Photos and videos

How to handle photos and videos taken at Girlguiding

Last reviewed: 6 July 2022

This guidance is part of our Managing information procedure.

Your guide to photo and video permissions.

Taking and sharing photos and videos is a great way to show people all the exciting events and activities Girlguiding offers to girls and young women. 

But photos where you can clearly see someone’s face, or you can tell who a person is, are personal data. That means you need to handle them carefully.  

Getting consent 

When a young member joins Girlguiding, their parent or carer will fill out a new starter form. This allows parents, carers and young members to take control of how their images are used. Parents and carers can log into GO any time and change the photo and video permissions for their daughter. 

Volunteers over the age of 14 and Rangers can log into GO themselves to choose how their images are used. 

The options are: 

  • Photos/videos can be shared and published and used for marketing – this means they are happy for photos, videos, storytelling and other visual and audio content of their child to be taken/collected, used for promotional and marketing purposes, published in public-facing media and shared within Girlguiding and with partners and local newspapers. 
  • Photo/videos can be used for unit use only – this means they are happy for photos, videos, storytelling and other visual and audio content of their child to be taken/collected, used as a record of unit activities, not published in any public-facing media and not shared outside the unit. This may include unit specific social media channels (that are closed to the public). 
  • Do not take photo/videos – this means they do not want photos, videos, storytelling and other visual and audio content featuring their child to be taken. 

Our new starter form explains that our approach is different at large-scale events (with over 100 participants). You can find out more about taking photos and videos at large-scale events further down this page. 

If Girlguiding HQ is taking photos and videos, we may ask parents, carers, or volunteers to fill out another consent form, explaining how we’ll store and manage them. 

Unit leaders are responsible for: 

  • reminding parents, carers, volunteers and young members to keep their photo permissions up to date, and asking them to let you know if anything changes. You need to do this at least once a year. We also recommend you do it before events so they can change permissions if needed. They can update permissions by logging into GO 
  • making sure anyone taking photos or videos of unit activities is aware of the group’s photo permissions and what this means. Find out more about visitors attending meetings. 
  • doing your best to help if a parent, carer or volunteer doesn’t want a specific photo or video to be used. Ask them for more information about where the photo is being used or stored and try to get it taken down or deleted.

If youre not sure about photo permissions, don’t take a photo. 

Taking non-identifiable photos  

If you’re unsure what permissions young members have, you can still take photos and videos as long as you can’t identify anyone in them. You can do this at unit meetings or at big events. You could: 

  • take photos of backs of heads instead of faces 
  • get girls to cover their faces with homemade masks or other props 
  • focus on some close-ups, like hands when girls are doing an activity, or feet if they’re running around 
  • use other creative ways to capture the moment, for example, taking photos of the setting or props from the meeting rather than the girls. 

Parents, carers or other family members might want to take photos or videos at unit meetings when there’s something special to celebrate, like their daughter making her Promise or badges being awarded. 

Parents and carers aren’t covered by our policies and procedures and won’t know which young members shouldn’t be in photos and videos. Unit leaders, or the person running the event, are responsible for making them aware. 

Before their visit, or on the day, ask visitors to: 

  • only take photos of their daughter, if possible 
  • check with other parents or carers before taking photos of other young members 
  • check with other parents or carers before sharing images of other young members on social media or with family and friends. Depending on the age of the young members, it might be appropriate to check with them directly as well. 

Young members may also want to take photos and videos at unit meetings or events. Make sure they know to check with their friends before taking photos or sharing them on social media.   

You may want to put other rules in place for parents and carers or young members, depending on the event and on the girls in your unit. For example, if there’s a safeguarding concern meaning a girl mustn’t be in any photos or videos, you might need to put stricter rules in place for everyone to keep her safe. 

If someone from outside Girlguiding visits your unit meeting to run a session, they’ll need to fill out our external visitor form. This explains our rules around photos and videos. 

Photos and videos at events 

If your event is just for your unit, you won’t need to do anything differently to when you take photos and videos at your unit meetings. 

For events with other units, each unit leader is responsible for making sure everyone follows their girls’ photo permissions. This might mean letting other leaders know which young members mustn’t have their photo taken. If there are too many people to make this possible, it might mean making sure people only take only non-identifiable photos. 

Taking photos and videos is different for large-scale events 

Our information and consent form asks parents and carers to let their unit leader know if they don't want photos or videos taken of their child at the event.  

As far as possible, the event organiser should make sure that the child doesn’t appear in any professional photography organised for the event. Or, if they’re featured, that they aren’t identifiable. But depending on the size and nature of the event, it may not be possible to guarantee this. If other volunteers and young members are taking photos or videos, the event organiser can’t be sure that the child won’t appear in these images. 

You should let parents and carers know this, so they can decide if they’re still happy for their child to go to the event.  

Top tips for large-scale event organisers 

Before the event: 

  • Find out which young members shouldn’t be in photos and videos. 
  • Find out which volunteers shouldn’t be in photos and videos. 

At the event: 

  • Put up signs explaining that people will be taking photos and videos. 
  • Make sure attendees know who to talk to if they decide they don’t want to be in images. This might be their leader, or one of the event organisers. 
  • Make sure any professional photographers know who to avoid taking photos of, if possible. 
  • Make sure attendees know any rules you’ve put in place about taking photos and videos. 

After the event: 

  • Check if any photos or videos taken at the event include anyone they shouldn’t, and delete them. 

Storing photos and videos 

You must: 

  • store photos and videos in a secure place, like a password protected folder on your computer, or in cloud storage with limited access 
  • delete photos and videos from all devices after they’ve been used for the reasons they were taken. You must delete photos and videos within 14 days. For example, after you upload photos to social media pages or share them with parents or carers, you must delete them from the phone or camera they were taken on. You must check your personal cloud backups and delete photos and videos from there too. 

You can store non-identifiable photos, like obscure photos or photos of objects, in a separate labelled folder. 

If a member wants their photo deleted from a website, leaflet or social media, you must help them. This includes photos or videos where they’re part of a group.  

  • If you’ve posted the image or video on social media recently, remove it. If it was some time ago, and it’s too difficult to find and delete it, make sure you don’t use the image again. 
  • If the photo is in a printed document, make sure it’s taken out for the next print run.  
  • Contact anyone you’ve shared the photo or video with and ask them to stop using it.  
  • If the image has been used in the press, don’t worry but try to make sure it’s not used again. You may be able to contact the media source and ask them to remove the photo.

If you’re at country, region, county, division or district level and someone asks you to remove an image or video: 

  • contact the unit leader and ask them to remove it 
  • remove it from your website 
  • If the image is in a printed resource, change it before reprinting. 

Receiving photos 

Sometimes someone may send you photos that you or your country, region, county, division or district haven’t taken. They may come from another unit, parent or carer, or another area of Girlguiding. 

If a volunteer has shared a photo of themselves or the girls in their unit, make sure they have the right permissions to do this. 

If a parent or carer has sent the photo, you can save the covering email or letter with the photo as a record of the permission you have for the image. 

Photos of people who have left Girlguiding  

Photo permissions finish when a girl leaves the unit. If you know someone has moved to a new unit or section, or has left Girlguiding you should stop using images of them at that point. You can keep some photos in your unit archives. 

Photos as a part of unit history  

You can keep photos as part of an archive and to celebrate the history of Girlguiding. You must store both physical and digital copies securely. For example, you could lock them inside a cupboard, on have them on a password protected device or in cloud storage with limited access.  

You can only keep photos for archiving. All other photos need to be used for the purpose they were taken, then deleted from any personal devices. 

Find out more about keeping historical records in archives.