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:

Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Trade union(1) College(1) listen(1) EM Standing(1) education(2) Drawing(2) Growing up Outdoors(1) Arts(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) learning hub(1) Environment(2) risk(2) Motor neuron disease(1) Rich Documentation(1) Book Club(2) science(3) Performance Management(1) Anxiety(2) Mental Health(4) eating(1) animals(2) European Project(1) Role play(1) RIE philosphy(1) grandchild(1) Engagement(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Inspirational(2) NAEYC(1) Culture(2) Educators(2) Traditions(2) New Appointments(1) Irish(1) Children's Research Network(1) phone apps(1) MECPI(1) Wesco(1) Empathy(1) preschool settings(1) Wrapping paper(1) research submissions(1) man up(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Sequins(1) Early Childhood Ireland(6) AIM(2) reading(5) routine(2) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) World Health Organisation(1) EECERA 2016(1) structure(1) Visitors(1) Professionalisation(5) Celebrate(1) Trick or treat(1) Santa(2) Reggio Children Network(1) Grief(1) PIP(1) Elders(1) ears(1) Competent(1) Impact(1) Confidence(1) curriculum(5) Pre-School Services(1) Scents(1) Loving Relationships(2) Mixed age groups(3) GDPR(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Albert Einstein(1) Socioemotional development(1) Touch(1) code of ethics(1) Leprechauns(1) blog(47) pets(1) ECEC Setting(2) Time(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Sculptures(1) interacting(2) child-centric(1) Buddy Bench(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Loss(1) Behaviour(3) Síolta QAP(1) Health(2) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) dublin(2) emotional well-being(1) Budget 2018(1) Relaxation(1) Afghanistan(1) Awards 2019(1) ERASMUS+(3) Infectious diseases(1) story time(2) june29(1) National Holiday(1) Line-ups(1) early life(1) Social Skills(1) Storytelling(7) Plants(1) Jenga(1) play stories(2) Awards Night(1) INTO(1) Síolta(131) Hand Hygiene(2) Children(4) Horizon 2020(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Community involvement(1) Routines(2) Reggio Emilia(2) dining experiences(1) Snakes(1) children’s learning(1) Snack Time(1) HR(1) SPICE Framework(1) Self-regulation(1) Childcare(3) Adoption(1) Recycling(2) Valentine's Day(3) Yoga(1) Playdough(1) social media(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) baby room(1) Primary School(2) keezy(1) behavioural science(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Orla Kenny(1) lockdown(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) communication(4) Eritrea(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Party(1) Care routines(1) education system(1) outdoor environment(1) educarer(1) Positivity(1) Awards 2018(3) respect(5) stories(3) Family wall(1) School Age Childcare(1) Treasure(1) life long learning(1) refugees(1) Exploratory Play(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Interaction(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Children's Voice(1) Body Language(1) Mayo(1) Magic(1) Twitter(1) Independence(1) San Miniato(4) Inclusion(3) creche(1) dining(1) Through the looking glass(1) Reflective Practice(1) GoToMeeting app(1) Interests(1) Gardening(1) Sustainability(3) Facebook(1) DCYA(6) educating(1) CPD(1) Fantasy play(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Advocacy(1) preschool(4) Degree(1) Aistear(128) play pods(2) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) documentation(4) Intention(1) Qualifications(1) Child mental health(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Learning Journal(2) Mo Scéal(1) Rituals(1) Equality(1) scéalta(50) bloom app(1) environments(1) Well-Being(10) Sport(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Mindfulness(3) imotion(1) annual conference(1) ELC(1) Limerick(1) Seanchaí(1) Workforce(1) science week(2) Together Old and Young Programme(1) democracy(1) Leadership(1) Pobal(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Child Care(1) Pen green(1) movement behaviours(1) Fee Play(1) Capable(1) EECERA(1) Penguins(1) Care-giving routines(1) pablo(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) aistear blog(3) online training(1) Winter(1) Montessori(3) SAC(1) MA(1) healthy eating policies(1) ECEC(3) Spiders(1) Cork(1) Builders(1) Online Research Symposium(1) Maynooth University(2) early childhood educator(2) Photographs(1) Administrative Burden(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Creative(1) RTE Investigates(1) Digital(1) Support(1) parents(6) Ceremony(1) democratic citizens(1) Pretend Play(1) bonds(1) play pod(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Appreciation(1) Learning Stories(9) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Exercise(1) Mathematicians(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) National Awards 2019(1) value(1) Thanks(1) worries(1) First 5(1) Pedagogy(2) memories(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Infection Control(1) under 3's(3) collaboration(1) COVID-19(13) UD(1) conversations(1) National Awards 2018(2) outdoor play(6) Blocks(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Small World Play(1) Universal Design(2) Funding(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Mark Twain(1) Oireachtas(1) Imagination(3) transitions(10) curiosity(3) Masterclass(2) Workplace well-being(1) Learning Story(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Autism(4) IGL(1) Participation(2) development(8) Online(1) Self-Esteem(1) community(5) Buddies(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) early years research(2) Celebrations(4) research(6) feisty(1) Kerry(1) Easter(1) First 5 strategy(1) AsIAm(2) Mount Everest(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Giraffe(2) inspiring interactions(1) Norway(2) learning(19) reopening(1) listening(1) Quality(4) play therapy(1) supportive environments(2) continual professional development(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Maynooth(1) Learning journals(1) Graduation(1) Workplace Relations(3) Decision Making(1) Technology(3) Obesity(1) Sustainable(1) Diversity(1) Graduate(1) meals(3) Communicating(1) Traffic Lights(1) TOY Programme(1) Nutrition(1) Building Resilience(1) Running(1) Plastic(1) staying connected(1) Art(6) Scéalta Blog(103) primary education(1) Affordability(1) Titles(1) Trigonometry(1) Certificate(1) Lego(2) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Iceland(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Counting(1) Proceedings Journal(1) Opportunities(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) budget(1) Fabric(1) emotions(2) Upcycling(1) responsive relationships(1) Music(3) Margy Whalley(1) linc(1) Event Guide(1) UN(1) purpose(1) Children and families(1) Investment(2) show and tell(1) Sessional service(1) NCCA(3) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Large Doll Play(1) Names(1) emotional environment(2) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) Kids Own(1) Inter-generational(2) early childhood(1) Maternity Leave(1) Human Resources(1) role playing(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) relationships(18) Special Needs Assistants(1) Arlene Forster(1) Reggio(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) Siolta blog(8) Change(1) National Research Conference 2019(1) Design(1) family time(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Dance(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Challenges(1) mental health problems(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Wilenski(1) Thinking(1) Flowers(1) Inspiring Practice(1) maternity health(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) E.coli(1) Bereavement(2) Emergent Curriculum(1) TRAP(1) Prexit(1) Study Trip(1) Irish guidelines(1) babies(7) Seas Suas(1) Biting(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Feeding(1) CIT(1) Queues(1) Exit interview(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Budget 2019(2) Window(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Mantra(1) Communications(1) Supernanny(1) journey(1) Ariana Pucci(1) reopening ireland(1) Trade Unions(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) conference(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Christmas Creativity(2) Employee(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) Sleep(1) Gratitude(1) Youtube Series(1) developing motor skills(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Settling in(4) outdoors(4) Self Help Skills(1) Patterns(1) Glitter(2) children development(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Iraq(1) The Jelly King(1) Covid pandemic(2) Painting(1) Wonder(1) christmas(9) Maths(6) Time Out(1) Favouritism(1) Maria Montessori(1) Engineering(3) Performing(1) Learning through Storytelling(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Exploring(1) Snacks(1) Family(1) Treasure Chest(1) Syria(1) Early Years Educators(3) Light table(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Your place(1) Confident(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Story(2) InspireMe.ie(1) risk assessment(1) keep in touch(1) Love(3) Engineers Week(2) gender bias(1) Breathing(2) Home Corner(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Smiles(1) Thank you(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Magda Gerber(1) Interactions(3) Cognitive development(1) Kilkenny(1) Our Little Seed(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) social science(1) Visual Impairment(1) art of the relationship(1) experience(1) Vietnam(1) Early Years Education(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Early Years(1) risky play(2) Halloween(2) Digital Devices(1) ECCE(7) Nonverbal(1) Vertical grouping(1) Weather(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) coronavirus(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) outdoor space(3) Little Buddies(1) ICBN(1) Mealtimes(1) Whole Group(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Recycle(1) Playschool(1) Games(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Awards(2) Budget 2020(1) Return to Work Training(1) Map(1) Meet the Members(1) UNCRC(2) Frustrations(1) ReCreate(2) Mud kitchens(1) Staff Motivation(1) Sweets(1) books(4) Identity(5) friendships(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Potential(1) Summer(1) Sociodramatic play(1) The Lullaby Book(1) childcare services(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) UNICEF report(1) Book Review(1) learning bias(1) play(35) Academics(1) dogs(1) Stress(2) Creativity(5) DES Inspection(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Reading Time(1) Magnavacchi(1) Arithmetic(1) Teamwork(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Academic Skills(1) University(1) toddlers(3) child-centred approach(1) Laughter(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Decisions(1) iOS(1) Italy(1) Brain(1) United Nations(1) apps for children(1) Shapes(2) Xbox(1) food(1) Maths Week(1) Malaguzzi(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Japan(1) Training(2) Shoes(1) Craft(1) Leargas(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Research Seminar(1) racism(1) Inspections(1) awards 2020(1) youdoodle(1) Policy(2) Annual Conference 2017(2) Childhood(1) early years learning(1) Document Learning(1) Anthony Semann(1) Laugh(1) gender stereotype(1) Covid response(2) Children's Rights(3) Wendy Lee(3) learners(1) Belonging(3) Covid19 crisis(1) Death(2) Exclusion(1) Consent(1) STEM(3) mushrooms(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) CCTV(1) overhear(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) peer group(1) trust(4) International Narratives(1) Meal time(1) planning(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine