DEA Photolibraries briefing

DEA Photolibraries briefing

Is ‘a picture worth a thousand words’? If so, how much should you pay and where can you find that picture? Finding good images to help you communicate development education, whether for your organisation’s website, publishing educational materials or running activities with learners can be a challenge, especially on a small budget. From experience there is a lot to consider:

  • what images are appropriate for what purposes?
  • are you using the image out of its context, which gives it a different meaning?
  • how do/would people in the photo feel about your use of this image?
  • are you captioning the image?
  • should you name people and places?
  • do you have their informed consent?
  • how do we represent diversity in the UK?
  • who took the photos – are they being paid a fair rate?
  • how can you support local photographers in the South?
  • does the photographer/photo library support development education values?
  • practical and legal issues like picture size and quality, copyright, child protection, and following good practice on model release.

Some good places to start for interesting discussions on images of development and development education are:

  • the Imaging Famine project –
  • the Pictures for Change research –
  • DEA member kijiji*Vision –
  • the revised Code of Conduct on Images and Messaging –

After several years of hunting around for pictures, we have produced this briefing for DEA members on useful sources of development and education images. If you have any further sources to suggest, please contact the DEA.