Here is where we are regarding COVID-19, as of May 20, 2021:
⦿ The COVID-19 epidemic has killed 61,603 people in just the State of California, 48 people in the last 24 hours. There have been 3,668,842 cases of COVID-19 in California. (Covid19.ca.gov)
⦿ Latest studies show that ¼ to ⅓ of COVID-19 patients are becoming “long haulers” regardless of severity of initial illness. (UCDavis March 2021)
⦿ And 587,499 people have died nationwide (New York Times), this count does not include the 2,990 people who have died in prisons who contract the virus at five times the rate of the national overall average. (EJI)
⦿ Five new variants of concern have emerged in the United States. (CDC, May, 2021)
⦿ Under 40% of Americans are currently fully vaccinated at the moment. Some can not access them. Some are choosing not to. Many vaccinated immuno-compromised people have been found to still be at risk despite being fully vaccinated. (Washington Post)
I value keeping ALL human beings safe. This is to mean that I regard those individuals who have been at the higher risk of contracting, becoming ill, and dying from COVID-19, mainly older folks, BIPOC, disabled, prisoners, and/or immuno-compromised people, as equal and valuable humans. They matter. They deserve the rights to enable equal access to healthcare, education, work, comforts, dignity and pleasure as every other citizen.
Because of this, I use the following safety policy and guidelines, regularly updating them, keeping up with the current CDC, California Department of Health, and local county guidelines for COVID-19 safety, as well as, those additional guidelines suggested by relevant agencies inclusive and protective of the marginalized populations mentioned above. (CDC, Emory.edu, CDC, DDS, DVU, ASAN, CDC)
In addition, some of the following safety guidelines below were adopted from “The COVID-19 Guide For Visual Journalists” put together by Dr. Jenell Stewart, Infectious Disease physician-scientist at the University of Washington. She created this guide to help visual journalists through COVID-19 epidemic through the Everyday Project and beyond. Feel free to share with fellow visual artists. https://www.everydayprojects.org/about-2
My Guidelines, as Photographer, Artist, & Visual Storyteller
Location: I do not shoot clients indoors at this time.
Masks: I will wear a doubled, or three-ply mask, in an outdoor area while meeting with or taking photos of clients, regardless of whether the two of us have both been fully vaccinated.
Social Distancing: I will be distancing myself from my client/s as we talk or I take photos from a distance of 6 feet apart or more.
I will wash my hands with soap and water and clean off any cameras, supplies and/or equipment using >70% denatured ethanol wipes, prior to arrival. Hand sanitizer will be provided on scene for use. After our meeting or shoot, repeated sterilization of any equipment, phone, cameras and myself, will be performed by myself.
Contraction of the Covid-19 virus, requires me to notify my clients that may have been exposed to me having been in close vicinity of ~6 ft. distance from each other within the determined window period of possible transmission.
Your Guidelines, as Subject, Client & Collaborative Storyteller
Safety Accommodations: Please inform me about your circumstances, as much as you can, and your needs for COVID-19 protection when we meet up for collaboration or your shoot! We will find the right location and determine ways to make it safe for both of our health requirements.
Masks: When I am not actually taking pictures of clients with my camera, but just talking with them, settling into our environment, and setting up positions/shots, or having an in-person meeting for planning, I require my clients to wear masks in the outdoor settings, where other people have access to our vicinity. This is due to the fact that people without masks can attract strangers without masks to engage with them in conversation. This may potentially expose my surrounding gear and vicinity with the COVID-19 virus. Even if vaccinated, we may potentially get the virus on our belongings or ourselves, if directly talked to by someone without a mask on, (and not vaccinated) who chooses to not wear one. (If there is a medical or sensory need around not wearing a mask, I will consider this accommodation with some discussion and thought.)
Payment: All payments will be handled electronically through invoice or by cash/check through mail.
COVID-19 exposure: If you contract the virus around the time we meet, please report to the designated agency and if possible to myself, regarding exposure to me.
Service Cancellation: I reserve the right to cancel services at any time if I feel that my own safety or the safety of others are being jeopardized by my client’s behavior or defaults from these guidelines.
My clients are required to read and agree to follow this safety policy and guidelines. We will sign and date the service contract acknowledging of this as a condition of services rendered by myself.
Thank you for being respectful of the safety for all humans,
Updated: May 20, 2021