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 leaders will know which girls in their unit do/don’t have photo permissions. They’ll have this on the emergency contact forms. It’s the responsibility of the leader to ensure that girls’ photo permissions are up to date.

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

What photos to take

If you’re unsure of whether girls have permissions, 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

  • 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, for example, a password-protected folder on your computer or limited access cloud storage.
  • For photos that don’t identify individuals eg they’re obscure photos or photos with 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 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/another area of Girlguiding.

  • If a leader/or other area of Girlguiding 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 has sent the photo in then the covering email/letter will be seen as permission so make sure you store it securely as suggested above.

How long to keep

We suggest that you go through your stock of photos once a year to make sure they’re up to date.

For out of date photos/those that identify individuals that you don’t have permissions for:

  • Remove from your guiding website, if you have one
  • Save them in a secure place as a record of your area’s history

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 parent that they’ve changed their photo permissions. It’s the responsibility of that leader to inform everyone that she has shared the photo with, or if the unit has been used for photography by a county/division/district.