'Paul's Magic' - Best practice guidelines for taking photos of children
There is much debate regarding taking photo's of children and displaying them.
I have chosen to use photo's and video's of children sparingly on my website and only then after referring to the guidelines below.
The following good practices have been adapted from the Australian Sports Commission's best practice guidelines for obtaining and displaying images of children (Australian Sports Commission, 2007).
While I apply these standards to myself and my business I think any parent or children's worker reading the points below could learn and benefit from the information.
- Develop and clearly display the organisation's policy on obtaining and publishing images of children, including what is considered appropriate behaviour when obtaining photographs using a camera, mobile phone or video.
- Obtain permission from the parent or guardian and clearly outline the purpose of using the image, how it is going to be used and for how long. If the image is going to be taken in a venue away from the organisation's usual venue, make sure the parents or guardian agree to be present.
- Inform parents if the organisation wants to film children or the group for analysis purposes and to improve performances.
- Make sure professional photographers are aware that any images taken will remain the property of the organisation and cannot be used or sold for other purposes. Any negatives must also be destroyed or handed over to the organisation.
- Do not allow photographers to be unsupervised or with individual access to children.
- There should be no identifying personal information accompanying photographs, such as the child's name, address or telephone number. Group photographs reduce the risk of identifying individual children.
- Only use images of children that are relevant to the organisation's activities and services, such as children participating in an activity specifically associated with that organisation. Particular care needs to be taken when using images of children for an organisation's activities that involve minimal clothing, such as swimming groups or gymnastics clubs.
- Do not display information about children's hobbies, likes or dislikes, school, etc. because these can be used as grooming tools for paedophiles or other persons.
- Decide who will have access to view the images of the children posted to a website. Most websites are public places that any person can access; however, some websites can be more secure by using private pages accessible only to registered members. The practice of using private pages enables members of groups, clubs or other organisations to share information with each other more securely.
- Provide details for parents or other persons on who to contact if they have concerns or complaints around the use of inappropriate images or inappropriate behaviour in obtaining images.
Information Source: Click to go to aifs.gov.au