Standards of Practice for Photographs and Videos

Photographs and videos featured on the Wenner-Gren website must be respectful of human dignity and ensure the rights, safety, and well-being of the people being portrayed.

Comply with local traditions or restrictions when taking photographs or videos of people, objects, or places.

Inquire into national laws related to photography, video recording, and privacy rights.

Obtain verbal or written consent before taking photographs or videos.

Respect a person’s right to refuse to be photographed or videoed. If you sense any reluctance or confusion, refrain from taking the photograph.

Ensure that any offer of consent is informed and revocable (all subjects should understand how the images may be used and be free to change their minds).

Do no harm. An individual or group could be put at risk of reprisal, violence, or rejection in their community as a result of exposing their identity or personal story through the publication of their image.

Never misrepresent the individual, situation, context, or location of the photograph or video.

Photographs and videos illustrating culturally or politically sensitive issues must be protective of the identity and privacy of individuals, except with explicit permission.

Do not identify individuals without explicit consent. Position the camera so that faces and other unique characteristics cannot be seen.

Obtain written consent to use real names and locations in situations where disclosure could result in harm. Otherwise, remove such information from captions or other associated documentation.

Photographs of people who are vulnerable are to be taken with particular care, compassion, and protection of privacy.

Document all people with respect and dignity. Special care and compassion must be exercised with vulnerable subjects.

Do not identify survivors of sexual exploitation, gender-based violence, or abuse except with their written consent.

Do not reveal an individual’s status as a person living with HIV, TB, Covid-19, or any other serious health condition without written consent.

Do not reveal an individual’s engagement in socially marginalized or criminal activities without written permission.

Take special care in photographing people in times of crisis; do not exploit an individual’s vulnerability due to trauma or grief. Integrity must prevail.

Adapted from Photographers Without Borders®
See also Eshe Lewis, Ask SAPIENS: The Power of Images