Before shooting I took a brief Health & Safety assessment on all my shoots to ensure everything was suitable for the shoots and none of my clients were in any danger;
On the first shoot I did of the dance school as it was indoors I had set up a small studio in the corner of the room, this contained a large backdrop over a backdrop stand, two large lights and umbrellas and the tripod – Firstly I had checked that all the plugs were all behind the backdrop and no wires were showing, making sure no one could trip of fall over any loose wires.
Once all the wires were all safely tucked away and out of sight I checked that there were no breaks in any cables that could cause a fire hazard and that the bulbs were not touching any cloth or resting against any surface.
Once I was sure all the electrical equipment was safe to use I carefully laid out the bottom sheet of the backdrop with out any folds in the sheet to cause anyone to trip.
And finally i placed the tripod into the position in which I wanted it and using 3 circles of paper and blutac I stuck the 3 pieces of paper at each leg of the tri pod so when it was not in use I could move it away safely and place it back into the same position, this eliminated the possibility of anyone falling over the tri pod whilst it was not in use.
I was given a section of the room to work in where the children were not allowed to come into, this meant that all equipment such as the tri pod when not in use, printer and any cables were out of reach to any children.
I had signed a contract before hand with the teacher of the dance academy, this stated that children were to be supervised at all times when being photographed at the backdrop and must not be left unattended near any equipment, I also went on to explain that any damage caused that is a direct cause of the dance academy was to be paid for via the dance academy, the teacher was more than happy with the contract and the guidelines and adhered to them professionally minimising any possible cause for accidents.
The day went smoothly with out any mishaps and the equipment was all safely used and placed away at the end of the day.
The same level of health and safety was applied during the family shoot, as the same equipment was used –
This time as well as checking all cables were safely hidden and equipment was safe to use I made sure that the plugs used were behind the backdrop so that the younger children couldn’t crawl near to them, I also stated the the mum before the shoot that all children were to be supervised near the equipment and must not touch or mess with any of the backdrop, she understood and signed a contract that stated this.
I had toys available to keep the children occupied whilst the others were getting their photo taken and the mum and dad both kept a close eye on all children leaving little room for accidents.
With me working in the home of the clients I took not of any dangers I could see around the house and asked for all coffee tables and movable chairs to be removed form the area I had set up my backdrop, this then got rid of the hazard of tripping over any large objects whilst photographing.
The day went smoothly, although the smaller children did have to be removed from the light stands to prevent them falling a few times, however their mum obliged and moved them away safely, this then made it easier to focus on photographing the other children whilst she was holding the smaller children.
Children near equipment is the biggest worry I have when doing the shoots as it can be dangerous if not handled correctly, I have taken out insurance for this purpose that covers others in the case of an accident while I am photographing them, I must always assess the health and safety before hand to ensure the environment is safe but have the insurance in place to cover me should anything happen that is a direct cause of my equipment.
I also took part in some out door photography and had made a few assessments before going ahead with the shoot, both myself and the model i was photographic carefully inspected the area outdoors for things such as twigs, branches, wet leaves etc that could cause a trip or fall, we then proceeded to take photographs once we were sure the area was safe and moved on to the next spot, this we repeated before each set of images were taken, ensuring that both myself and the model were safe from accidents.
As well as assessing the area I made sure I had no loose straps from the camera and it was all sturdy and working correctly.
I took with me a tri pod and made sure than the area in which I was placing it was safe ad solid ground to stand the tri pod and camera on and that it was fold away after each set so it could be moved safely and securely to the next location, I kept my camera in my bag to move around and the tri pod strapped to my back using a tri pod bag so I had both hands free to freely move around the area.
As the area was quite dark I had brought along with me a torch so that we could see where we were walking and where we were going so to not cause any accidents in a dimly lit area.
There were no problems during the shoot and as all the rest I also asked my client to be aware of health and safety when moving around the woods, he obliged and helped to assess any problems during the shoot.
I did another outdoor testing shoot using my son in the fog, And had previously looked around the area for any dangers.
As it was a very dark setting with little visibility I carried with me a torch to light the way, keeping my camera in my bag and having both hands free, I led me son to the location and proceeded to take images in the fog, before each image I would look around for any hazards we could’t see so that no accidents occurred during the shoot.
Again the shoot went successfully and no problems occurred, I led my son back through the fog using the flash light we had taken with us.