COVID has completely changed the wedding industry (and others) this year. Just about every wedding I had scheduled for 2020 has been moved to 2021 but many have decided to still celebrate with a small and intimate wedding with their closest friends and immediate family. Since May I have had 4 weddings and I have another one coming up this weekend second shooting with one of my second shooters, Lisa!
While I am at weddings, if I have some time, I LOVE sharing with you all some behind the scenes on my instagram stories. Some of those behind the scenes are selfies of me doing something, or with my second shooter… lots are just showing the details of the day and how amazing everything is. Since we are right now in the middle of a world wide pandemic, the selfies you see are of me wearing my mask. I’ve had so many photographers DM me asking me about my mask- Can you breathe? Is it comfortable? Where did you get it? So, since I’ve had lots of questions about it, I decided the best way to share my thoughts on the mask is to give you a little review of it here.
In March when we were all ordered to stay inside, my husband went on a search to find me a mask that I can wear for weddings. One that will allow me to be safe, comfortable and allow me to breathe. He found The Urban X Mask and we ordered 2 of them to see how we liked them. Well. Since we ordered these right when the stay at home order started at the end of March, we did not have them until the end of June. The shipping took forever! So while I was not going to link their webpage because their customer service was not helpful in the shipping process and the amount of time it took for the masks to arrive, I checked their site today to see that they are closed. I am guessing many people had the same issue with receiving their mask in a timely manner and not getting help from customer service. So, with that said. I do NOT recommend getting it through the site we got it from. This is the only CON we found with it.
I looked up a few different sites to find something similar for you guys which I will link at the end and to give you the PROS about the mask.
The mask is one size fits most. There is a velcro back to it so there is zero pressure on the ears which I really like. That makes it very comfortable. It has a filter on the inside with small clip filters (which you need to make sure you snap on tight or they will pop off) on the outside that you wash separately. While you do sweat with this on, it’s much more breathable than the cloth masks. You can feel new air entering and it does not fog up my view finder in the camera or glasses. I find that with any other mask I use, it fogs up and I can not see anything I am shooting. This mask is not an issue with that. If I need to pull it down, I can for a minute and pull it back up. I also have had times where I took it off when I am not near anyone and I attach it to myself with the Velcro which is good so I know its on me and not on the ground somewhere. There is a nose clip so that keeps the mask in place and its black design is modern and “nice” for professional purposes.
I do think that I sound muffled in the mask when I am directing the wedding party, family where I need to be a little louder for everyone to hear me. ( I think this with all masks, it’s hard to hear if you do not speak loudly and clearly). With that, I will move the mask so I can direct then put it back on. I do this stepping far back so there is a safe distance.
I have not tried this yet, but I plan to… maybe this weekend… but my sister had gotten me a megaphone since I told her I feel like I sound muffled!! Yes, you read that right! A megaphone! It arrived in the mail after the wedding I just had so I am curious to see how that will go soon. I think its hysterical so I am hoping I get some great laughs with it and everyone can hear me! I will link it as well incase you too want some laughs and fun with having a megaphone to talk to people at a wedding!
Now I am sure you all know that when wearing any mask, it gets hot. You sweat, you touch it… So I bring 2 of these masks with me and I also carry disposable masks as well just incase it is so hot and I start to feel really gross wearing the same mask for a 12 hour day. I have a box of 50 and pack a handful in my camera bag for those “just in case moments”.
At the start of this, I was not sure about touching other peoples things for detail photos. I do not need to touch anything other than my camera on the wedding day except for when I style wedding details in the beginning! It was unknown if the virus could be transmitted through touch and excessive hand washing had been suggested. For this, I have disposable gloves. I have not needed to use these. I am very careful with washing hands and using hand sanitizer, but I do have these as well in my camera bag for those moments where I feel unsure.
Something I have not gotten but I was thinking about was a face shield. I have seen a few photographers use these and shoot with their live screen. I prefer not to use the live screen option if I don’t have to, so unless something occurs and I need the shield, I think I am okay with what I am doing so far.
I also have 2 large gallons of water in my car with hand soap and paper towels. This has been a game changer. Each time I have an opportunity to wash my hands and not just with sanitizer, I will stop at my car to wash my hands ( if I am close to it). It’s amazing what soap and water feels like when you are working with your hands all day holding a camera. I also have this in my car not just for weddings, but for when I am out with my kids. We wash our hands this way several times while we are out and it’s been great not needing to go to a bathroom because….germs.
There you have it! These are all the safety things I am using right now that are working for me. If you have any questions or things that are working for you that I did not mention, please let me know! We are all in this together! 🙂 Stay safe and healthy, friend!