COVID-19 and School Sessions

Last Updated June 2021

June 2021 Update

I am pleased to announce that I have been vaccinated against Covid-19.  I received my first dose in April of 2021 and the second in June of 2021.  

 

I am happy to provide proof of status upon request.

In a nutshell...

As a mom, an educator and a neighbour, I am working closely with my school partners to ensure the health and well-being of my littlest clients during this COVID-19 outbreak.  Please read on for more... 

A Personal Story...

When my older son was in his first year of preschool, he picked up RSV.  This often innocuous bug turned into pneumonia for my tiny three-year-old, and it was presumably exposure in his preschool class that led to it.  Seeing my young child in an ambulance bed and then spending two nights in a paediatric ward was easily one of the worst experiences of my life.  

It's one I wouldn't wish on anyone.  

 

With this in mind, I take every precaution necessary to ensure the well-being of my clients, my family and myself.  Here are additional steps I'm taking with respect to Covid-19:

General Scheduling 

As of April 2021, I have provided 90 days of services for local preschools and daycares since the pandemic began.  A variety of measures are put into place: I maintain social distancing from the children at all times and wear a N95 mask during indoor sessions.  Some schools have requested to move our photography set to a covered outdoor location.  All surfaces that children may touch are disinfected between children and/or schools; sessions are generally contactless other than a simple stool that is regularly disinfected.  

Illness of Photographer

My family has reduced our personal bubble to nil to ensure that we stay healthy.  As such, this year thus far has been largely devoid of any illness.  If I am sick with Covid-like symptoms in the 14 days leading up to your session, I will notify your school accordingly.  I am more than willing to reschedule if illness presents itself on my side or yours.

In order to keep all of us as healthy as possible, I am not able to photograph any child who demonstrates illness.  I will happily schedule them in for a make-up date in my studio once their illness has subsided.  

I do not take germs lightly and operate with 100% caution for the benefit of my littlest clients.  I received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in April of 2021, as soon as I become eligible.  While not entirely related to Covid-19, my entire family is up-to-date on all other vaccines, including last year's flu shot.  We take this responsibility incredibly seriously; in past years, I would pay out-of-pocket for the quadrivalent flu shot before it became available publicly.  We have also been limiting our own activities in an effort to keep germs at a distance, including fewer activities for our children and my husband working from home.

At the Session

First and foremost, I work without my own assistants and support staff on-site; in-person, I'm a vaccinated one-woman show.  This hopefully provides some comfort by ensuring that at your session, there will be one photographer - and zero support staff with me - in the school.  I do not bring additional staff with me who would be likely to increase the risk of the spread of illness.

 

As a general policy, I do not touch the children under any circumstances, irrespective of whether we are also facing Covid-19.  I generally stay at distance from the children to ensure that their personal space is protected.  I wear N95 masks for all indoor school sessions at all times. 

Please note that these are the steps I take when I am healthy.  If there is any question of illness, we will proceed with the steps outlined in "Illness of Photographer" above.

Student Illness 

If there is the possibility of an outbreak of Covid-19 or other contagious illnesses in your school prior to our session, please notify me immediately.  I will work with you to reschedule our dates to ones that ensure we are in a much healthier state.  Out of respect to other schools on my calendar, I am unable to offer any services to any schools currently in the middle of an outbreak or a quarantining of staff/students due to school exposures.

 

I recognize that in many cases, there may be some sick children without there being an outbreak.  Please note that I do not photograph children who are sick according to the policies set forth by local school districts and the province - fever, dry or wet cough, runny/stuffy nose, vomiting, etc.  This is as much for the comfort of the child at hand as it is for the other children and staff who may be present.  I am happy to offer make-up sessions for children who are sick on school photo day.

Cleaning of Photography Equipment 

All equipment that children regularly touch is cleaned after each school.  My school sets are fairly minimal with touch-points, with my beloved pencil stool cleaned with bleach and/or Lysol after each school.  I use handwashing and sanitizer before, during and after the session, and put my own school photo outfit into the wash upon my returning home from your school.

Many of my schools request graduation caps and gowns.  If this appeals to you, please let me know; I need to space out schools in need of graduation caps and gowns on my calendar.  I have recently added a set of 26 caps and gowns (12 red, 12 blue, 1 white and 1 black) to my studio offerings.  I generally recommend that we work with no more than 24 graduates in one day so that we are not reusing the outfits in the same day.

Etc...

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.  First and foremost, I'm a mom as well.  I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have.

 

Please contact me for further details - 604.330.3933 or kirsten@kirstenlauferphotography.com.

The parents of the children whose photos are contained within have granted me explicit permission to use their photos as sample images.