June 2021 // The Children Edition

5 Expert Tips for Child Photography | Anne Geddes

As I write this article from New York, it’s mid-April and the world is still grappling with the effects of the coronavirus. I can only assume that by publication date, not much will have changed. My career has always revolved around spreading joy, and like many of you I’ve found the last 15 months or so very challenging with the virus. It’s good to mention this, because I have no doubt that many of you are feeling the same way. I was very nervous about doing studio work during this crisis and did’nt do any shoots between March and November of 2020, when I shot a cover image for L’Uomo Vogue Italy. The logistics around planning this shoot were vastly different from any projects I’ve done over my entire career. When I was invited to once again contribute to Shutter’s annual children’s issue by recommending five tips for photographing children, the first thing that came to mind was the importance of safety on set in this new world we’re all navigating together.


Whether you’re a photographer with your own studio or you mainly shoot on location, you’ll need to have your own set of rules to follow diligently. Here in NewYork, I don’t have my own studio. I regularly work out of Blonde Studios (Blonde + Co) using a great freelance crew of generally the same people every time. Every evening a cleaning crew cleans and disinfects the whole studio—every surface is wiped down and there are disinfectant stations and signage everywhere. L’Uomo Vogue wanted a cover image of two little babies wearing tiny bucket hats, plus a single baby in a double-page spread inside the magazine. I recommended that the babies needed to be twins, because in Covid times I wasn’t going to be placing individual babies next to each other, nor have more than one family at a time in the studio. Normally for a shoot like this, I would have maybe five babies there on the day in order to guarantee a great image of two together. What a luxury that would have been! We began a search for twins aged around seven months (meaning they would be sitting confidently but not able to crawl). On the day of the shoot everybody was temperature tested on arrival and asked to complete a detailed health questionnaire relating to any exposure to Covid. We wore masks at all times. One set of twins arrived at 9:30 a.m., a single baby came at midday and another set of twins arrived early afternoon. In between, everything was wiped down, including the set. I always work with a trusted nurse who stands next to the babies on set at all times. A nurse is a standard requirement in New York for any commercial shoots. The toys we have to distract the babies were able to be sterilized in between use. The day worked very well and made me totally confident that I could be shooting in a completely Covid-safe way.

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