What is your picture policy for pictures on Facebook (and other websites)?

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Our church is beginning to use Facebook more regularly, and it is clear that pictures are what members of the congregation find to be of the most interest.  

It is apparent, though, that our church needs to adopt a policy regarding pictures.  So we are looking for more input - especially from Michigan churches (as laws tend to vary from state to state).  

1. Does your church have a picture policy or waiver form that you would be willing to share?  We are particularly interested in figuring out what our policy should be regarding posting pictures of minors on Facebook.

2. How have churches publicized or informed their congregation of their picture policy?

3. If you require parents to sign a waiver form, what has been the most effective way of getting that form to parents and then maintaining records of what individuals have granted permission for their childrens’ pictures to be posted?  In sum, how do you make sure the whole enterprise doesn't get too unwieldy?

 

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I'm not sure I have an answer for everything, but here are some thoughts.

I did a quick Google search and found a variety of examples: http://goo.gl/rEjqn.  Most of them are fairly formal.

I've seen other churches that have just included an opt-out line on registration forms for things like Sunday school or VBS.  It was as simple as a couple of sentences saying how you might use the photos and giving on option to not be a part of it.

In general, for adults, you have the right to use pictures that you take on your church's private property without permission as long as it's not for profit.  Of course considerations should always be made for adults with special needs.  

It's never a bad idea for a church to talk about why they want to use pictures.  Whether it's the pastor from the pulpit or something in the bulletin, it's good to explain why the pictures are used.  It helps put a real face to the church.  It shows the congregation in action.  They paint a better picture of God at work than a list of facts.  

Hopefully this helps.  

 

 

We had a similar discussion a few months ago. Take a look at the resources on http://network.crcna.org/forums/web/permission-photo-use-church-web-site