Socially Distancing While Photographing

March 28, 2020

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Headshot, Branding and Senior Photographer - bringing personality and fun to your photo sessions!

Meet Melissa

Spring has “sprung” in the DC area, but this spring is different than any of the past ones. It is the “Coronavirus spring” and instead of mobs of tourists photographing Cherry Blossoms and picknicking at the tidal basin, we are all hunckered down in our own homes, taking selfies and gardening in our back yards.

The dogs are loving it, but the families maybe not so much. It’s not the family bonding that is upsetting people – in fact most of my friends are actually rediscovering joy in the simple things, like baking, board games, puzzles and walks with their immediate families. It’s more the ritual activities of spring, the birthdays that are celebrated without friends, the Saturdays spent watching soccer and basketball games, the high school and college seniors that are missing out of their chance to shine in a graduation and all that comes with milestone years.

I get it. I have a high school senior myself. Luckily most of his extracurricular activities were in the fall, but still, this virus has changed the trajectory of their future  – immediate in terms of graduation, but also economically, as the effects will be felt for a while. 

And still – the plants and trees have not halted or changed. The cherry trees bloomed beautifully this year, the forsythia blossomed in virbrant yellow. Every week we are greeted with more spring color.  

This is the time of year I get most of my senior and family bookings.  I self-examined my method and procedures for outdoor senior portraits and family sessions to see if I broke the “6 foot social distancing” rule, and should cancel the March and April sessions. 

Obviously, I did cancel all of my interior, personal branding and headshot sessions, but I decided that I can continue my outdoor portraits. Because I favor my 200mm lens I am always telling my clients that I am going to be standing “allll theee wayyy bacck here” (sometimes this has even had me taking some traffic risks or even crossing the street to get the perfect shot). In Northern VA we have not been ordered to stay at home – as some other states or cities –  as long as we are following the CDC guidelines

I did have my first “socially distant” family portrait session yesterday, and was surprised by how similar it was to all of my sessions. At a few points, I stopped myself from stepping forward to help arrange the family, but I primarily continued to my regular practice of using my voice to direct, from a safe distance.

I was just so happy not to waste a beautiful blooming tree, a clear spring day, and a happy family that has taken advantage of a time when their college age child was home, to gather the family together. In the midst of all this uncertainty and disappointment I am happy that I have the ability to do something that celebrates family togetherness, and normalcy.


If you would like to take some time to get outside and take advantage of this beautiful spring, be assured that we can capture some treasured memories and remain safe.

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