Our Response to COVID-19 Coronavirus 2019


Below you will find our latest information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus 2019) and our process for dealing with the ever-changing situation. Below is an outline of our plan and policy, as it currently stands. This is provided for information purposes and is subject to change. All updates will be posted to this page. Please contact us if you have any questions.

We’d kindly request all customers contact us via e-mail (info@west70.co.uk). Telephone calls will temporarily face a longer delay in replying.

Updated 1st July 2020.

 
 

Overview:
We are closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19. We will continue to take measures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone around us including staff, customers and the public beyond. We also do not want to put anyone at risk or put any unnecessary burden on our fantastic NHS. 

We are considerate to the fact we work around large numbers of people of various age ranges and health levels, often in groups. Due to this, we are being purposely overly cautious for the wellbeing of everyone.

We appreciate everyones patience and understanding during this ever-changing situation. We understand not everyone may agree with our policies or timeframe, but we believe it is the right course of action to keep everyone safe.

We would ask our customers to communicate with us should they find themselves with COVID-19 or display symptoms if it will impact your booking with us or if we have been in contact with you. You can contact us here (please e-mail us). If we find ourselves with symptoms we will of course “self isolate” and make suitable arrangements. We will always be reachable via e-mail.

We are lucky that our business can continue to operate somewhat remotely. Our business continues to operate on a stripped down service, even though our studio may be closed.

 
 

Key Points

■ We’d politely request that customers contact us via e-mail whenever possible. Telephone calls will face longer delays of up to 7 days for calls to be returned.
■ All customers can delay and reschedule a booking with us without facing any additional costs.
■ Wedding photography bookings before 14th September 2020 have been rescheduled to new dates or offered refunds. This date may be extended and will be reviewed.
■ We have not re-opened on 15th June 2020 like some other non essential businesses.
■ All studio photography bookings are temporarily on hold for the foreseeable future as are Tuesday afternoon opening hours for drop-in appointments. Customers wishing to book a studio portrait session are encouraged to contact us to register their interest for once we re-open.
■ Online orders have resumed, but with a slightly delayed service.

 
 

Non-Essential Business Re-opening:
Some non-essential businesses were able to re-open from 15th June 2020. Sadly we are not yet in a position to safely reopen. Due to the nature of studio photography, it would not be possible to do our job, even in a stripped down format, and still safely follow all of the guidance provided by the government. We tried a number of different methods but we are not able to resume work at this time. There’s a number of factors which lead us to this decision but primarily it’s the safety of our customers & staff that remains a concern. We want everyone to safely enjoy their experience with us and this will always be a priority. We’re keen to get back to work soon and we’ll keep monitoring the situation.

Customers who wish to book a studio portrait appointment are encouraged to contact us. We can then contact you when bookings are re-open.

 
 

Wedding Photography:
On 24th June the government confirmed that wedding ceremonies can go ahead in England with no more than 30 guests (this number includes staff and registrars). This applies to the ceremony only, a ‘standard’ wedding reception party is still not permitted and there are heavy restrictions. Full advice can be found on the Gov.uk website (see point 1.17) as well as an article on the BBC News website.

Any of our wedding customers who want to delay or transfer their booking to a new later date can do so free of charge. Your booking would simply be transferred to the new date (providing it is available). We encourage customers to check our availability before confirming a new date with their wedding venue. 

If the new date is already booked by another customer we can still fulfil the booking with another skilled photographer, whenever possible. If we are unavailable on the rescheduled date and a replacement photographer isn’t available or desired a refund will be offered. Replacement photographers are subject to availability.

Customers can change their booking by contacting us via e-mail (we require a written copy of any change of date request). 

All of our bookings before 14th September 2020 are now postponed. This “cut off” date could be extended and will be reviewed by us. Bookings in the short term beyond this date may wish to consider contacting their wedding venue to secure a reserve date in 2021, as a fallback plan.

Due to the nature of weddings (large gatherings of people in close proximity in an enclosed space for a prolonged time) we will use an abundance of caution with our decision making to minimise exposure, risk and spread. Government advice will be considered, but other factors will also form our decision (based on the industry and our own risk assessment). 

We also recommend that you also refer to your wedding insurance for general advice. We’re here to help and you can always contact us.

 
 

Studio Photography:
Customers who wish to book a studio portrait appointment are encouraged to contact us. We can then contact you when bookings are re-open. Due to the nature of studio photography it is very difficult to maintain social distance. It is by nature an experience that requires physical closeness. Our studio layout also makes it difficult to work together while keeping apart. We are not yet able to safely re-open, but we are working hard on a way to safely resume studio work with measures in place.

If you have a gift voucher that is due to expire before our studio appointments re-open please contact us. We will honour gift vouchers that are affected by this studio closure provided the customer contacts us before the vouchers original expiry date.

 
 

Contacting Us:
We are encouraging all customers to contact us currently via email (info@west70.co.uk). Telephone calls are harder for us to deal with (and require us being in our studio to call you back). Telephone calls may take up to 7 days to receive a reply therefore we highly encourage e-mailing us, as we can respond much faster.

 
 

Meetings & Appointments:
Any meetings / appointments will be offered by video call (Skype, FaceTime) or telephone for the foreseeable future. Please contact us to arrange.

 
 

Tuesday Drop-In Hours:
Our Tuesday afternoon drop-in hours have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. Signage is on display in our studio advising of this. We will announce here and via social media once Tuesday afternoon drop-in hours resume. Our studio layout also makes it difficult to work together while keeping apart. This means we regretfully anticipate our drop-in hours will be one of the last services to resume. 

We can still be contacted via e-mail and telephone (contact us) and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 
 

Print Orders:
Online orders for prints have now resume. It may take up to 28 days for your order to arrive, due to our printer resuming a very limited service. Customers can place orders via their online gallery (or contact us) and they will be dispatched to you as soon as possible. All orders will be posted, we are not currently offering a “collect in person” service. Customers who wish to collect in person are advised to hold off on ordering. Canvas orders have not yet resumed.

 
 

On A Personal Note:
We have been incredibly touched by the outpouring of support and kindness shown to us by our customers. We appreciate that these are very uncertain times and the patience, understanding and support has not gone unnoticed. We’re thankful to everyone who continues to support our business and we assure you we’re working hard to make sure things run as smoothly as possible. Although this situation is uncharted territory and constantly changing, it’s affirming to see kindness and understanding being shown to one another. We also appreciate everyone’s patience while we figure out this ever-changing situation.

 
 

We welcome any questions you may have (please contact us) and we advise checking back here for regular updates.

For general information about COVID-19 we recommend visiting Public Health England.