Good practice for photography and video
Good practice must be adhered to when photographing or videoing during church activities. Photography and video includes that recorded on mobile phones and devices.
By publicly displaying images (e.g. notice board, local press or online) you are transferring ‘sensitive personal data' (i.e. the images) of people caught on camera to third parties.
Information should therefore be available about proposed photographs or filming in advance; for example, the dates, times and locations that will be included. This will enable those attending to opt out if they wish and for consent forms to be completed by the parents/guardians/carers of the children, adults at risk and others to be included.
Neither names nor any personal information should be displayed alongside any photographs.
Mobile phones can be used to take photographs and videos which can be immediately uploaded onto the web or social networking sites without permission. Therefore, group leaders should discourage the use of mobile phones during church activities. Group leaders must also not post photographs or videos taken while carrying their professional role on their personal social media site etc.
Congregations may find it helpful to refer to the Safeguarding Service pages on the Church of Scotland website which include links to organisations providing guidance on safe use of mobile phones and the internet. The Safeguarding Service has also produced social media guidelines which can be found in the Safeguarding Handbook.
During large events, provided that appropriate consent has been put in place in advance, arrangements can be made by the host to provide video or photographic stills of the participants in action. This would allow a performance to go ahead with limited interruption, and allow a child who is not to be photographed to take part.
An open 'photo shoot' can be held at the end of a performance (sensitively distracting any children not to be photographed) to allow families to take their own private shots.
Responsibility for storage and destruction of photographic material should lie with the Kirk Session.
The Law Department has produced a style contract for filming in churches to cover the situation where external film companies wish to use church premises for a production. This is available on the Law Circulars section of the website.