Safety Guidelines and Recommendations On Set During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May, 2020 Vanity Teen


DISCLAIMER: This document proposes a set of suggestions in order to minimize the exposure to the virus responsible for causing COVID-19 during production activities for our magazine, and it is NOT intended to override restrictions enforced by local health authorities. DO NOT engage in production activities if your local officials have a lockdown or a restriction of movement for non-essential tasks in place.

Remember that it is YOUR responsibility to ensure hygiene and safety for everyone involved in photo production and that production activity for Vanity Teen ARE NOT considered to be ESSENTIAL during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consider that the production of a photoshoot can constitute a SOCIAL GATHERING, and as local officials have enforced laws that disallow them, we STRONGLY ADVISE to contact your local authorities before resuming any type of production activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, not only to ensure that the crew is safe but also to avoid breaching COVID-19 laws.


Before organizing a photographic production, please make sure that the members of your crew are not among the population at risk, in close contact, or live in the same household with one, as you would be exposing them unnecessarily to a virus that can be lethal. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) provides a comprehensive guide about groups at higher risk, which includes people with the following conditions:

● Asthma

● Chronic lung disease

● Diabetes

● Serious heart conditions

● Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis

● Severe obesity

● People aged 65 years and older

● People in nursing homes or long-term care facilities

● Immunocompromised

● Liver disease

Even though COVID-19 is more likely to be dangerous to people with the risk factors described above, it’s important to note that there’s a percentage of people with underlying health conditions that have not been diagnosed or that can carry the virus without presenting any symptoms when infected with SARS-CoV-2, and that could potentially infect other people. It is also important to make sure that none of the members of your crew have shown COVID-19 compatible symptoms, such as cough, fever, severe weakness, muscular pain, and fatigue during the last 15 days.

Location scouting and Equipment

If you are working in a studio setting, make sure that the facility has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and that it is well ventilated. According to the REHVA (Federation of European Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Associations) if possible, use window airing in order to increase the air exchange.

If you’re casting for exterior locations, we do not recommend the production of photoshoots in high-transit areas, since you can be in contact with surfaces that have not been sanitized or with third parties who do not follow safe health protocols.

We do recommend the use of private exterior spaces as much as possible where an adequate sanitization of the facility is a common practice, making sure that the place is not crowded.

When it comes to choosing the equipment that you will use, only carry very essential items to avoid the manipulation of multiple pieces of equipment unnecessarily, as you’ll need to disinfect them. Roger Cicala, former Physician and Founder of shares his advice on how to safely disinfect your equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a list of virucidal agents that can be useful to kill the virus that has settled on the surfaces of different types of photographic equipment.

He also discusses other items and spaces which might need constant disinfection, such as props, doorknobs, and desks. If make-up and hair stylists must be on set, they need to wear masks and face shields and avoid touch-ups as much as possible. Combs and hairbrushes should be disinfected before and after every use, and the use of disposable make-up kits is strongly required. If possible, use individualized palettes in order to prevent cross-contamination if multiple models are on set.

Manipulation of clothes on set

Stylists are responsible for accessories and garments that are sanitized and safe for the models who will be wearing them. We do not recommend sharing garments or accessories with other models who will be on set if the disinfection between uses cannot be ensured.

Make sure that the clothing items and accessories that you’ll use during the production have been very carefully sanitized using a virucidal solution. When requesting items from a showroom, make sure that they have taken proper safety measures to disinfect the garments or accessories. Evidently, DO NOT do this on your own, as different types of materials react differently to certain chemicals used for disinfection and could potentially damage them completely.

If a stylist is on set, he must be the only person authorized to manipulate the accessories and garments, and this should be done with disposable gloves. If fitting before the shoot is necessary, we suggest that you arrange it in a way that is safe for you and the model(s). If possible, also use video conference tools as alternatives.

Additional safety measures for the crew

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is strongly advised for all the members of
the production team, but particularly for stylists, hair stylists, and make-up
artists as they must be in contact with models who would be unprotected for aesthetic reasons.

When it comes to transportation we recommend the use of local talent and avoid the use of air travel. It is strongly advised that crew members arrive in their own vehicles, through properly sanitized private transport and that they only rely on public transportation as a last resort. If the crew must travel together it’s advised to avoid more than two people in the same vehicle, and if a van is used there must be enough space between crew members. Every member should also wear face masks and windows must be open if possible (if not, car A/C recirculation shouldn’t be used).

Not more than four people should be inside a studio area and it’s advised to have a distance of at least 6 ft (1.8 meters) between crew members during the course of the production (including breaks). If the crew is working in an enclosed space, they must enter the studio area only when they are strictly required (for example, touch up). If digital photographic equipment is used and real-time monitoring of the shoot is needed, we suggest the use of camera tethering and the use of an external screen. If food is provided during the course of the production, adequate hand washing before eating must be enforced and the use of individual prepackaged meals and snacks with single-use cutlery should be required. It’s strongly recommended for crew members to bring their own food.

Do not share any type of equipment with the rest of the crew, including photographic tools, or personal devices such as smartphones, tablets, or earphones.

As the COVID-19 illness is still very new, and we’re learning about the way it affects our daily lives until now, this set of guidelines is subject to change. We strongly encourage you to be responsible and consider whether it’s good for you to participate in production right now.

The suggestions provided above are not solely recommendations that must be considered, and other practices can be put in place during the course of production if they can provide another layer of safety for those involved.

We want to continue inspiring young artists within the fashion industry during these times, but we must do it responsibly. Let’s stay safe!

Additional references

CDC: Groups at Higher Risk for Severe Illness

REHVA: COVID-19 Guidance How to Disinfect Camera Equipment and Spaces

Film Florida: Recommendations for Healthy & Clean Production Sets


Variety: Early U.K. Production Protocols Revealed as Industry Orgs Speak Out on
Slow Restart Ahead


WHO: Modes of transmission of the virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC
precaution recommendations


WHO: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 73

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