Exemption of mask rule for subjects during photography/film sessions

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Image Makers as a whole have been impacted immensely by the required closure of their businesses under lockdowns, lack of clarity surrounding the return to work, and laws surrounding masks. The profession is eager to return to work, safely, but the restrictions of mandatory mask wearing as it stands currently makes that impractical at the very least.

We, as photographers and video producers are asking that clients are allowed an exemption from the mandatory mask rule while actively being photographed by a professional; returning their mask immediately after.

It is impossible for image makers, specifically in the genres of portraiture, wedding, family and corporate to work and capture images of people without seeing their face. However, being professionally photographed or filmed is not currently a justifiable reason to remove one’s mask, yet our whole profession relies on this. 

Image Makers are committed to adhere to current face covering and Covid Safe rules and requirements while on the session whether in a studio or on location, their clients being photographed safely captured from a required social distance with the use of appropriate lenses and equipment, while their [clients] masks are off. The Covid Safe Guidelines as created by Screen Australia in conjunction with the federal health office are guidelines we could safely and effectively work under.

Photographers, and video producers individual business Covid Safe Plans would be able to reflect this, and other specifics that are required by the Act.

Currently our industry may be able to return to work as soon as October 26th within metropolitan Melbourne, however this is irrelevant if masks must be worn by those being photographed or filmed, effectively blocking out an entire profession from returning to the local, metropolitan, and state economy. Given that many are sole traders, it adds to their frustration that image makers in other states are able to resume businesses, safely, specifically in the aforementioned genres.

There must be an exemption from the mandatory mask wearing rule while actively being photographed or filmed by a professional. This is essential if our professions are to survive into the future. It is important that our clients are not robbed of memories from this time. The current rules do not take such matters into account, especially when we believe can operate safely.

Please help image makers, many who are sole traders, return to work safely and effectively.

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