Photo Policy Development

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Draft Photography Policy | Informed Consent Guide | Photographer Contracts Guide | Policy Worksheet

Note: The information provided here is not a qualified legal opinion. You should seek legal advice if you have any questions or doubts about your use of images or about copyright law and legal protection.


Photoshare's guides and resources are intended to serve as a recommendation for developing a Photography Policy for organizations engaged in international health and development. The samples and tools are designed chiefly for the protection of human photo subjects and to ensure that employees/photographers have an understanding of their role in the development of health communication materials. Please note: An XXXX is used where an organization's name and sub department would appear.

If conducting patient interviews/research you may find useful the guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). Or consult your orginization's Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Draft Photography Policy

Draft Photography Policy

A draft Photography Policy dealing with Copyright and ownership of photographs, Non-Commercial Use, Photographer's Code of Ethics, Use of Photographs, and Contracting with Professional Photographers.

Informed Consent Guide

Informed Consent Guide

A guide for developing best practices in development photography for approaching and photographing human photo subjects. Provides recommendations for obtaining Verbal and Written Consent as well as additional Tips for Protecting Privacy. Unlike stock/commercial photography, model releases are not legally required for editorial photography. However it is always good practice to obtain written consent when possible, particularly when sensitive, personal, private information is revealed in the photo or corresponding caption (e.g. HIV status). Please feel free to use the following documents as sample consent forms.

Editorial Subject Release Form
Commercial Model Release Form

Photoshare's Informed Consent Guide is focused on ensuring that photographers respect photo subjects, preserve human dignity, and take into consideration whether a person may experience negative consequences as a result of having their photo taken and used.

Photographer Contracts Guide

Photographer Contracts Guide

A draft guide for arranging an agreement with a contracted professional photographer. This guide is intended to serve as an rough outline for issues such as: Copyright/Ownership – Limits of Use, Image Output, Permissions/Releases, and Fees/Deadlines

Policy Worksheet

Policy Worksheet

A policy worksheet for considering the issues related to photography policy development. This resource focuses on Copyright/Ownership of Photographs, Standard of Practice (Code of Conduct) for Taking Photographs, Standard of Practice for Using Photographs and Photography Policy Orientation/Implementation.


Photoshare supports the advancement of policies aimed at encouraging a thoughtful and responsible approach to photography. Organizations using photography to communicate health and development issues are strongly advised to develop an organization-wide photography policy for taking and using photographs. The failure to develop a policy could result in the following potential consequences:


·         Harm to human photos subjects due to unethical use of photography.

·         Higher risk of lawsuit and greater difficulty in defending a lawsuit.

·         Potential financial costs (e.g. lawsuit, recalling printed product).

·         Potential reputation costs, as a result of complaints or lawsuit.

Share your Photography Policy

Photoshare welcomes contributors and users to share their organization's Photo Policy, as a part of Photoshare's effort to obtain best practices in Photography Policy Development for organizations engaged in international health and development. 

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Center for Communication Programs
111 Market Place, Suite 310
Baltimore, MD 21202 USA
Email: [email protected]