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It is not illegal to take photographs of children. However when taking photographs or video footage we must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Fear of breaching this Act should not be wrongly used to stop people taking photographs or videos of all activities involving children and young people. It is possible to be responsible without being over-restrictive.

The following guidelines are advisable:

  • Signed consent should be obtained from parents/carers for photographs to be taken at church activities. The consent form should clarify where those photographs are likely to be used (display board, website, press etc).

  • Photographing children and young people should be conducted with sensitivity and courtesy. Children generally like having their picture taken, but there may be moments when they would rather not. Consent of the child or young person is just as important as parental permission.

  • When photographs are displayed children and young people should not be identified by name, nor should it be possible to infer the identity of individual children and young people from the photograph.

For example, a photograph of a group of children is accompanied by text which uses the names of only some of the children. If one of the names is of a boy and there is only one boy in the photograph, it would be possible to infer the boy’s name.

  • Any photographs sent to the press must not identify individual children or young people by name, nor should the names of individual children be able to be inferred from an accompanying caption or story.

  • Photographic material should be stored safely in a place that has been agreed and minuted by the trustees/deacons.

  • Leaders should not store images of children and young people on their mobile phones.

  • Copies of photographs must not be distributed to other individuals without the permission of a parent/carer. This includes digital images.

Download a sample parental consent form for the use of photographic images from this website.

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