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Freckled Expressions Photography:

Our Proactive Role in Supporting Clients Though COVID-19

First and foremost, my heart goes out to those who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This is a large scale issue that affects our world as both health and economic issues.

There is no higher priority than the safety of my clients and I want you to feel confident in booking with our studio. We are taking the proper steps and following the guidelines of the CDC and World Health Organization by properly disinfecting the studio space/props before and after each session. We are also keeping the schedule to a minimum to ensure adequate time for enhanced cleaning procedures.

-- I feel it is important to note that my studio is "by appointment only" which greatly limits the number of people that come into the space. So, statistically speaking, it is much cleaner and safer than a trip to the grocery store or doctors office ;)

-- All studio visitors are asked to wash or sanitize hands upon entering, and I will do the same. Hand sanitizer is available around the studio, please help yourself during your session. I will sanitize my hands periodically, including any time I touch my face.

-- All washable props that come in contact with baby are machine washed and dried after every session. Delicate items are hand washed and air dried before a disinfectant spay. Hard surface props will be wiped down with disinfecting wipes. Props and toys older babies tend to chew on will get a thorough bleach cleaning or go through a dishwasher sanitation cycle.

-- Before and after each session all furniture, hard surfaces, and floor get wiped down with bleach solution and Clorox Wipes. I also regularly wipe down my equipment (camera/lights/etc) with alcohol wipes.

***I will reschedule to the best of my ability whenever a client is ill. Please let me know if you or anyone in your household are feeling sick.

Given recent media attention to COVID-19, and the potential for its spread in the coming weeks, I felt it was necessary for me to share my strategies to keep my clients safe. While most of these practices are already standard, I am hopeful that formalizing them will give you some peace of mind when visiting with your family. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any and all concerns.

Thank you,

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Since I first began my business several years ago, I had contemplated offering the cute portraits with bunnies, chicks, and other fuzzy creatures. I have been questioned a few times about it and I usually mention three things: “license to use animals”, “fear of children hurting the animals” and “fear of the animals hurting the children”.

The following was written by Marcelle Raphael of Fine Art Newborns on her blog HERE. She explains perfectly a lot of additional reasons why Freckled Expressions Photography WILL NOT photograph with live animals (other than family pets).

1. The use of a live animals (mammals) in photography requires a license from the federal government’s USDA. See compliance under Licensing and Registration Under the Animal Welfare Act. Different states may have different licensing and inspection requirements as well, however, even if it is just one animal, a license from the USDA is REQUIRED, regardless of State requirements.

2. A part of the permitting and licensing process includes an inspection by the federal government’s USDA offices. This is mandatory, even if your state does not require a license or permit. The inspectors may also be required to be present during the photo session. If any animal is hurt, injured or killed, the fines are serious and they can ban the photographer from actively doing business permanently.

3. Animals are often brutalized by pulling, choking, squishing, yanking and being sat upon by little clients. This is obviously no fun for the little animal.

4. Rabbits are delicate animals whose spines can snap just from being held improperly and their legs and ears can be broken or severely damaged without much effort at all. Although fowl (chicks, ducks, geese, etc) are not regulated, keep in mind the legs and wings of chicks can easily be pulled off and broken by a child who does not know how careful to be. Some rabbits become so stressed they will die of heart failure right on the spot. Having an animal injured or dying during the session does not produce the best childhood expressions to capture.

5. Animals often panic when handled by children; a frightened rabbit or chick can bite and scratch, causing lacerations, deep scratches and puncture wounds to your clients children. These can lead to infections, skin rashes and other diseases.

6. Bunnies and chicks can carry diseases such as Salmonella which can be devastating to small children. Here is a link for signs and symptoms of Salmonella.

7. Tularemia or “rabbit fever” is even more dangerous. Check the link for signs and symptoms of Tularemia.

8. PETA actively engages in looking for these activities during the year, especially on Facebook. They have successfully (and rightfully) lobbied the largest photography studios like Sears, JCPenney and Olan Mills to stop the use of live animals. PETA is on the look out for photographers who post questionable images and will call, check licensing and file complaints against the photographer. It’s as simple as calling the USDA and asking if a photographer is licensed. Individuals can also report animal cruelty on PETA’s website. Whether it’s relating to photography sessions or not. No animal deserves be to abused, neglected or mistreated, even if accidentally.

9. PPA, Professional Photographers of America, the largest association of photographers in the world, takes the stance that animals must be treated ethically and according to law. The industry widely does not accept the use of animals and is considered rather non-professional as a photographer. (Please note there are many photographers who appropriately use and photograph animals. I am specifically discussing the inappropriate, unlicensed use of animals for Easter portraiture here).

10. You can be sued for injuries, infections and damages that occur to anyone in the session. Don’t forget some people may have allergies or asthma, too! Animals can be triggers for serious allergy and asthma attacks, including anaphylaxis, which can cause death. I personally have to carry life saving Epi Pens and so does one of my children. It’s not a fun experience.

11. The shoot can become quite haphazard if your little clients are chasing bunnies and chicks. That means you are chasing your client. This, along with the frustration of the child because the animal is not cooperating, the frustration of the parents because the child is not cooperating and the frustration of the photographer because NO ONE is cooperating is not conducive to the best shots ever. Plus, editing out scratches on the face and body parts of your client is an added workload.

12. Feces! Animals can leave droppings everywhere. On your little clients, on their new Easter clothing and on your backdrops and props. EWWW!

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9 month Milestone Mini Sessions are always a little bittersweet... I have enjoyed watching this beauty grow every 3 months since she was nearly 2 weeks old. She sure did not disappoint this time! Excited and a little sad that we are planning her Cake Smash already.

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