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In our use of images, we adhere to the following principles:

1. We respect the dignity of the subject

  • We gather and use images which reflect the dignity, self worth and resourcefulness of the subject.
  • Where appropriate, we give the name of the photographed subject in a caption.
  • When taking photographic or video shots of individuals, we advise them of the "Five Facts" about the shoot:
  • why the images are being taken;
  • how they may be used;
  • who they can be used by;
  • what they can be used for;
  • and how to opt-out if they don't want their photo taken. 

2. We do not exploit the subject

  • We do not manipulate the subject in a way which distorts the reality of the situation (eg we do not ask them to cry for the camera).

3. We aim to provide a balanced portrayal of reality in developing countries and the UK

  • We avoid stereotypes (eg paternalistic images of 'white doctor', 'white aid worker tends helpless victim', etc).
  • We show indigenous people helping, and working for, themselves, we do not portray them as victims.

4. We use images truthfully

  • Where possible, we use a balance of images (eg positive and negative, hope as well as suffering) to reflect the reality of a situation.
  • We do not use an image of one thing and describe it as, or imply that it is, an image of another (e.g. we don't use an image of one project in a way which implies it is the work of a different project).
  • If we use an image in a general way, we make this clear in the caption (eg illustrating a project similar to the one being described).
  • We do not use an image in a way which deliberately misrepresents the true situation.
  • If an image represents an exceptional situation, we do not use it in a way which suggests it is generally true.
  • We aim to be confident that, to the best of our knowledge, the subject would regard the image and its use as truthful if he or she saw it.

5. We maintain standards of taste and decency consistent with our values

  • We do not use images which are erotic, pornographic or obscene.
  • We do not as a rule use images of dead or naked bodies.
  • We do not make gratuitous use of images of extreme suffering.

6. We respect the view of our local partners

  • We are sensitive to the wishes, concerns and advice of our local partners and hosts overseas and in the UK in our gathering and use of visual material.

7. We maintain high technical standards

  • We use only high-quality images.
  • We will use digital manipulation of images for creative or iconic effect (eg in a youth video), but not in a way which deliberately and misleadingly distorts the reality of the situation depicted.
  • We avoid tinting of black and white images.
  • We do not crop an image in a way which misleadingly distorts the reality of the situation.
  • In video editing, we do not misleadingly distort the meaning of an interviewee's statements.

8. We respect the legal and moral rights of the photographer

  • The standard credit is: ‘name of photographer/Tearfund’.

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