In some recent good news, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has published a set of guidelines for professional photographers who want to re-open their studios as the stay-at-home order in the state has started to roll back. The guidelines released by Jay are the first seen from a government body and can act as a template for the rest of the country for photographers who are anxious to get their businesses back up and running safely.

These guidelines were first published on Friday, May 15th as part of its 4-phase ‘Safe Start‘ plan to re-open non-essential services. According to Washington, Professional photographers including studio, event, freelance, and ‘artistic’ photographers, are part of Phase 2, and should be able to re-open in most of Washington State by June 1st!

If you’re lucky enough to be a photographer in the area, once your county moves into “Phase 2” you’ll be allowed to re-open your business as long as you establish a “written procedure” that matches or is stricter than the client management and sanitation guidelines detailed in the PDF linked below.

Some Requirements To Reopen Include:

  • All unnecessary paper products and decor should be removed (including marketing materials).
  • All equipment, including props, chairs, benches or anything a client might come into contact with must be frequently sanitized.
  • Clients must be booked by appointment only, allowing enough time to sanitize all equipment and common areas between photo shoots.
  • Outdoor sessions are recommended and should be used whenever possible.
  • Photographers must maintain social distancing, using ‘no-touch’ posing techniques.
  • No groups. Only one client may be in the studio/in the photography area at a time. If the client is a minor, they may have one family member with them. (Exceptions may be made for group photoshoots including only immediate family members).

Read The Full Document Here:

[Related Reading: Here’s How The Coronavirus Will Impact The Photography Industry]

Personally, these guidelines seem more than reasonable to me, and should act as a template for re-opening photo studios around the country. Obviously every state has different rules, but this is a great starting point that should give a little hope to those currently facing extreme economic stress. It’s been suggested that photographers copy these guidelines and send them to their own local governors to help them establish rules and regulations that’ll allow creative workers to get back to doing what they love!

My one concern is the “event” portion though. Given that my own personal work and income comes largely from event work, it’s difficult for me to see how those rules will work or apply there. Additionally, for those to work at all, the events like concerts and comic-con would also have to start being legally and safely able to happen also. Basically the “events” side is clearly still going to be a can of worms for a while, but at least there’s finally some hope for photographers and creatives as a whole. What do you think of these guidelines? Do you think they’re fair and can be used in your state? Have you started to re-open your businesses? Let us know in the comments below!