Ethics statement

This is a statement of my personal ethics and beliefs surrounding my photographic practice. It is important to me that this is publicly available so that the communities I work with are fully aware of my approach, practice and ways of working.

General practice

  • When photographing or filming a person, I am fully transparent about how the images will be used and always aim to get either recorded verbal or written consent from the person for their image to be used. 

  • I do not photograph or film individuals without their consent, unless in a specific situation (see protest section below).

  • I am always honest in declaring the circumstances under which a photograph has been taken.

  • If digital or physical manipulation of a photograph is used and it crosses the border into photography-based conceptual artwork, this will be stated. 

Socially-engaged photography

  • I aim to spend as long as possible with a community before beginning a photographic project that involves vulnerable or marginalised communities, or environmental defenders.

  • I aim to only take on paid projects of the above nature where deadlines are flexible and there is allowance for full community engagement.

  • I involve the participants of a socially-engaged or community photo project at every stage. As a participant, you have full control over how your image is made, how it’s shared and/or exhibited and if you’d like the image to be removed from the public domain at any point.

  • I do not sell or licence images of people involved in these types of projects without express written consent and conversations with the person concerned. Even with these considerations I am reluctant to licence or sell my images outside of the material produced for the project (book/ exhibition/ etc.)

Sustainability/ Environment:

  • I consider my impact on the earth carefully: using public transport, bicycle and car-sharing; using second-hand or found analogue photographic materials; and opting for second-hand or refurbished equipment.

  • I always aim to explore sustainable alternatives to traditional practices and hope to move to using exclusively plant-based photographic chemicals for my analogue and alternative practice in the future. 

  • I do not work for any client or company associated with companies that profit from environmental destruction. This includes (but is not limited to) fossil fuel companies, mining companies, logging companies, or private landowners that allow the killing of animals for sport. 


  • I always put the welfare of the subject above any photograph I take.

  • I never use live bait or any bait that will adversely affect the behaviour of an animal.

  • I am always honest in declaring the circumstances under which a photograph has been taken.

  • I don’t sell or grant use of any of my images to any publication or organisation that promotes any form of hunting or killing of wildlife for sport. 

  • If I discover an organisation to be using my images while promoting the killing of wildlife for sport, I will immediately request the removal of my images on their materials, and deny them further usage rights. 

  • I will not take on as a client any nature tourism companies that are known to bother or bait wildlife in order to attract them for the purposes of viewings and profit.

Protest/ activism:

When documenting a protest, demonstration, direct action or while a guest at a protest encampment/squat I follow a strict code of ethics and safe practice.

  • I choose whether or not to attend a protest with my camera. Emotional and sensitive subject matters will either be carefully photographed if I am invited by the organisers, or not photographed at all.

  • I believe the safety of a person should always come before the story. I use a variety of techniques including physical damage to the negatives or photoshop to hide recognisable faces whenever necessary. 

  • I will always endeavour to seek written, verbal and/or visual permission before taking a photograph. Where this can’t be achieved at a large protest, I consider the type of event and whether or not extra media attention  will be helpful or dangerous to the people involved before taking photographs. 

  • I shoot using analogue photography methods (35mm, 120mm and Polaroid instant film). This means there is no location metadata embedded within the image, and also makes my images easily destructable if confiscated by law enforcement. 

  • I will never knowingly or willingly share my images of protestors/demonstrators/activists and/or occupants of activist spaces with police, bailiffs, or private security.

I have submitted the above statement to the Photography Ethics Centre’s Statement of Ethics campaign and have been added to their list of practicioners committed to photo ethics. I would highly encorage any photographer to do the same. You can make the pledge here.

Statement of Ethics

All images copyright © George Steedman Jones 2024. All rights reserved.