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Fiona McLaren

Here at Amnesty UK we're big fans of the Flip camera. Since we got a few it's made filming short interviews and clips of demos so much easier. It also means that 'non-techy' teams are able to film some of their own things as well as giving activists the power to make their activism more visible too!

Many of the films you see on www.protectthehuman.com have been filmed using one; it's been such a pleasure to use.

Sarah Hawkins

Hi Beth,

This is great information. I'm wondering, in the age of social media, how do non-profits balance the ethical dilemmas of privacy and the personal rights of individuals in our photos and movies, with the demand from our audiences to see real people -- not just stock photos? Are there any non-profits with really good policies on this topic? Do others struggle with it?

Michael Stein

Beth -- I've worked with several nonprofits that have strict "signed release" requirements on including the picture of any member/participant in photos of an event. Moreover, their CRM has a "no photos" field - these folks will never even be asked for a release if someone on staff sees they are in a picture. It will simply not be used.

so yes, it is an issue. By the way, the most common reason people in the orgs I was working with did not want to be used in photos was that they did not want their former partner to know where they and the children were.

Will Coley

Sarah, I do struggle with this issue. I'm doing a project now for an immigrant rights nonprofit that has created simple photo/video release forms in multiple languages since the community speaks several different languages. I have asked everyone that I have interviewed for a video to sign one in their language. That said, I often find myself filming folks in crowds in a way that protects their confidentiality (i.e. from behind, at a distance, etc.) when I'm not able to ask them for a release.

But the larger issue is who's creating the content? like Amnesty UK mentions. Ideally I'd like for the constituency itself to design and create the video content and make decisions about who's pictured. But I'm finding that this is hard to do in a short period of time especially in environments like schools where I'm now shooting. With technology like the Flip camera, nonprofits should explore "community-generated content" further.

Shava Nerad

Check out these links, Beth:

http://photohand.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/the-right-to-shoot-vs-the-right-to-publish/

http://transientspaces.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/the-release-form/

They might be helpful.

(saw your tweet, figured I'd respond here...)

steve Garfield

Hi Beth,

Thanks for the mention. Editing hte book now. It's exciting and I can't wait for it to come out.

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