I believe that taking photos of individuals or groups without their consent can cause harm – sometimes this may be very direct harm, while at other times photographs can be used to create false narratives or stereotypes. I pledge that anyone I photograph will be asked for consent in advance. I will also ensure that I engage in further conversations about use of the finished photographs, particularly with regards to use online or in print.
I believe that as a professional freelancer, I have the ability to make my business more accessible. While I want to ensure I am paid fairly for my work, I understand that many people don’t have the financial means to pay the rates that photographers tend to charge. I therefore pledge to offer accessible pricing structures. This will include reduced rates for each of my services, intended for anyone on low-income or benefits. Most importantly: no one will ever be turned away for lack of funds.
I believe that the use of editing software can raise complex moral questions. The photography industry plays a huge role in the creation of beauty standards – beauty standards which often involve being white, cis and skinny – and editing software can be used to alter portraits in a way that makes them more aligned with these standards. While I do make use of editing software for colour balancing, exposure, cropping, etc., I pledge never to use it to remove or change the natural features of my subjects. I will not engage in practices such as excessive airbrushing, altering a person’s skin tone, or changing their body shape.
I believe that many people feel as though they don’t get to see themselves, or people like them, represented in images. I pledge to ensure that my work represents many different types of people, including different genders, sexualities, ethnicities, skin tones, body types, physical abilities and financial backgrounds. Where possible I will aim to highlight those who are often under-represented in images.
I believe that all businesses have a responsibility to be conscious of their environmental impact. I pledge to consider the environment in every aspect of my work, ranging from transportation, to printing materials, to reuse of equipment. As a wedding photographer, I pledge to not work destination weddings.
I believe this code of personal ethics will hold me accountable. I pledge to acknowledge and hold myself responsible for any mistakes I make, and to reflect on and try to learn from those mistakes. I will also review this ethical statement on a yearly basis, so that as my understanding of ethics grows and evolves, my ethical practices will evolve with me.