Photojournalists in schools is a unique situation - particularly regarding duty of care for its students - the following information may be applied to many differing professions and businesses also.
Stopping Inappropriate Photos and Follow-Up
You must make sure that the photos taken are appropriate for student, staff member and school.
Do not allow for anything raunchy or what might appear inappropriate.
It is strongly suggested that students and staff in the photo should not:
- hold any inappropriate prop e.g. cigarette
- appear before an inappropriate backdrop e.g. toilet or certain signage
- wear inappropriate clothing e.g. skimpy tops or short skirts
- be positioned in any inappropriate manner e.g. sitting inappropriately.
If you are not happy with the photojournalist's suggestions, then stop the photo shoot, negotiate a better outcome, or cancel it. You are responsible for trying to get the best most appropriate photo.
You have every right to do this - in fact you may have a responsibility to do this. Advise your School Principal of this situation and outcome.
Know your legal and ethical responsibilities. Seek these from qualified legal practitioners and ethicists.
If the photo session was cancelled, you or your School Principal would seriously consider contacting the media outlet's editor and advising of the inappropriateness of the photojournalist's expectations / demands. This should sort the problem out.
Further courses of action, if no success in the first instance was gained from the editor, would often be to contact the Communication and Marketing Manager within your educational system for guidance and support. Either your School Principal or the Communication and Marketing Manager would probably take the matter further e.g. journalists' association, members of parliament, etc, and even to police / court if there was any abuse. This would be a very rare indeed.
Properly and respectfully encouraging and managing the photojournalist to take the best and most appropriate photo for your story's angle is in the best interest of your profession and business. Be aware that their employer is the media outlet and not you. Often your best diplomatic skills are required.
The 'Photojournalists and Schools - Duty of Care' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com