Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Who’s for a Photo?

Kathleen Tuite

By: KATHLEEN TUITE

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Have you as an Early Years Educator ever been in the situation in your setting, where you want to take a photograph of an individual child or a group of children and suddenly realise that one or other of the children’s parents have not given consent for the child’s photo to be taken? What do you do? The following scenarios are designed to help you reflect on possible situations and how you might proceed.

Scenario 1:
Five children are playing in the garden placing small sticks in a pile and talking about how they could build a tree house. You want to capture this in a photo to share with their parents, to let them know how the children were collaborating so well with each, taking turns, problem solving, and really enjoying being with each other. A photo would really demonstrate how engaged the children were. Then you realise that Bailey’s parents have not consented for her photo to be taken! What do you do?

Scenario 2:
Two children are playing in the kitchen area and are using the pots and pans to make pancakes. Eva tells Roisin that her Mammy makes the best pancakes ever! Roisin picks up the frying pan and says her Mammy can flip pancakes up in the air, she holds the frying pan out and asks Eva would she like to try flipping a pancake? You have a camera in your hand ready to take the photos as this activity is unfolding in front of you, and you are thinking this might make a lovely learning story! Capturing it moment by moment would also give the children a wonderful opportunity to reflect on it later! However, you know that Roisin’s parents did not give consent for her photo to be taken. What do you do?

Scenario 3:
David is painting a picture and is mixing colours with a brush and uses very delicate brush strokes to make marks on the paper. You see that he is very focused on what he is doing and creates a beautiful scene with the mixed colours. You take out your camera, David looks up and says, ‘don’t take my photo’, you know that David’s parents have given consent for his photo to be taken, it would be lovely to capture this to include in David’s individual portfolio to show his parents later how creative David can be! What do you do, do you still take the photo?

Scenario 4:
It is coming to the end of the preschool year, most of the children have been with you for nearly two years and you have built up a close relationship with them all over this time. You know that you may not see some or all of these children again once they have left your setting, and you want to take a group photo as a memory of them all. But you know that you do not have consent for two of the children in the group to have their photo taken. What do you do?

Scenario 5:
Your setting has been involved in a fund raiser and the organisation you are fundraising on behalf of requests a visit to your setting to take photos of the children for promotional reasons. You gather all the children together for a group photo, the camera man is there ready to snap the photo, you know that one child’s parents in the group has not consented for the child to have his photo taken. What do you do?

 

In the above scenarios many questions arise for educators, from the practical to the ethical. We know what is required from us in terms of the pre-school regulations, GDPR, policies and procedures, but it can be difficult as an educator to always make the right call. While you cannot override parent’s refusal to consent to having their child’s photo taken, you can put in place a few practical steps to help with decision making, ensuring that the child is at the centre of these decisions.

First of all, it is important to have a good policy and procedure in place around taking photographs, or this could be a good time to up-date an existing one. Ensure that you share this with parents before their child starts in your setting. Discuss with them what you will be using the photo’s for, outline the importance of why you might want to take photos of children, for example: as a method of sharing information about their child’s learning; as a method of supporting children to reflect on their own learning, the child looks at the photo and is able to recall and talk about what he/she was doing at that time. This will also be an opportunity to assess what the child has learned. A good policy will outline exactly what the photos will be used for, who’s camera the photos are taken with, how the data will be protected (in line with GDPR). It needs to be communicated to all staff and be linked to your existing policies, for example, curriculum, play, safeguarding, health and safety etc.

Phone and camera on a table - Who’s for a Photo?

In Scenario 1 and 2, there were lovely moments of children learning together, the possibility of recording a learning story and an opportunity to share this learning with the children and parents. But not all children in the group have consent for the photo! However, without the photo the learning will not be lost! A possible solution could be to record the learning in a narrative form, describing where the children were, what they were doing, what they were saying. Instead of the photo, you could draw a little sketch of the play situation and recount this with the children, asking them if there is anything else they would like you to capture in the sketch. This can then be entered in each of their learning journals/portfolios, ready to share.

While it might be tempting to take the photo, and try to leave out the child whom you do not have consent for, think about how the child who is not in the photo might feel! Thinking about how the child might feel, keeping the child at the centre of your decisions, helps to inform your actions. Take time as a staff team to discuss how to handle this possible situation, don’t wait for the situation to arise first. Be prepared and make decisions based on careful consideration as a full staff team. Why not make this the topic of discussion at your next staff/team meeting?

In Scenario 3, where David does not want his photo taken, even though you know it is a lovely piece of evidence of his learning. You must respect the child’s decision not to have his photo taken. Siolta Standard 1, Rights of the Child, reminds us that ‘each child has opportunities to make choices, is enabled to make decisions and have his/her choices and decisions respected. A possible solution is to record the observation in narrative form and include it in the child’s portfolio/learning journal. Acknowledge David’s right and let him know that you respected his decision, ‘ok David I will not take your photo as you have asked me not to’!

In Scenario 4, it has come to the end of the school year and you want to take a group photo, but you do not have consent to take photos for all the children! There is a lot of emotion involved, saying goodbye to children whom you may not see again. This situation falls under an ‘ethical dilemma’, torn between capturing the memory and respecting parent’s wishes. One possible solution might be to talk with parents about your end of year celebrations, well in advance and how you like to keep a photo of all the children who attend your setting. Once Parents know how photos are going to be used, they may be happy to consent to their child’s photo being taken. However, they may also refuse and you could consider asking the parents to send you in a photo of their child for you to keep! In some cases, Parent’s do not want their child’s image digitally recorded and are happy to give you a photo they had taken themselves.

In Scenario 5, where all the children are gathered for a group photo for the fundraising event, but consent is not given for all children to be photographed. One possible approach is to involve the child/children whom you do not have consent for in the process. Create opportunities for the child to be your helper, getting the other children to smile for the photo, holding some of the equipment, taking a photo with the setting’s camera at the same time as the photographer.

With a little thought and planning many practical and ethical dilemmas around the taking or not taking of photos can be minimised. Be prepared, discuss as a team and keep the child at the centre of all your informed decisions!!

 

Bio:
Kathleen Tuite holds an MA in Early Childhood Studies and works for Early Childhood Ireland as an Early Childhood Specialist. Kathleen’s work includes offering advice, support and mentoring to Early Years Educators, teachers and students. Using the National Frameworks, Kathleen offers training across all areas of Early Years Practice and last year became a Marte Meo Colleague Trainer.

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

scéalta(25) Autism(3) Sport(1) Awards(2) Japan(1) Educators(1) Advocacy(1) Budget 2019(2) Wesco(1) blog(28) Wonder(1) Teamwork(1) Funding(1) Loss(1) Obesity(1) Seas Suas(1) Twitter(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Consent(1) Games(1) Community involvement(1) grandchild(1) Titles(1) Facebook(1) Qualifications(1) eating(1) Leprechauns(1) Celebrations(4) Mo Scéal(1) Iraq(1) Shoes(1) babies(5) dining(1) Care-giving routines(1) Síolta(95) AIM(2) Snacks(1) Anxiety(2) Socioemotional development(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Maynooth University(1) STEM(2) Maths Week Ireland(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) UD(1) Playschool(1) animals(2) Inclusion(3) Capable(1) refugees(1) Role play(1) Wilenski(1) Performing(1) Research Seminar(1) community(4) Learning Stories(7) communication(4) curiosity(3) Adoption(1) Easter(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Giraffe(2) Margy Whalley(1) Story(1) Magnavacchi(1) Identity(4) Learning journals(1) development(7) Awards 2019(1) Graduate(1) Thank you(1) Visitors(1) Window(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) IGL(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Eritrea(1) Gardening(1) Meet the Members(1) Brain(1) Cognitive development(1) Well-Being(6) Maynooth(1) Quality(3) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) conversations(1) Buddy Bench(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) National Holiday(1) Learning Stories Award(3) feisty(1) Training(2) Settling in(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) parents(5) Tuscan Approach(2) Creativity(4) Challenges(1) Siolta blog(2) Mixed age groups(2) Lego(2) Mental Health(3) Visual Impairment(1) Maria Montessori(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Through the looking glass(1) Valentine's Day(3) Growing up in Ireland(3) Sweets(1) Recycle(1) EECERA 2016(1) Dance(1) Ceremony(1) Syria(1) Mayo(1) emotional environment(1) Aistear(100) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Professionalisation(4) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) interacting(2) PIP(1) Flowers(1) Death(1) Kids Own(1) Investment(1) mushrooms(1) First 5 strategy(1) Child mental health(1) CPD(1) Prexit(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Santa(2) Pobal(1) risk(2) Christmas Creativity(2) Celebrate(1) Appreciation(1) Upcycling(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Book Club(2) Cork(1) toddlers(3) NCCA(2) Workplace Relations(3) Mathematicians(1) dogs(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Love(2) Line-ups(1) Communicating(1) Decisions(1) ECCE(6) Yoga(1) Inspirational(2) Time(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Buddies(1) Arlene Forster(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) stories(2) Exploring and Thinking(1) Engineers Week(2) Blocks(1) Bereavement(1) early years research(1) Care routines(1) Self-Esteem(1) dining experiences(1) Glitter(2) Maths Week(1) Children's Rights(1) Children's Research Network(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) respect(4) ears(1) Childhood(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Sustainability(3) University(1) play(28) Self-regulation(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Exit interview(1) Queues(1) linc(1) Culture(2) Music(3) DCYA(4) Home Corner(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Thanks(1) bonds(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Online(1) overhear(1) Confident(1) Recycling(2) memories(1) Nonverbal(1) educating(1) Communications(1) Biting(1) Interactions(1) National Awards 2018(2) NAEYC(1) Craft(1) Scéalta Blog(75) Playdough(1) Laugh(1) Winter(1) pets(1) Nutrition(1) Vietnam(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Names(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Inter-generational(1) Smiles(1) Potential(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Map(1) UN(1) relationships(11) Grief(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) under 3's(3) MECPI(1) Competent(1) Self Help Skills(1) transitions(9) Mealtimes(1) documentation(2) Orla Kenny(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Oireachtas(1) Early Years Educators(1) ECEC(1) Penguins(1) Trick or treat(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) preschool(2) Leargas(1) Party(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Arithmetic(1) routine(2) play stories(1) Trigonometry(1) reading(4) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Magda Gerber(1) worries(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Magic(1) Our Little Seed(1) Identity and Belonging(3) science(3) Universal Design(2) Early Learning and Care(1) Mantra(1) ICBN(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Running(1) Exploring(1) Vertical grouping(1) EM Standing(1) CIT(1) outdoors(3) dublin(2) Pen green(1) early childhood educator(1) Limerick(1) role playing(1) Creative(1) Italy(1) Patterns(1) College(1) Weather(1) Relaxation(1) Touch(1) maternity health(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Thinking(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Engineering(2) Environment(1) Plants(1) Sustainable(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Plastic(1) risky play(2) Workforce(1) Breathing(2) Routines(1) Irish(1) food(1) Policy(2) outdoor play(6) Decision Making(1) Traditions(2) Afghanistan(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Imagination(3) Affordability(1) emotions(2) Mindfulness(2) Early Years(1) Snakes(1) Rituals(1) Treasure(1) Inter-generational learning(1) Treasure Chest(1) Design(1) Wendy Lee(2) Time Out(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Builders(1) Mark Twain(1) listening(1) Administrative Burden(1) AsIAm(1) Fantasy play(1) science week(2) curriculum(5) Snack Time(1) INTO(1) ERASMUS+(3) learning(14) RIE philosphy(1) Learning Story Awards(1) Albert Einstein(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) journey(1) Exclusion(1) Painting(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Kerry(1) National Awards 2019(1) San Miniato(4) baby room(1) Stress(2) Trade union(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) SPICE Framework(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Empathy(1) Impact(1) Certificate(1) Frustrations(1) social media(1) Masterclass(2) Trade Unions(1) Shapes(1) First 5(1) Workplace well-being(1) Light table(1) MA(1) Xbox(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) books(4) Art(6) Fabric(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Arts(1) Diversity(1) education(2) Behaviour(3) trust(2) Budget 2018(1) Learning Story(1) ReCreate(2) Reggio(1) Childcare(2) planning(1) Event Guide(1) Motor neuron disease(1) experience(1) The Jelly King(1) Kilkenny(1) christmas(8) Family wall(1) budget(1) Meal time(1) Mud kitchens(1) environments(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Feeding(1) Drawing(2) friendships(1) story time(1) Síolta QAP(1) research(5) Jenga(1) Halloween(2) Little Buddies(1) Supernanny(1) Independence(1) Awards 2018(3) Photographs(1) Performance Management(1) Exercise(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) risk assessment(1) Laughter(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Academics(1) Change(1) Technology(2) Traffic Lights(1) Employee(1) educarer(1) Sequins(1) Montessori(2) United Nations(1) Primary School(2) Storytelling(2) Family(1) Maternity Leave(1) Graduation(1) Maths(4) supportive environments(1) Children(1) Mount Everest(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Norway(2) TOY Programme(1) Malaguzzi(1) listen(1) Belonging(3) Scents(1) GDPR(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Interests(1) Degree(1) San Minia(1) Wrapping paper(1) Positivity(1) meals(3) Favouritism(1) Health(1) UNCRC(1) Spiders(1) Sculptures(1) Gratitude(1) outdoor space(3) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine