Photography hints and tips for counties, divisions and districts

Data protection legislation has changed the ways we use photos, so we’ve created some hints and tips to help

Data protection legislation has changed the way in which we use personal data.

Photos where you can clearly see someone’s face, or you can tell who that person is, will be considered personal data. This means it has to be treated sensitively and you’ll need the person’s permission to use it.

We know it’s not always possible to get photo permissions at an event so we’ve created some hints and tips on how you can still capture the moment no matter the size of the event.


Unit, district, division meetings (under 100 attendees)

Unit leaders know which girls in their unit do or don’t have photo permissions. They have this on the emergency contact forms. It's the responsibility of the leader to make sure that girls’ photo permissions are up to date.

If you are not sure of the photo permissions, don’t take the photo.

Meetings over 100 attendees

Permissions are not easy to manage at large scale events, so permissions are not applicable to large scale events. It is important that we protect our girls and take seriously any concerns parents have about photo and video.

It is up to each leader to repect the wishes of parents or carers who do not want photos or videos taken of their children, and to follow this to the best of their ability. 

What photos to take

If you’re unsure of whether girls have permissions for a specific event, you can take non-identifiable photos. Be creative by using the following:

  • Take photos of backs of heads instead of faces
  • Get the girls to cover their faces with homemade masks or other props
  • Focus on some close-ups eg hands when girls are doing an activity, or feet if they’re running around etc
  • Use other creative ways to capture the event – capture the setting or props from the event rather than the girls

How to store photos

For meetings under 100 attendees

Keep the photos that you have permissions for, along with the permissions, including copies of emails from leaders that say which girls have permissions, in a secure place. This could be a password-protected folder on your computer or limited-access cloud storage

Meeting over 100 attendees

  • Delete photos after 14 days on any device, or after they are used for the purpose they were taken for
  • For photos that do not identify individuals eg obscure photos or photos of objects, you can store in a separate folder
  • If you share any photos, make a list (in a spreadsheet) of the photos, date shared and who you’ve shared them with including the name of the contact so you can easily track them. For example, photos taken at x event with x,y and z  have been shared with ‘name of commissioner’ from ‘name of county’ on the dd/mm/yyyy.

What happens if someone sends you photos

Sometimes you may be sent photos that you or your county/district/division hasn’t taken. They may come directly from a unit, parent/carer or another area of Girlguiding.

If a leader/or other Girlguiding member has sent you a photo, check that they have the right permissions so you can use the photo. Keep a record of the photo name, date received, who the photo was from, and where it will be used.

If a parent or carer has sent the photo,  then the covering email/letter will be seen as permission so make sure you store it securely as suggested above.

How long to keep

Delete photos within 14 days of an event from all devices after they have been used for the reasons they were taken for. For example after being uploaded to a Facebook page. Please see our Digital safeguarding policy.

For out of date photos, photos that are two years old or those that identify individuals that you don’t have permissions for at smaller events:

  • Remove from your guiding website, if you have one
  • Remove from any public or shared pages and all forms of social media

What happens if someone asks for their photo to be removed

  • Stop using them and take them off your website.
  • If you know the name of the unit, contact the unit leader and tell them that this person has requested for their photo to be removed.
  • If the photo’s in a printed resource – when it comes up as a reprint change the image.
  • If you’ve posted the image on social media recently – remove it. If it was some ago, this may be more difficult but make sure you don’t use the image again.
  • If the image has been used in the press, don’t worry but make sure it’s not used again.
  • Contact the areas that you’ve shared the photos with and ask them to be removed.


If a leader is told by a member of their unit or a parent/carer that they’ve changed their photo permissions, it’s the responsibility of that leader to pass that on to everyone that she has shared the photo with, or if the unit has been used for photography by a county/division/district.

Using photos online

Check our Digital safeguarding policy before you post any photos or videos online.

Read the policy now