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5 tips to keep you and your clients safe


All right, does anyone else think of the Safety Dance song by Men Without Hats when they think all things safety? - No? Just me?


With a background in outdoor education, and taking groups in all seasons outdoors- I have picked up a few things to ensure you and your clients are safe during your sessions. I know it sounds cliche, but being prepared is your best bet to avoid anything serious from happening. Take a look below at my 5 tips to keep safe during your photography sessions.


(In no particular order)


1. GET YOUR FIRST AID CERTIFICATION- There are many different organizations that offer First Aid certification in Ontario, www.sja.ca St. John Ambulance is where I have been certified the last few years, and I highly recommend their training. It's a lot all in two days, but their re certification program is top notch and they deal with practical scenarios all from bites and stings, to more intense scenarios of heart attacks and CPR. These are basic life saving skills that can be transferred to all avenues beyond photography and working with clients. If you want to take it a step further and feel like you are taking clients into the backcountry, try looking into Wilderness First Aid.


2. CARRY A FIRST AID KIT- let's repeat. CARRY A FIRST AID KIT. I always see these fantastic shots of "what's in my bag' as a photographer and I find myself yelling at the screen " BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR FIRST AID KIT?!?!?!" At the very least, some band aids, tensor bandage, CPR protection device, plastic gloves and ice pack and tick kit. Which, essentially is a first aid kit. At the very least, if someone gets a scratch you can offer a band-aid. I find that kids in sessions if running around, they can trip and the only thing that will calm them down is a ice pack. It's magical. CARRY A FIRST AID KIT.


3. KNOW YOUR ADDRESS- If you ever had to call 911, they will ask for your location. If you have no idea where you are and in a panic do not your address- they will have a heck of a time locating you. In an emergency seconds are important. When I go out to a session, I save the address as my homescreen, with a general description of the area we will be in and trails we will be on. If you don't want to mess up your homescreen, written on something in your first aid kit will do.


4. KNOW YOUR HAZARDOUS PLANTS- Going off the beaten path has its benefits, cool shots that no one has gotten before, getting that awesome shot and then BAM. Everyone has poison ivy. In Ontario we have a handful of hazardous plants that range from Poison Ivy to Giant Hogweed. Doing a site visit prior to your shoot and walking some of the areas will give you a better idea of where some of these plants are, and is something I recommend for all your shoots. https://www.mec.ca/en/article/how-to-do-anything-spot-dangerous-plants This link found on MEC Has a great list on how the most dangerous ones that can be found....


5. KNOW YOUR BUGS- Again, venturing off the beaten path for these beautiful meadow shots - I love it- as long as you tell your clients to do a tick check after their shoot they should be ok! Ticks are pretty prevalent now throughout Ontario and are just so darn annoying and could lead to things like Lyme Disease. I would always preface meadow shots with- "There could be ticks, and if you feel comfortable, Let's go" I think its important to empower your client to make that decision. Doing a tick check could be a fun couple thing after the shoot, as the photographer- make sure you check too- ticks like to hang out in warm spots on your body (armpits, groin, neck etc). Check out this list that includes ticks: https://www.insideottawavalley.com/community-story/9998268-10-most-feared-ontario-animals-and-insects-how-dangerous-are-they-/



That's my five tips to keeping you and your clients safe. Once again, the best thing you can do is be prepared, it will give you the confidence with you and your clients to venture into cool areas and get those beautiful shots.


Stay safe out there friends.


Renee






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