Not picture perfect: Why Covid-19 is bad news for photographers
It is well-known that the only prerequisite for photographers is that they always have to be on the move. But ever since the lockdown was announced in March, photographers, like other professionals, were confined to their homes. And although this turned out to be a much needed break, their professional requirements have raised doubts over their safety and their health.
Aditya Mahagaonkar, founder of WhatKnot Photography, says that “while things are getting back to the slightly better conditions, the future is not looking good”. Since photography requires the professional to step out and venture into spaces that are both densely and sparsely populated, the health risk this involves is immense. “It has turned out to be extremely dangerous. I understand that you may step out fully covered and protected, but the experience and the freedom of walking around the place will not be the same, and this experience is precious,” says Sooraj Pilliai, who works as a freelance photographer and has had his photographs published in numerous online publications.
Yet, slowly, circumstances are forcing everyone to get back on track. “When on a shoot, we make sure the team size is as small as possible and have taken all precautions in making sure they are safe. Masks, gloves and sanitisers in their pockets have become a norm. Between two shoots, we make sure there is a 15 day gap so as to make sure we self-quarantine ourselves as well and are 100% fit for the next shoot,” adds Mahagaonkar.
Soniya Dembla, director of The Camera Crew reiterates, and says, “Risk can never be eradicated completely, but we can do our utmost best to minimize it. Cautionary measures have been adopted in our day to day work and will continue to persist even after the pandemic.” She adds that during the post-production, they are trying to minimise physical interaction. “We are encouraging our photographers to work from home and come to office only when necessary. For our photographers and cinematographers going for shoots, use of sanitizers, gloves and masks have been integrated,” she says.