COVID-19 Living Document



Information in this “living” document is being gathered from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development, Inland Revenue Department and other sources to help NZIPP photographers deal with the coronavirus pandemic. It contains health guidance and information on business continuity planning, resources available to you for dealing with financial hardship, ideas on responding to clients, and a database of other NZIPP members you can turn to for help. As more information becomes available, this document will be updated, so please check back regularly.

If you know of resources that could be helpful to our members and that we can add in here, please email Sarah McGregor on

New Zealand Photographer exposed to COVID-19 during recent Wedding

New Zealand Wedding Photographer Tim Kelly is now in self isolation after being contacted by the Ministry of Health, following contact with COVID-19 during a recent wedding. Tim posted this video online today, with an important message for wedding couples that Photographers might want to share.


I was exposed to COVID19 last week... at a wedding here in NZ. Here are my thoughts on why we should be postponing any weddings in the next few weeks.

Posted by Tim Kelly on Friday, 20 March 2020

Saturday 21 March 2020 – Letter to the Ministry of Health

We have written today to the Director-General of Health, the Health Minister and to PM Jacinda Ardern to urge the government to consider lowering the recommended numbers at gatherings in New Zealand. Many NZ wedding photographers are feeling very unsafe. We will update you if and when we receive a response, and in the meantime if you are a concerned wedding photographer we hope this letter is a useful resource in your communications with your clients.


Friday 20th March 2020 – NZIPP Membership – Payment Options

To our valued Members,
The NZIPP Board have been in discussions to work out how best to assist our members at this difficult time. With the bulk of our membership invoices due to go out at the end of this month, the timing of this pandemic couldn’t be worse for our members, or the Institute.
This is the time for us to band together, and we don’t want to see members having to sacrifice membership when they would like to continue to be a part of our wonderful community. While the Institute is a not-for-profit organisation and your fees mean we can pay our contractors, websites, administration and other commitments, the NZIPP Board has decided to introduce a further payment options for members who are having to make some tough business decisions at the moment.

Option 1 - available to all Accredited and Affiliate Members: Moving from one up-front payment to weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment

Monthly payment is not a new option, but in case you are unaware of the system, you can switch to monthly membership payments.
  • Affiliate Membership: $27 per month on a 12-month contract
  • Accredited Membership: $47 per month on a 12-month contract.
During these tough times, the NZIPP Board will now allow weekly and fortnightly payments through to 2021 on a 12-month contract.
  • Affiliate Weekly: $7.50
  • Affiliate Fortnightly: 14
  • Affiliate Monthly: $27
  • Accredited Weekly: $12.50
  • Accredited Fortnightly: $24
  • Accredited Monthly: $47
**Those already paying monthly can change to Weekly or fortnightly payment at the rates shown above.
Accredited members paying weekly, fortnightly or monthly* will also receive N3 cards, along with our Accredited members who pay up front.
*by Direct Debit method only with a signed 12 month contract. Does not apply to those paying by Automatic Payment.
Please note - if you intend on entering the Nikon Iris Awards 2020, your membership needs to be paid in full before entering, or you need to have signed to a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment option with payments beginning prior to June 21, 2020.
Please email to get set up for weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments.

Option 2 - deferred invoice for Affiliate and Accredited Members

The second option is for those members who have invoices due in APRIL and intend on paying in FULL. You can apply for your membership subscription to be deferred until 1 June, 2020. This gives you two months before you need to pay your subscription. Your renewal anniversary date will NOT change, and your annual subscription will be invoiced again in April 2021. Please note - if you intend on entering the Nikon Iris Awards 2020, your membership needs to be paid in full before entering, or you need to have signed to a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment option with payments beginning prior to June 21, 2020.
To apply for this deferred payment, please complete the form here.

Option 3 - Deferred for two months and begin weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments in June 2020. Payments in February and March 2021 will include the two months of deferred payments.

We can defer your weekly, fortnightly or monthly membership payments to begin in June 2020, with the deferred amount paid prior to your renewal in 2021. This option is available on a signed 12 month contract.
  • Affiliate Weekly: $7.50
  • Affiliate Fortnightly: $14
  • Affiliate Monthly: $27
  • Accredited Weekly: $12.50
  • Accredited Fortnightly: $24
  • Accredited Monthly: $54
Deferred payment amounts prior to your 2021 invoice:
  • Affiliate Weekly: $15
  • Affiliate Fortnightly: $28
  • Affiliate Monthly: $54
  • Accredited Weekly: $25
  • Accredited Fortnightly: $48
  • Accredited Monthly: $96
Please note - if you intend on entering the Nikon Iris Awards 2020, your membership needs to be paid in full before entering, or you need to have signed to a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment option with payments beginning prior to June 21, 2020.
Please email to get yourself set up with this option.
We’d like to invite you to contact us if things are getting really tough for you. We are here to support our members in any way we can, and we encourage you to reach out to us so we can provide any assistance possible during this difficult time.
Warmest regards,
The NZIPP Board.

Nikon Iris Awards 2020 going ahead – online!


The NZIPP Board, along with the NZIPP Honours Council have made the decision to take the Nikon Iris Awards ONLINE this year!

This is very exciting news, but also requires a lot of additional planning. We can't answer your questions about the awards moving to online right now, but we will update you with this new development as soon as we can.


Update from the NZIPP Board

NZIPP support all New Zealand photographers and recommend following Government advice at all times during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the new rules introduced on mass gatherings - no more than 500 people for outdoor events and no more than 100 for indoor events.

Those who breach the latest public health order are liable for penalties including up to six months’ imprisonment or a $4000 fine.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has advised the NZIPP that photographers who have clients planning to go ahead with events believed to breach the public health order should contact the Ministry of Health to advise them. Their freephone number is 0800 855 066.

Event organisers have a social responsibility to ensure social distancing at events.
NZIPP encourages all photographers to talk to clients should you have concerns about attending and photographing events.

If you are using the NZIPP/AIPA/Clendons Law Terms and Conditions, clause 27 and 28 can be invoked:

27.1 The Client acknowledges and agrees that the Client is responsible for, and shall take all reasonably necessary steps to ensure, its own personal safety and that no action or inaction of the Client causes harm or risk to the health and safety of others. Notwithstanding the above, the Client agrees to comply with any reasonable health and safety directions given by the Photographer.

28.1 Except for an obligation to pay money, neither the Client nor the Photographer shall be liable for any act, omission or failure to fulfil its obligations, or any loss or damage arising directly or indirectly due to an act of God, explosion, fire, flood, storm, earthquake, subsidence, armed conflict, strike, lockout or labour disputes, civil commotion, intervention of a government, accidents, electrical, heat, light or telecommunication failures, interruption to transportation, weather or any other cause outside the Photographer’s control.

These Terms and Conditions are free to download and available on the NZIPP website.

You always have the ability to cancel a contract with your clients, but depending on the circumstances you may need to refund clients’ deposits. If you do not use the NZIPP/AIPA/Clendons Law Terms and Conditions, and you are not sure what your contractual rights are, you are advised to call the Government’s Consumer Protection team, who advise on contract law. Their number is 0508 426 678.

MBIE advises that you also seek independent legal advice - a good starting point is to call your local community law centre, who can give you suggestions on how to proceed.


These links have been created to help support Photographers in your community.


This is a register where you can add your name to any region that you may be able to get to, to provide second shooting, take over if another photographer cannot attend, or to look for someone to take over from you for a planned session. Both NZIPP Members, and non members are welcome to register. You can add your details to more than one area!


Thursday 19 March 2020 – Advice to New Zealand Photographers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The NZIPP Board have been asked to provide suggestions for best practice for New
Zealand photographers during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Information provided is from members of NZIPP, a group of photographers working in a
volunteer capacity. We are not medical, legal or financial experts, and the suggestions
provided should be used as a guideline only. We suggest referring to the compilation
documentation here which provides a number of links to sources from the Ministry of
Health, Ministry of Social Development, Inland Revenue and the Government. The
document is updated as information becomes available.
It is important to remember that the situation is evolving rapidly and information may
become outdated quickly. These suggestions were released on Thursday 19th March
2020 at 9am NZST.

Personal safety during sessions (in regards to COVID-19 or other illnesses):
● Create and advertise a sickness policy for your clients
● Clean areas thoroughly in between sessions
● Take minimal gear with you to sessions if possible
● Avoid personal contact with clients where possible, including hand shaking
● Wash hands regularly with soap and water and have washing facilities available
in the studio for sessions
● Use and have hand sanitiser available
● Defer sessions if you, your family or your clients are unwell
● Do not use face masks unless you are unwell
● Avoid touching your face
● Clean surfaces regularly
● Cough into your elbow or a tissue
● Discard tissues to rubbish immediately
● Defer a session for 14 days if you have been overseas, or in contact with
someone who has been overseas.

At-risk sessions:
A session considered to be of higher risk may be the following:
● Birth photography and “Fresh 48” sessions
● Newborn and under 1-year-old sessions
● Photography of clients who have recently arrived from overseas
● Sessions by photographers who have recently returned from overseas
● Immuno-suppressed clients and elderly
● Sessions involving large gatherings.

Photographers who have a session booked that fits into this category should carefully
consider the appropriateness of going ahead with these sessions and think about what
extra precautions they could take, should they go ahead.

Requests for cancellations: what you can do
● Refer to your contract terms and conditions. You may choose to hold your clients
to your contract and retain the deposit with a cancellation, or you may wish to
give more flexibility.
● We all have a part to play in preventing the spread of the disease, and if there is
cause for concern in going ahead with a session, leniency might be the
appropriate route. Stamping out the disease will be less painful economically for
us all in the long run but more importantly is better for our collective health and
● Consider offering your clients the opportunity to defer the deposit to another
date rather than offering a refund, if you are under no legal or contractual
obligation to hand back the money. Don’t create a moral obligation in your
mind when there is none. Remember this is about your financial wellbeing, as
well as that of your clients. After the Christchurch earthquake our photographers
found that although many events were cancelled, the majority of them went on
to happen at a later date. If you have severed the relationship by giving a full
refund, they possibly won’t remember you when they reschedule and need a
● Remember that it is OK to ask a client if they have some flexibility on the new
date if you are re-booking: they might be prepared to avoid popular dates such
as weekends, giving you more opportunity to book other jobs.
● If you are not using a contract, or don’t have clauses in your contract, NZIPP
along with AIPA and Clendons Law have developed a standard set of terms and
conditions which can be used by any New Zealand photographer. You candownload these here.

Client purchases:
We’ve had reports of clients trying to cancel orders after these have been placed or
not go ahead with purchases. The photographer has outlayed the cost of goods to sell
to the client, and is now taking the hit personally.
Suggested measures you can take:
● Delay your own purchase of products where possible until the client has fully
committed to the purchase.
● Introduce a payment option through a third-party provider such as Laybuy,
Genoapay, Afterpay, Payright, Gilrose Finance or other providers. If using this
option, please do your research. Talk to others who have used these services,
and read the fine print to make sure the liability doesn’t fall back on you. In most
cases, this will pass the payment contract over from you. You will receive the
payment up front minus the fee, and the contract will be between the client and
the payment provider.
● There are ways to extract money from clients while looking like the ‘good guy’.
You can borrow the models of companies such as Afterpay without actually
using their services. For example you can suggest a payment plan option so that
a client can defer payment to a later date and then start paying a smaller
amount each week/ fortnight/ month. You could also tell clients that (unlike
those companies) you won’t charge establishment fees or interest for this plan.
They still get their product, but you are offering them something extra. And even
small weekly payments add up, especially if you have several clients using this
payment plan option.

Supporting local:
We need to support each other, our suppliers, our local small businesses. While you may
see a downturn in business at the moment, use this opportunity to connect with your
local suppliers and other businesses to formulate a marketing plan, a referral system, or
a collective advertising program.
Another way we can support local is to consider how our own decisions can affect
others in our industry. For example, someone in a position to offer concerned clients full
refunds might consider doing this on a one-to-one basis rather than advertising it
publicly, which could create difficult client expectations for photographers who are not
in a financial position to be able to do the same.

Registering to assist other photographers:
NZIPP have set up spreadsheets for areas in New Zealand, where photographers can
register to assist one another if needed. Feel free to add your name into any list for an
area you might be able to cover, and refer back to these lists if you need help.
Northland Members
Auckland Members
Waikato Members
Bay of Plenty Members
Palmerston North/ New Plymouth Members
Napier/ Hawkes Bay Members
Wairarapa Members
Wellington Members
Marborough Members
Nelson Members
Canterbury Members
Westland Members
Central Otago Members
Coastal Otago Members

Wednesday 18 March 2020 – ExposurePRO update from the NZIPP Board

Dear Photographers,

Things are changing so fast in the world right now that it’s hard to keep up with all the news, and I suspect the news I’m writing with will not surprise many of you. We are sad to let you know that the Board has decided to cancel our ExposurePRO conference for 2020, which had been due to be held in Wellington on August 25th and 26th. As wonderful as our volunteer team is, it’s no match for a global pandemic. There were simply too many uncertainties: around whether we would be compromising people’s health, about travel bans, around sponsorship and around the flow-on effects this will all have on ticket sales. Those who bought tickets in the pre-sale will have the option of deferring them to the 2021 event or applying for a refund. Please contact Sarah McGregor by email to let her know how you would like to proceed.

We’d like to extend a big thank you to our events team, in particular Justine Weatherall and Nicola Wilhelmsen, for all the work they have done so far. It was shaping up to be an awesome conference and we are pleased that at least we will be able to transfer some of that over to next year. We now also have the opportunity to re-approach some potential speakers who would have loved to be involved but who were unable to come in August, so there are some upsides at least. We will now focus our energies on other ways in which we can bring inspiration and education to you our members this year. Clearly in the short term there may well be some more restrictions on what we can offer in terms of in-person events, but we plan to bring more events to the regions and will do our best to implement that.

Last night we released the Call for Entries for the 2020 Iris Awards. The pandemic means we need to retain some flexibility over the precise format in which they are run, but we are confident that we can still run them, so that annual awards buzz is something you can still all look forward to! It might be just the time to immerse yourself in some emotionally restorative creative photography.

In case you haven’t seen it already, we have a living document in which we’re pooling information on strategies for coping on both a personal and professional level. It includes a database of other members you can turn to for help - we encourage you to register if you can take on sessions for fellow photographers who need assistance. Be kind, and go easy on one another. Consider the wider photographic community - buy local and support our sponsors.

Please all take care of yourselves - the most important thing is our health and wellbeing. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

All the best, Catherine Cattanach (President), on behalf of the NZIPP Board

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