Photography work placement

Ethics and Copyright

This scenario has been provided by Dr Fiona Peterson, Director of Learning & Teaching, School of Creative Media. They are fictitious but are realistic situations for some students and staff. Response discussion provided by Anne Lennox

John is a final year BA Photography student. He has a work placement with XYZ Photography for the Second Semester. He will be interacting with his industry mentor, Jennie, as well as three other staff at XYZ. Jennie will assign tasks and help John, who will also be encouraged to ask the other three staff to discuss their work methods and outputs.

As part of assessment for the work placement, John has to keep a diary of these conversations and then is to write a reflective paper about his experience. This paper is to include a summary of key issues learned from the industry mentor and the other three staff.

Jennie is also on the BA Photography Program Advisory Committee (PAC). Simon Black, the Program Leader, has been asked by the PAC to brief them at the next meeting, on how the work placement program is going. Simon is thinking of asking John and Jennie to come to the meeting and talk about their work placement experience – from a student and a mentor point of view.


John needs to ensure at the beginning of his work placement that the staffs from XYZ Photography clearly understand the terms of his work placement; which includes the development of a diary, and a reflective paper of his experiences. In undertaking interviews with staffs and his mentor, John needs to inform the staffs and his mentor that his is keeping a record of the conversations in his daily diary that will form part of reflective paper on his experiences.

John needs to obtain consent in writing from the people interviewed to ensure the material collected as part of the interview can be used for the intended purposes of a reflective paper.

John also needs to check to see if he needs ethics approval to undertake the interviews at XYZ Photography.