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Standards of Practice for Photographs and Videos Featured on the Wenner-Gren Website

Standards of Practice for Photographs and Videos Featured on the Wenner-Gren Website

Adapted from  Photographers Without Borders.

See also Eshe Lewis, Ask SAPIENS: The Power of Images.


Photographs and videos should respect human dignity and ensure the rights, safety and well-being of the person or 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.

Gain 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.

Consent should be informed and revocable (interlocutors should know how the images will be used and be free to change their minds).

Do no harm. Individuals or groups may be put at risk of reprisal, violence or rejection in their communities as a result of exposing their identity or personal story through the publication of their image.

Do not misrepresent the individual, situation, context or location of the photograph or video.


Photographs and videos of issues that are culturally or politically sensitive must protect the identity and privacy of individuals without explicit permission.

Do not identify individuals. Position the camera so that faces and other unique characteristics cannot be seen.

Gain written consent to use real names and locations in situations where disclosure could result in harm. Otherwise, remove detailed personal information such as names and locations in captions or any other associated documentation.

Identifiable images of individuals should not be used to illustrate sensitive subject matter in such a way as to indicate that the individual is connected with the issue.


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.

Survivors of sexual exploitation, gender-based violence or abuse are not to be identified as such (unless it is an objective of a project with written consent).

An individual’s status as a person living with HIV, TB, Covid-19, or any other serious health conditions must not be revealed without written consent.

An individual’s engagement in socially marginalized or criminal activities must not be identified without written permission.

Care must be taken in photographing people in times of crisis; Do not exploit an individual’s vulnerability at times of trauma or grief. Integrity must outweigh costs.