Listen up: The Photo Ethics podcast

Yikes, Sézane!

Famous fashion brand Sézane is facing potential legal action for manipulating an older, indigenous woman in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The production team reportedly dressed Guillermina Gutiérrez in the company’s clothes and asked her to dance in front of cameras. Gutiérrez also accuses the brand of not paying her. Video of the interaction popped up on social media channels. The backlash – which also came from the Mexican government – was immediate.

Do better – this podcast can help

*full disclosure: I will be featured on this podcast in the upcoming 2022 season.

We recommend that Sézane executives listen to The Photo Ethics Podcast, produced by The Photography Ethics Center in Northern Ireland. The center’s primary goal is “raising awareness about ethics and promoting ethical literacy across the photography industry.” The podcast, now in its third season, offers a wealth of ethics-focused conversations with photo professionals from around the globe. Here are a few of our favorite episodes:

Danielle Villasana: On representation and equity

Danielle discusses complicity in the media around stereotyping marginalized communities, and the responsibility of visual storytellers to respect the people they portray and their colleagues and organizations to do the same. 

The Other: On class in the industry 

Kirsty Mackay, Kelly O’Brien and Joanne Coates make up the UK photography collective called The Other. They discuss class, privilege and opportunity within the photo industry. It’s an important listen for editors and managers to consider when assigning and hiring.

Smita Sharma: On empathy in storytelling

This one is aimed at storytellers and communications teams working with sensitive topics and populations. Smita describes how her connection with her subjects relies on empathy.She also shares strategies on how to protect identities, decide what information to include and exclude, and how to approach consent. 

Tasneem Alsultan: On planning for publication 

Tasneem explains how editing can shift a visual’s message – often outside the control of the photographer. 

Hannah Fletcher: On working sustainably

Sustainability may not be something visual storytellers think about. However, Hannah Fletcher discusses why this is a hot button topic when it comes to manufacturing cameras, processing and storing images, among other things to consider.  

But wait… there’s more

While these episodes are a great place to start, we offer robust consulting sessions on ethical storytelling. So, feel free to come to us with your team’s questions.

Tags: ethics, photography, visual storytelling tips, visualstorytelling

If you liked this post, check out these:

IMG_7202 (1)
Borzou Daragahi explains why writers first need to be visual storytellers
San Francisco Chronicle staff photographer Gabrielle Lurie photographs at the Corridor Restaurant on 100 Van Ness Ave for a story about how businesses are impacted by corporate cafeterias on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 in San Francisco, Calif.
Dumping her ‘art’ for intimacy led Gabrielle Lurie to win POYi’s top prize – three years in a row.
The Turkey-Syria quakes raise questions; visual storytellers are filling in the gaps