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@bellawangphotography

meet bella

Boston-based family, newborn and wedding photographer. Creating timeless images on location. Click to read more.

How this photographer is dealing with Coronavirus

Tips

Starting 03/22/2020 I will no longer be doing any in home sessions. Somerville currently has a mandate in place preventing non-essential workers from meeting people. I will be abiding by the rules. Once these restrictions are lifted, I will be reconsidering sessions on a case by case basis. Thank you for your understanding in this difficult time.

A Message from me

Your safety and comfort is and always has been my primary concern. Since I began, I was committed to making my families feel safe and stress free from my booking process all the way through to the delivered product. This was achieved with constant communication and information (as much as I could saturate you all with before people glazed over with boredom!) I always wanted to remain as flexible as possible, because life happens. This is even more important and closer to my heart now than it ever has been. I want you to know that I am here for you and I wanted to let you know what steps I’ve taken to make this as stress-free as possible. Every family’s needs are different, as are their beliefs and practices. Just know that I will do my best to be as flexible and accommodating as you need me to be. Paranoia is never the answer, but being informed and communicative with everyone we interact with is prudent.

I’m Flexible

Because this is such a big unknown right now and things are moving so quickly and in so many directions it’s hard to lock things in. I understand and have always been flexible to my families. Nothing will change. If you read my reviews, I have always remained flexible to change dates to accommodate sickness and unforeseen circumstances. Life happens! I don’t plan on changing my policies. I don’t require a retainer for my portrait & newborn sessions and full payment is just due on our session date. As a small business this will of course affect me and my family more than those with a steady guaranteed income, but we’ll all get through this. Thankfully my husband still has a 9-5 job and health care benefits.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

If you or your family members have any unexpected changes to their health then please just keep me informed and we can reschedule. I will of course notify my families if I experience any of the following: sore throat, cough, fever, diarrhea, or breathing difficulties as listed by the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s better to be safe than sorry. I don’t want to carry the responsibility of infecting an at-risk group.

6 Things I’m implementing to prevent spread of germs

New procedures
  1. I will be wearing gloves from now on for in home sessions such as lifestyle sessions and newborn sessions. These will be disposable gloves and they will be put on after I’ve washed my hands.
  2. I will be washing my hands in front of you for at least 30 seconds before all in-home sessions. Yay for me being super-awkward and having no qualms about it! I have always washed my hands thoroughly before newborn sessions so I am extending this habit to all in-home sessions. I want to do it in front of you so you will have peace of mind and so you can give me tips and feedback if you see me miss a spot! No need to be shy about it.
  3. I will be disinfecting my camera + lenses for all in-home sessions. I have alcohol wipes that I will wipe down my camera / lenses with. This is the main part that I will be in contact with throughout our session.
  4. I will continue to remove my shoes before every session at home. I’ve always done this as that’s how I was raised, so no big change here.
  5. I will no longer be shaking hands or hugging and will now do a super-duper awkward double hand wave at you! I’m sure you’ll all dying to see what it looks like. The suspense I’m sure is killing you, but if you’re lucky enough to see it in person……
  6. For my newborn sessions I would like to minimize the number of objects I bring into your home. From now on, I would prefer to use wraps or onesies you have already in your home that are freshly laundered. If you would like to continue to use my wraps, I will hold a quick video chat with you and narrow down the wrap choice to 1-2 wraps. These will be cleaned specifically again (I clean 100% of my items used after every session, but I will be extra cautious and do a second washing just prior to seeing you), kept in a separate bag, and brought to your session.

If you prefer to wash it yourself, I can arrange to mail it to you if that’s a possibility/enough time. If you prefer this last option, please select your wrap at least 7 days prior to our session. Please note my wraps are hang-dry only. Do not put them in the dryer or they will shrink and become unusable. They are gauzy and pretty fragile.

What you can do to stay healthy

I’m just like the rest of you and I have concerns about the virus and the impact it will have on our day to day lives. An interesting chart I saw relates to

social distancing:

Source: Adapted from CDC via Insider

The empty street photos in China showed how seriously people took quarantine measures. If you look at the numbers, Asian countries have slowed the increase in the number of infected, while other countries have caught up and even surpassed the number of cases. Do what’s best for your family but I just wanted to provide some information.

Wash your hands. Stop touching your face

As a photographer, I have always been very careful with handwashing as I meet so many people and I rely on my health to be able to work and generate income for my family. If I’m sick and make my clients sick, well… there are so many implications. It’s always mind-boggling how often I see people employ poor hygiene practices when out in public. When I photograph weddings and events documentary-style, the reason why people think I am taking way too many photos is because someone is always touching their face or picking at themselves which renders an image useless. It’s pretty constant once you are looking for it like I have for the past several years. The best thing is to follow best practices as outlined by the CDC:

Source : CDC

If you’re sick, do everyone a favour and self-quarantine. Common sense says you should stay home and not come into contact with vulnerable people. Be a hero by maybe saving a life.

Natural Supplements

I’ve also been regularly taking natural supplements. It’s of course not proven, but I haven’t had the flu or any nasty colds in years. Placebo effects are sometimes just as great as the real thing. I take echinacea and elderberry supplements and drink lots of herbal teas on a daily basis. Do what you think is best and can help keep you healthy. It’s just something I’ve always done to ward of colds, coughs and other general maladies so I’m just going to keep on doing it.

Natural remedies to boost my immune system I’ve used for years.

Eat a healthy diet and keep a regular exercise routine. I find whenever I neglect myself, my health suffers. Busy season is generally when I stress eat and fall off the wagon with my exercise routine. I feel like a total disaster and I look like one too. Listen to your body and its needs. If you take care of it, it’ll take care of you.

Final Thoughts

This isn’t a time to prepare for the doomsday and freak out unnecessarily. I just know many of you are having concerns and I thought I would take a moment to address those concerns and show you what I’m doing to take active steps in my small business to make things less stressful for you. Communication, information and reassurance can hopefully comfort you in this time so I’m doing my part. If you have any thoughts or suggestions for best practices, I’m open to feedback. You can always reach out to me via social media, my contact form, or my email. If you have a session booked with me you also have my cell. Again, I only want to inform and keep everyone updated with my preventative measures. I’m not putting on a tin hat and banging on my pot in the town square. If there are additional measures you’d like me to take before our session please do feel free to communicate those thoughts to me.

I’m here for you

We’ll all get through this as a community. Best thing is to stay calm as that’ll keep your immune system in peak condition. The purpose of this post is only to ease your minds so that we’ll continue to have a great relationship! Again, never hesitate to reach out and communicate any concerns to me.

Much Love,

Bella

Be well and everyone stay healthy and safe.

A recent (straight out of camera / no edits) picture of us from our recent trip to Hawaii where there were literally 3 people that we saw in 3 days on the lava fields in Kalapana where we stayed. Sunsets on Hawaii are unreal.

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