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Location shoots are back on – with precautions

Dan Linstead , , 10 July 2020

After a couple of months when we were unable to conduct video and photoshoots due to coronavirus restrictions, we are delighted to be back out in the field.

Naturally we are following government guidelines scrupulously, and conducting detailed risk assessments for each situation. Some shoots need modifying to take account of social distancing guidelines, and we have a comprehensive set of measures in place to safeguard everyone involved. But in most cases, we can find a solution and get back to what we love doing: capturing great editorial imagery and video footage.

In the first week of July, we produced our first video shoot since lockdown – for our client English Heritage, at the magnificent Iron Bridge site in Shropshire. Working with the brilliant TV presenter Rob Bell, the crew spent a day documenting this iconic piece of Industrial Age engineering, while keeping appropriately distanced. A few simple measures – wearing gloves, using wider shots – enabled us to capture some beautiful footage without compromising anyone’s safety. Look out for the result soon, which will form an episode of the English Heritage video series How England Was Made.

Gloves help ensure kit and operators remain germ-free

The same sunny week, we were out on the road in a classic Mini Cooper, photographing a road trip for our client Boundless. Often with these regular Great Drive features, we like to get properly off the beaten track, but in the spirit of staying local this time we simply took a spin from writer Dan Read’s base in Bristol, through Cheddar Gorge and along the coast to Exmoor.

As the least-visited National Park in the UK, Exmoor was a good place to practise social distancing – and gave the Mini maximum chance to shine. And the dramatic landscape of Cheddar Gorge gave photographer Justin Leighton an ideal opportunity for some drone photography – surely the safest kind there is.

Drone photography over Cheddar Gorge | Justin Leighton / Boundless

Socially distanced car photography in Exmoor | Justin Leighton / Boundless

The Boundless drive was a good example of a low-risk photoshoot, involving few people and taking place outdoors. Another example was a shoot we conducted back in April, when lockdown restrictions were even tighter.

We were working on a feature for the RYA Magazine about people living on boats, and what they could teach the rest of us about being cooped up in small spaces 24/7. One of our interviewees was houseboat dweller Batel Magen, who lives with her family in Bristol marina. One of our favourite local photographers, Oliver Edwards, was able to take a portrait of the family on their boat whilst out on his daily constitutional. The shot was taken from the towpath, whilst keeping the all-important 2m distance. No props, no lighting, no stylist – just daylight and smiles.

Batel Magen and family in Bristol marina | Oliver Edwards / RYA Magazine

Now that further lockdown easing is in place, we have an increasing number of location-based photo and video shoots planned in. Do get in touch if we can help organise a safe and creative shoot for you.

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