COVID-19 and School Sessions

Last Updated May 14

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.  With the COVID-19 outbreak looming, here are the steps I'm currently taking:

General Scheduling 

As of May 14, I am rebooking any school - returning or new - who would like spring photos using my outdoor school set.  This is my regular set moved outdoors, taking advantage of social distancing and fresh air.  I maintain a distance of roughly 10 feet from the children and wear a mask; all surfaces that children may touch are disinfected between children.  

Due to the nature of this outbreak, some of my schools have elected to postpone for next year.  As such, I have space available for a few new bookings, and/or for clients to come to my backyard outdoor studio for their school photos.   

Studio Sessions

My indoor studio closed on March 15th and will remain closed until further notice.  Upon discussion with Vancouver Coastal Health, the city of Delta, and WorkSafe BC, I have made the decision to keep my indoor studio closed.  Limited outdoor sessions, including preschools, resumed as of May 1.  All sessions fully adhere to social distancing and are contactless.  

Illness of Photographer

Knock on wood, it's been a mild illness winter for my entire family.  If any of my family members - myself included - have a hint of illness in the two weeks leading up to your session, I will notify your school accordingly.  If deemed medically necessary, I will submit to a COVID-19 test and provide the results to you.  I am more than willing to reschedule if illness presents itself on my side or yours.

I do not take germs lightly and operate with 100% caution for the benefit of my littlest clients.  While not entirely related to COVID-19, my entire family is up-to-date on vaccines, including this year's flu shot.  In August of 2019, I paid out-of-pocket for the quadrivalent 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; I'm a 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 my own general policy, I do not touch the children under any circumstances.  This is my policy whether or not COVID-19 is here.  I generally stay a few feet away from the children to ensure that our personal space is protected.  Upon request, I can increase this distance to the suggested 6' of space.  If you do not believe it would scare your students, I suggest that I wear a mask to minimize any risks and to comfort families.

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.

 

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 beloved pencil stool is cleaned with bleach and/or Lysol.  My backdrops go through a hot-wash cycle.  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.

While the outbreak continues, I am not bringing my graduation caps and gowns to schools.  This is to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19; there is much uncertainty as to the length of time it can remain on clothing.   For any school seeking cap & gown photos, the school will need to supply the cap and gown.  

I am, however, happy to provide a graduation-type scroll and flowers for graduation photos.  During the outbreak, I will provide a new scroll and flowers for each school who requests graduation photos.

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.

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© 2020 by Kirsten Laufer Photography