PWB Code of Ethics


People have voices; we amplify them and strive to decolonize the storytelling process; maintain awareness of your positionality and privilege, striving to be a good ally and partner at all times.


Learn and listen as much as possible. Represent people/communities as accurately as possible while avoiding stereotypes, “white saviour”/colonial narratives, shaming, nostalgia, romanticism, cultural appropriation, cultural fetishism/exoticism and personal biases.


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


Obtain consent especially for capturing the likeness of vulnerable peoples (children, those with disabilities, marginalized persons, etc).


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. Only give gifts if it is culturally-appropriate.


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


No selfies or photographs with wildlife. The values and narratives we promote or don’t promote make a difference.


Standards of practice

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.

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.


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