Find out more about how we work and meet the team dedicated to raising awareness about photography ethics
The Photography Ethics Centre was founded in 2017 in the midst of global events like the mass migration of Syrian refugees across the Mediterranean, the surge of violence against the Rohingya community in Myanmar, and the British secession from the EU. The pivotal role that photography plays in geopolitical events like these cannot be overstated. The impact of photographs can be both positive and negative, and can influence at every level from the personal to the global. Photographs have immense power. Photographs can stoke discrimination or influence policy to open doors for refugees. Photography has even played a role in ending war.
We looked for tools to help photographers harness this power and effectively navigate the complicated terrain of ethics amidst the democratisation of photography and the rise of social media. We came up empty. So we put together a training manual ourselves. We formed a team of photographers who care about ethics, but who come at it from different angles and with different kinds of expertise. We created something both theoretical and practical, that grapples with the big questions but is applicable on the ground.
We tested it in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Hanoi, Vietnam. We watched passionate discussions unfold between people who work in all genres and at all levels. We found that ethics is a topic that all photographers can engage with because all photographers have a stake in it. We found that ethics impacts everyone's work, whether or not they are actively conscious of it. Most importantly, we found that the photographers who took our workshops left feeling that they had gained something.
It was the passion and energy that came out of the very first workshops that inspired us to create a system to make this training available to photographers around the world. And so the Photography Ethics Centre was born.
Our Social Enterprise Model
"Social enterprise is about changing the world through business. Social enterprises exist and trade not to maximise private profit, but to further their social and environmental aims. In short, social enterprise is about business where everyone profits." (Social Enterprise UK)
The Photography Ethics Centre is a social enterprise whose aim is to raise awareness about photography ethics through educational training programmes. Our Social Enterprise model means that profits gained through our tariffed services enable us to offer our self-paced online training in the fundamentals of photography ethics for free to photographers around the world.
Why do we offer training for free? Because we think photography ethics is important, and we want people to learn about it. It's as simple as that.
Click the headshot to learn more about each member of our team.
The Photography Ethics Centre relies on a global network of industry professionals to ensure that our trainings are collaborative, comprehensive, and up to date with the current debates. Our team members come to this topic with a breadth of experience. They contribute their knowledge of the practicalities of different photographic genres and of working in different regions of the world. Their combined expertise has helped us to develop tools that are relevant for photographers working in any industry.
Click the logo for more information about our partner organisations.
To date, our work has been recognised by the following honours and awards:
2019 Grantee of The Pollination Project
2019 Winner of the Education Award from the ISNTD Festival
2019 Grantee of the Rebecca Vassie Trust Education and Training Bursary
2019 Finalist for the Young Director Award at the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland
2019 Keynote speaker at the Queen’s University Belfast May Ball
2019 Finalist in the Queen’s University Belfast Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award
2018 Finalist for Howard Chapnick Grant
2018 Finalist for Institute of Directors Student of the Year Award
2018 Finalist for Catalyst Invent Student Award
2018 Finalist for Queen’s University Belfast Dragons' Den
2017 Winner of Kick Start Accelerator Business Pitch Award