Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/03/15

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Subject: [Leica] Insights about handling a delicate photo situation
From: kididdoc at (Steve Barbour)
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 14:05:52 -0700
References: <> <> <>

On Mar 15, 2009, at 12:02 PM, Steve Barbour wrote:

> On Mar 15, 2009, at 11:19 AM, Howard Ritter wrote:
>> Susan--
>> As a hospice medical director as well as a medical oncologist, my  
>> sense is that many, probably most, patients at the end of life, and  
>> their families, would respond very favorably to an offer on your  
>> part to document parts of this phase of their and their families'  
>> lives. Later, while sharing the resulting images with them, express  
>> satisfaction with the result and ask if they'd be willing to let  
>> you post some of the best images to a group of serious (and  
>> private) fellow photography enthusiasts. I suspect that if you  
>> approach them this way, you'd get consent more often than not. My  
>> inclination is to agree with Nathan that formal, written permission  
>> would be unnecessary, and asking for it might put the wrong tone on  
>> the situation.
> very true, but I wonder if HIPAA may apply to these people/ 
> patients...if so get a formal signed release as well...
>> I think it's a great idea. I can't tell you how many times I've  
>> been on the verge of broaching this idea to one or another of my  
>> own patients. Maybe now!
>> Ask Steve Barbour how he explains his aims to his patients and  
>> their parents.
> I'd be very happy to...let me tend to a couple of things and I will  
> come back to this later,

By the time  I suggest taking photos of a child in the hospital, and I  
ask the patient/and family for permission,  I am taking care of the  
patient, often for a very long time...sometimes the family even asks  
me, well before I can ask them...

I explain that I see something special about the patients look,  
behavior, courage, dignity that I would like to capture/celebrate, for  
them and for me...and in preparing my book I asked them for the right  
to use the photo in my book...

I never wanted to be famous... seen here....

in several cases the family approached me, asking that I take photos,  
asking about the book, saying openly that they were not sure that  
their child was going to survive, saying with that in mind, that they  
wanted to celebrate their child...

These were always profoundly touching, heart rending experiences...

I always got verbal and written permision from the patient if  
possible, and from the family...even with all that, HIPAA issues can  
surface from any direction, often bringing a particular mix of very  
important, yet often naive, annoying, and distracting elements...

These issues can make this area of photography, at once, intensely  
challenging, rewarding, moving, and troubling...


> Steve
>> --howard
>> On Mar 15, 2009, at 12:48 PM, Susan Ryan wrote:
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> I'm hoping the group can give me some thought about how to handle  
>>> a potentially touchy situation. I am a hospice volunteer. From  
>>> experiences in my own life, I think there might be interest by  
>>> hospice clients and family members for donated photo services. I'm  
>>> thinking things such as grandparents finishing projects to be  
>>> given to grandchildren, spending time with family members,  
>>> portraits, or whatever the person involved would like to document.  
>>> I'm thinking I would give the client a copy of the files on a disc  
>>> and they could do with them what they liked. While I wouldn't use  
>>> these photos for any personal gain, I can envision wanting to post  
>>> to the LUG, etc., if I had one I liked, needed help with, etc. I  
>>> am quite concerned about privacy liability. I'm also afraid if I  
>>> insist on model releases before taking a single photo people will  
>>> assume I have personal motives for taking the photos to begin  
>>> with. I was thinking maybe it would be safe enough to ask  
>>> permission to post or show their photos and if they agree I would  
>>> have them sign a model release. If they do not like the idea I  
>>> would keep a record of that and keep those files in a "do not  
>>> post" folder. Do you have any advice about how you would handle  
>>> this? Should I abandon the idea because the can of worms is just  
>>> too big to open?
>>> Thanks in advance.
>>> Sue
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Leica Users Group.
>>> See for more information
>> _______________________________________________
>> Leica Users Group.
>> See for more information

In reply to: Message from scoutfinch at (Susan Ryan) ([Leica] Insights about handling a delicate photo situation)
Message from hlritter at (Howard Ritter) ([Leica] Insights about handling a delicate photo situation)
Message from kididdoc at (Steve Barbour) ([Leica] Insights about handling a delicate photo situation)