John Russo’s Guided Shoot

As you all may know, Los Angeles is the prime city for the entertainment industry. Directors, actors, photographers, publicists, assistants, and many more have been greatly affected due to Covid-19. For the last few months, we’ve been waiting patiently for things to return to normal and we are now finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Now that we are slowly seeing the country open itself back up, I’ve created some guidelines and established a standard safety practice on photo shoots in order can make everyone feel more comfortable jumping back into our careers. We are in the new age of reality for our industry, therefore, we must adapt to the times. The show simply must go on. 

After gathering information from the top photographers, publicists, hair, makeup, styling, photo producers, and photo directors. Based on their opinions, this information was developed to show how we, the industry professionals, see our photo shoots moving forward.


  • There must be a maximum number of 6 people per shoot allowed on set. If there are more people that must be present, they will be placed in a different room with an iPad and headset. 
  • Equipment must be properly wiped down before and after set with a disinfecting cleaning solution. 
  • Producers of the shoot will be responsible for bringing masks and plastic gloves for each crew member, as well as any cleaning supplies for equipment and common areas. Common areas must be wiped down each hour during shoot. 
  • Arrivals on set must have staggered timing. Once present upon arrival, everyone must observe social distancing with a 6 feet distance at all times. There must not be any handshakes, hugs, kissing, or any type of contact greeting. An individual on set with a cough, sneeze, or fever will be asked to leave immediately.
  • Shoots will take place in large sound stages or extra-large studio spaces with access to fresh air. Proper ventilation will determine if the location is suitable for a shoot. As much as possible, outdoor locations will be used.
  • For interior shoots, only the photographer and talent will be allowed in the space. All of the crew will be outside of the location.
  • There will be no catering unless there are individual box meals or pre-packaged meals.
  • There will be no touch ups on set. Glam teams will be in their designated rooms with an iPad and can instruct the photographer of a problem via walkie talkies or headsets.  
  • We must remember that each shoot is unique, so we need to apply common sense to each situation. 


Photographers must wear a face mask and gloves at all times. In addition, photographers must remain 6-10 feet away from talent. In order to be in touch with the client, publicist, art director, etc., the photographer must wear a headset or walkie talkie. 

Photo assistants must wear a face mask and gloves at all times. Photo assistants must show up 2 hours early to pre-light each setup and wipe down all equipment with the appropriate solution. After the setup, assistants are required to wait outside of the main set but be on earpiece for emergencies.

Digital technicians must wear a face mask and gloves at all times. To adhere to social distancing, digital technicians are required to remain 6-10 feet from the talent and photographer. In order to be in touch with the photographer or client, technicians must wear a headset. 

Publicists and clients must wear a face mask and gloves at all times. Publicists and clients must be offset with an iPad or monitor observing the shoot adhering to the social distancing rule of 6-10 feet from other individuals. In addition, publicists and clients must wear headsets in order to to be in touch with the photographer, who can relay information to the talent.

Hair and makeup must wear face shields or masks and gloves at all times. All products for makeup and hair will be new and exclusive to each talent. There will be no reusing of products and brushes must be sterilized after each use. 

Wardrobe stylists will be sent 48 hours prior to fitting and be disinfected if coming from a showroom. All steaming and alterations will be done prior to arrival of talent. There will be no set touch-ups or alterations. Talent is encouraged to wear their own clothing when possible. Stylists can do a Skype call with the talent and choose the appropriate items from the talents closet.

Videographers must wear a face mask and gloves at all times. Videographers will be on set with a long lens that can shoot at least 20 feet away from the talent and photographer. Videographers will also be wearing a headset in order to be in touch with the photographer and director.

We must remember that all photo shoots will be unique and we must proceed with caution according to the set’s environment. I hope these helpful tips can ease your creative mind before stepping into a shoot. The show must go on! 


For information follow @photoshootguidelines on Instagram and visit

To see more of my photography, visit my website!

And follow me and My LA Lifestyle & stay connected!


Photo sources: Photography by John Russo Photo. 

More from Christine Carpio

Restaurateurs Shawn & Alexandra Ellis on Dining Across the Country

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn E-mailAs restaurateurs, we are constantly exposed to the best...
Read More