photography policy

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A photography policy or recording policy is an event policy to make it clear when photographing/recording is acceptable, and how attendees can communicate their preferences; IndieWebCamps are often livestreamed, and have photographers or organizers who take both informal session photos and group photos that are often published publicly.

Past IndieWebCamps


  • IndieWeb Summit 2019 had red lanyards to indicate no photos, and yellow lanyards to indicate please ask first. Default lanyards were black, and organizers wore lavender lanyards.
  • At 2019/Berlin & 2019/Düsseldorf, round stickers were introduced for people to put on their name badges. There were red stickers to signify the preference not to be photographed, and yellow stickers to communicate an “ask first” policy.


  • At 2018/Berlin, attendees could draw a red border on their name tag, to express that they did not want to be photographed.


Photo policy examples:

Mozilla All Hands

Mozilla All Hands (2018 in San Francisco, as recently as 2019 in Whistler Canada)

  • red lanyard = no photos
  • otherwise ok to take photos, encouraged to add to Flickr group

XOXO 2018

XOXO 2018 Photo Consent

  • red lanyard = no photos or video
  • yellow lanyard = photos and video allowed with explicit permission (must ask)
  • black [default] lanyard = photos and video allowed without permission

Open Source Bridge

Open Source Bridge Recording Policy

  • speakers consent to being recorded in audio and possibly audio (may NOT opt out of recording)
  • registering = consent to be photographed by official conference staff, photos CC published, possibly used in promo
  • only staff permitted to record talks
  • participants must abide by color lanyards:
    • blue [default] lanyard = ok to record or photograph
    • yellow = ask for explicit permission prior to
    • red = do not record or photograph
  • when one person being recorded/photographed says “stop” or “leave me alone” (etc), "the interaction must end", and "attendees should not attempt to photograph that individual again" [apparently overrides lanyard color]
  • photo/recording must not be done to hide from the subject being captured (e.g. no wearing Google Glass during conf)
  • subjects may inspect photo/recordings of themselves any time and any request to delete must be honored immediately

“You must ask for permission before you take a person’s picture or record them, and take any no’s you receive with good grace.”

IDEAL 2019

  • red: No photos, please
  • yellow: Ask to take photos of me
  • green: I’m ok to be photographed


"Please remember that lanyard colors correlate to photography permissions. If you snap a photo and see a person with a red lanyard, please delete it and retake it. Remember to ask permission for those with yellow landyards #IDEAL19" @idealconf19 August 6, 2019 Numerous green, yellow, and red lanyards hanging on holders.IDEAL '19 Lanyards sign with instructions. Red: No photos, please. Yellow: Ask to take photos of me. Green: I’m ok to be photographed.

Criticism: green vs red is too similar for some colorblindness

Recommendation: avoid green when using red, stick with simple black or white for default ok to be photographed.

IETF 2019

IETF events photo policy:

""Red ""Black


Avoid Green When Using Red

Avoid green lanyards when you are already using red lanyards because they will likely be hard to distinguish for some color blindness.

Instead: use something plain like black, grey, white lanyards for the photos ok default.


  • Need to update this per discussions/conclusions at 2019/Organizers
  • Should we expand this to "recording policy" to include video and/or audio?
  • Should we provide guidance to organizers to prefer archiving sessions to the Internet Archive instead of YouTube (for many reasons, the context in which videos are shown, the videos that YouTube recommends for viewing next that are often offtopic, inflammatory, conspiracy theories and such).
  • Should this include "live streaming" or should that be separate? anecdotally some folks find a live stream more ok/safer than archived video recordings
  • Should we provide guidance to organizers to prefer live stream on instead of YouTube
    • +1 Tantek Çelik similar to archives, seems less harmful YouTube as a service for streaming
    • Rosemary Orchard This can cause issues for people on low bandwidth connections, unless we pay Twitch they get what we stream.
    •  ? Add yourself here… (see this for more details)
  • explicit green border proposed for explicit permission (context: for 2019/Utrecht, proposed in chat by co-organizer Frank)
    • -1 Tantek Çelik I'd lean against this, because:
      • adds complexity without benefit, i.e. what does no (lack of) sticker mean then? same as yellow? then why have yellow? then we're back to two stickers, and noticing green vs. none is harder than noticing yellow vs. none
      • bad for accessibility, using green in addition to red is hard to distinguish for some colorblindness
      • more important: violates common conference conventions and expectations of default photos ok, see examples of Mozilla, XOXO, and OSBridge above (all of which have fairly strong/progressive Codes Of Conduct and Photo Policies themselves)
      • alternatively, get green lanyards for people to wear by default
    • Sven Knebel given our history/way how events work default-yes is probably fine (even though I disagree with some of the reasons given above). Lanyard colors solve this neatly in that people pick one of three options.
    • ... Add yourself here… (see this for more details)

See Also