., told Fox News.

Social distancing will be maintained between the photographer and model during the shoot by using markers on the ground. 

Social distancing will be maintained between the photographer and model during the shoot by using markers on the ground.  (iStock)

“Film scripts and photography briefs are being amended in order to allow for social distancing. Where possible, shoots are being held outdoors or in indoor spaces with good ventilation to help prevent the potential spread of the virus,” he explained.

Mollison added: “On busier sets, screens are being put in place and people are taking advantage of natural barriers to help aid distancing. Additionally, markings may be put in place to facilitate a one-way system around the set.”

He also explained how models may have to do their own makeup “with guidance via video call” and masks will be worn by everyone except the model.

The Camera 1 studio in New York City already has detailed guidelines on its website, manager Patrick Nugent told Fox News. There will be masks, gloves and lots of hand sanitizer available as well as a no-contact thermometer readily available.

During shoots in the future, all personnel will be likely be required to wear masks on set. 

During shoots in the future, all personnel will be likely be required to wear masks on set.  (Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The studio is allowing 30 minutes between sessions to clean down all the surfaces in the space, and artists and models will also have to bring their own supplies.

A busy NYC-based fitness model told Fox News that the casting process has moved online and men and women are submitting digital portfolios of their work instead of the typical “go-sees” and that “remote shoots” are becoming popular, where everyone stays home and takes direction via Zoom or FaceTime.

But what about magazine shoots and covers that depend on exotic locations such as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue?

A rep for the magazine told Fox News, “The short answer is all images for the [2020] issue were done pre-pandemic.”

Models are sending their portfolios digitally instead of attending 'go-sees.'

Models are sending their portfolios digitally instead of attending ‘go-sees.’ (iStock)

“The shoot for next year’s [2021] issue is planned to take place sometime this fall. With everything changing so fast around travel, safety guidelines, social distancing, etc., the team is waiting until closer to the time they can shoot to determine how they will approach the shoot in a way that adheres to safety recommendations,” the outlet’s rep added.

As of Friday, there are over 1.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States and over 102,000 deaths, while worldwide, there are over 5.87 million cases and over 362,000 deaths.

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