Back in March, the modeling and fashion industry abruptly closed up shop in response to the coronavirus pandemic right along with film and television productions across the country. Luxury fashion brands were forced to cancel shows and exhibitions while others postponed. Some designers let their fashion shows go on, albeit via digital-only streaming and with the audience seats vacant. And stocks in fashion brands plummeted across the globe.

Now, as various states begin to reopen their economies, photography studios, models, and crew members will be adapting to the health crisis with unprecedented safety guidelines designed to minimize the spread of the highly contagious virus. Many of these procedures are sure to cross into film and television productions as the challenges between the modeling and entertainment industries have a lot in common.

Here is a collection of strategies various photography studios are implementing to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Online casting

Increasingly, models are submitting digital portfolios of their work, enabling the casting process to occur online. 

Reduce the number of workers on set 

Photographers plan to cut down the number of people who will be present on set, allowing only those individuals who are deemed essential to the shoot. The remaining workers will stay connected through the use of video calls.

Remote shoots

Virtual shoots that are directed through video calls allow both photographers and models to remain safely at home.

Do-it-yourself makeup

Because the job of a makeup artist requires very close contact with the models, some productions are arranging for models to apply their own makeup—that is, with the guidance of professionals on video calls. As for those who work directly on models, the makeup artist will wear a mask and gloves, and he or she will use lip brushes, mascara wands, and makeup brushes that are disposable. Makeup stations and kits will be disinfected after each use.

Take people’s temperature

Workers’ temperatures will be taken before the shoot with a no-contact, instant-read thermometer. Individuals within normal range are permitted to work.

Social distancing

To maintain social-distancing standards, markers will be placed on the floor for both the photographer and the model. 


As much as possible, shoots will be scheduled outdoors, and those that are to be held inside will have increased ventilation to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19. 


If further social distancing is needed on outdoor shoots, the crew will make use of the natural barriers like hedges or walls. For indoor shoots, screens can be placed between workers for protection.

One-way arrows on the floor

To prevent a lot of back-and-forth movement between workers, sets can mark the floor with arrows to indicate the flow of on-foot traffic. 

Wearing masks

It goes without saying that models won’t be required to wear masks during shoots. But everyone else on set must wear a face covering while at work. Extra masks will be provided to anyone who arrives without one.

Disinfect routinely

To provide a clean set for each subsequent model, surfaces will be disinfected after each modeling session. Thirty-minute breaks between sessions will allow time for sanitizing and will prevent people from needing to wait before their session begins. Also, clean, disinfected changing rooms are maintained for the safety of the models. 

Frequent handwashing

Of course, the frequent use of hand sanitizer and/or handwashing is encouraged. Plenty of hand-sanitizing dispensers are located nearby and available to all. Maintaining a stockpile of hand sanitizer assures there will be no shortage of it for all who enter.

BYOS (Bring your own supplies)

To minimize the chance of sharing potentially contaminated items, models are asked to bring their own makeup, brush or comb, blow dryer, hair product, and lint roller. Back-up supplies are available.