Friends, you may know that Paris entered a new phase of confinement this weekend.
Of course no lockdown is ideal, but I’m hoping that our new measures will help us finally get ahold of a third wave that has been slowly growing since the holidays.
A lot of nonessential businesses have had to close again. People who live in affected regions (that’s me, hi) must also stay within 10 km (~6 mi) of home unless they have an important reason to go further.
By French standards, though, this lockdown is still relatively lax. The nationwide curfew that’s been in place since December got pushed from 6 pm to 7 pm, plus I’m thrilled to be allowed outside of my house for more than an hour a day.
As a photographer, I’m also glad to still be allowed to (cautiously, safely) take on some client work and continue with my photography during lockdown.
That’s right, we can still do some professional photography here in Paris this time around! My French trade union gave us a great rundown yesterday, so I thought I’d pass it on to you, summarized and in English. If you’re in need of photography in France, or maybe you’re in the photography business or a related creative industry, this is for you!
Before diving in, I do want to make the obvious point that unfortunately, we have these new restrictions for a reason.
It’s great to be able to continue to work right now. That said, I’m still being cautious about what photography projects I take on during this pandemic. For any shoot, I’m taking into account things like team sizes (the smaller the better), locations (ventilation, babyyyy), and of course safety measures including masks, hand sanitizer, and testing. I would recommend other professionals in the field (photographers and otherwise) do the same.
So! The short version of what is allowed during this lockdown in terms of photo shoots is:
Photographers are still allowed to do shoots for professional clients, but (mostly) not for personal ones.
For any allowed shoot, you will need to have justification with you (eg a contract) in case you are stopped.
Okay, let’s break it down further!
✅ A company can hire a pro photographer to do any shoot they might need for their business. This applies even if that company is currently closed to the public under lockdown rules.
✅ Business-to-business (B2B) shoots can happen in any commercial space or outdoors.
✅ In B2B shoots, the person being photographed can remove their mask while photos are being taken, whether it’s indoors or out in a public space. (Photographers must always be masked.)
✅ Photographers in affected regions are allowed to travel beyond their 10 km and even their region if hired for a shoot for pro clients or personal clients who do not live in affected regions. (Personal note here: please take extra precautions if you do this to prevent being a vector of infection.)
❌ No personal clients in a photographer’s studio or place of business (except click-and-collect).
❌ No photo shoots in personal homes. An exception here is real estate photography, which is allowed as long as it’s commissioned by a pro (not for sale by owner) and no one who lives there is present during the shoot.
🟨 Personal photo shoots outdoors are a bit of a grey area, largely because of masking laws. We are waiting for clarification here, but for now, it’s a bit risky. I’m also waiting for clarification about collaborations between professionals, though it sounds like they should theoretically be possible.
🟨 Similarly, weddings are tricky. Photography of the ceremony itself is allowed, but portraits before or after are in the same grey area as other personal shoots.
Voilà! I hope this helps you plan out your photography during lockdown, whether you’re on the photographer side or the client side.
Thanks again to FFPMI for their hard work in advocating for our needs and deciphering all these nuances for us. If you have any questions or would like to book a shoot that falls within current guidelines, please feel free to drop a comment or get in touch with me!