Ethical Photography Campaign

Written by Tess McArthur-Dowty & Céline Mestiever
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Communication volunteer playing with kids Communication volunteer playing with kids

On Thursday Samuel, Tess and Celine were lucky enough to meet with our volunteers from the US to discuss Voluntario Global’s new Ethical Photography Campaign.

These volunteers are participating through an exchange program with their university. Last week, their teacher discussed with them their feelings towards our social networks and our way of communicating especially through photos and videos. The question of morality was then put forward, more particularly that of ethics. How can we communicate effectively without just highlighting the volunteer experience and ignoring the community? How do we make sure not to slide towards humanitarian tourism? How do we share photos while respecting the populations helped?

At first the students were hesitant about sharing any photos, they explained to us that there were many volunteers in the United States who carried out his missions only for their own social media, and used selfies to show that they are supposedly "good people". This is where the issue of ethics comes in. Samuel explained that we at Voluntario Global push the volunteers of the association to take photos but only if they have a meaning for them, if they represent a relationship with a person of the mission, a moment that they appreciated, where there was an exchange and not take a picture without background. The idea when we share is to show what we are doing to grow the community of Voluntario Global to help more and more local people.

 What is ethical photography?

At Voluntario Global we believe that ethical photography is a reflection of a real understanding, and taken in a respectful way with the permission of the people who are in the photo. Rather than reinforcing stereotypes about cultures, ethical photography works with the people who are in the photograph, to share real experiences. In this way these photos go deeper than just looking good, instead capturing a moment of a larger story.

How can I achieve ethical photographs?

The key to taking ethical photographs is in communication and context. Spending time with people and getting to know them, and asking if they are ok to be in a photo with you is as fine here as it is back home. A good way to understand this is by asking yourself “would I take and share this photo if I was at home?” If the answer is yes, then it shouldn’t be any different here. Ethical photos also don’t have to be always of people, taking an image of a work of art given to you by one of the children in the kindergarten you work in can be just as effective at showing your experience.

What is Voluntario Global’s “Ethical Photography Campaign?”

We are currently asking our volunteers to send us their favourite piece of ethical photography from their experience so far, accompanied by a short text about it. We are using these on our social media with the hashtag #ethicalphotography. In this way we hope to share real experiences of volunteers with the world, and engage in a broader conversation about this type of photography. We also encourage you to join us in this – and help us overcome damaging stereotypes!

Read 8103 times

Related items

Let’s talk about soft skills: Open-Mindedness

Open-mindedness involves the ability to be open to new ideas, experiences, theories, people, and ways of living. It is also about adopting a fair and respectful attitude towards opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one's own. One of the main factors in this skill is tolerance: being well disposed implies accepting others without judging, negatively criticizing or being unpleasant. 


This pandemic has shown us the strong negative impact that human actions have on the planet without a sustainable perspective. We are acquiring new habits, restructuring our way of life to take care of each other, but are we really thinking about the future and the environment?

Let’s talk about soft skills: Conflict management and problem solving

 Two of the skills related to how to handle difficult situations are conflict management and problem-solving. They might seem similar, so we should start by defining both of them.

Let’s talk about soft skills: Initiative

The initiative involves the ability to proactively propose ideas or solutions and act consequently. This soft skill is highly appreciated in the professional environment, but it is also very helpful for personal growth.

Let’s talk about soft skills: Ethics and Commitment

Ethics and commitment are soft skills strongly related to the work environment, but they also take place in our involvement with any kind of institution. How is that ethics is a skill?

Let’s talk about soft skills: Public Speaking

Public speaking is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in front of both familiar and unfamiliar people. Even though you may think it's not a volunteering-related skill, public speaking will be involved.

Let’s talk about soft skills: Responsibility

 Why is responsibility a soft skill? What does it mean? To be responsible is actually an ability. It's the ability to assume one’s own actions and to be accountable for them.

Let’s talk about soft skills: Learning to learn

Every soft skill requires a deep reflection on ourselves. Learning to learn involves being aware of how and why we acquire, process, and memorize knowledge. Once we understand that, we can analyze and choose the learning method and environment that suits us best.


Login to post comments


Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.


Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Email: jfranco@voluntarioglobal.org

© Copyright 2016 luppino.com.ar