PWB Code of Ethics


Maintain awareness of our power and privilege at all times. Strive to be an ally and an amplifier at all times.


Be sure to obtain consent for capturing the likeness of vulnerable peoples (children, those with disabilities, marginalized persons, etc)


Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Do no harm to subjects directly or indirectly (mental, physical or emotional).


Accurately represent subject matter. Be aware of and avoid stereotypes, projected narratives, shaming, nostalgia, romanticism, cultural fetishism/exoticism and personal biases.


Retain integrity of the image and subject matter during the editing and culling process.


Do not accept compensation, favours or gifts that might influence the outcome of the project.


Do not interfere with nature. Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photographs.


The narratives we promote make a difference, and change starts with us. Do not take/disseminate selfies or photographs with endangered wildlife. 


Standards of practice for taking photographs

Photos taken by the volunteer photographer 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.
  • Absolutely no payments or any other form of compensation are to be provided to subjects in exchange for their photo or consent.

Photos of issues that are culturally or politically sensitive must protect the identity and privacy of individuals.

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


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