I would like to acknowledge the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation on this traditional territory on which I currently reside. I acknowledge them as the past, present, and future caretakers of this land. This acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It will only become meaningful when coupled with authentic relationships and informed action to which I strive.
PWB Code Of Ethics
People have voices; we amplify them and strive to decolonize the storytelling process. Why? Because nearly every problem we seek to address today was in some way caused by unchecked colonialism and capitalist frameworks. Decolonization is a lifelong process of learning, unlearning, and dismantling white supremacy and the system some of us benefit from or are oppressed by, in order to seek justice.
Strive to be a good ally and collaborator at all times. Be aware of your positionality and privilege, while learning and listening as much as possible. Being an “ally” is not something you can claim or wear like a badge; instead, it is something that is earned through showing up, however, and whenever it is asked of (if not every day) by the communities affected and doing the hard work involved.
Do no harm to subjects directly or indirectly (mental, physical or emotional). Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Strongly consider not revealing identities of those who may be harmed by your images.
Represent people and communities accurately as possible while avoiding stereotypes, “white savior”/colonial/centering/oppressive narratives, shaming, romanticism, cultural appropriation, anti-Blackness, cultural fetishism/exoticism, and limiting personal biases. Some frames, narratives, and language that are widely accepted need to be challenged and changed.
Obtain explicit consent especially for photographing the likeness of vulnerable peoples (children, those with disabilities, marginalized persons, etc).
Retain integrity of the image, story and subject matter during the editing and culling process.
Do not accept compensation, favours or gifts that might influence the outcome of the project, please. Only give gifts if it is culturally-appropriate.
No selfies or photographs with wildlife, please. The harm has outweighed the benefits of encouraging close contact with animals, whether they are wild or in a sanctuary. The values and narratives we promote or don’t promote make a difference.
PWB Standards of Practice
Photos 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 photos of people, objects or places.
- Inquire into national laws related to photography and privacy rights.
- Gain verbal or written consent before taking photographs.
- Respect a person’s right to refuse to be photographed. If you sense any reluctance or confusion, refrain from taking the photo.
- 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 photo.
Photos 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.
Photos of people who are vulnerable are to be taken with particular care, compassion, and protection of privacy.
- Photograph 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 or any other serious health conditions must not be revealed without written consent.
- An individual’s engagement in socially marginalised 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.