General Bylaws

These will be expanded at the next board meeting in December.

  1. The president will have the power to disburse funds to photographers for jobs and pay for website management and other incidentals as long as the amount is below $500.00. All disbursements above $500.00 must be agreed upon by the board.
  2. Photographers are not employees. Photographers are volunteers and/or members with Cameras for Conservancy. Photographers are given jobs on a per-job basis. All work remains the property of the photographer unless otherwise stated in the specific job description.
  3. Photographers can count photography hours towards work for the organization if they have accepted a volunteer assignment or if they use previous photos they have taken to donate to a conservation organization.
  4. Photographers can only be paid for work given by the organization. Payment cannot be requested for work previously completed or work done before a contract is signed.
  5. Cameras for Conservancy does not have any rights over photos taken by photographers who accept jobs. However, for each job completed (volunteer or paid) for the organization the photographer is required to submit at least one social-media quality image for publication on our Instagram and/or website.

Photography Guidelines

When you take photos for Cameras for Conservancy you are a camservationist and not a photographer. A camservationist follows the guidelines below…

  1. A camservationist takes photos for conservation and not for themselves. Of course you should always do your best and try to get photos that you are proud of. However, do not become too attached to them. In some behind-the-scenes or other situations your photos may never be seen by more than a handful of people. You may have a National Geographic quality photo but if it has the potential to harm the organization, conservation efforts or wildlife, it should be kept private.
  2. When you take photos for an organization or conservation group you are temporarily representing that group so you need to follow the rules of their group. Make sure you know these rules before publishing anything. Rules can vary. If the group you are taking photos of is not comfortable with the public sharing of one of your photos you cannot use it. Do not argue with them or try to convince them. This is their organization and the photos are about them and their conservation efforts – not about the camservationist.
  3. When showing wildlife or captive animals always display them in pleasant settings or in photos that are easy for the public to understand. Photos with fences, bars, trapped, and/or enclosed animals often require an extensive explanation and are not ideal for social media. These kinds of photos are often only useful for internal usage by the organization or for use with an in-depth article or presentation after careful consideration. It is acceptable to photoshop out bars when possible.
  4. Never share photos with friends or family by text or social media unless it is a photo that has been approved for social media use. It is always best to share photos within a private group or directly by showing someone prints or photos on your phone, computer, or camera. Once you send the photo out it could easily be shared digitally with the wrong person or someone who will put an inaccurate caption on an innocent photo.
  5. Always ask permission before taking a photo of a person. In some cases you may also need to get a release signed. I also find it is a good idea to get a person’s name and contact e-mail. As a public courtesy I always send people photos I take of them. This also gives you a record for future use if it turns out you need to ask them for a release form later or you want to ask permission to use their photo in a public forum.
  6. Always ask permission before taking photos of a behind-the-scenes event. Some situations that happen behind-the-scenes may not be ones that organizations want documented for various reasons and some of those reasons may be legal. There are state and federal laws governing some government organizations, zoos, and other conservation facilities about what can be shared with the public.
  7. Talk to at least one person before the event you are taking photos of to ask about what kinds of photos they need and what photo guidelines they have.
  8. Do not disturb the process of the event you are taking photos of for a good photo. Disturbing events may include walking in front of an animal, walking between people who are talking, tripping over equipment, making too much noise with your camera or cell phone, talking in a loud voice, putting your camera too close to a person or animal and other disturbing behaviors that are, unfortunately, quite common among photographers.
  9. When taking photos of wildlife do not approach them too closely and never disturb or approach a nest or animal home. Be aware of what each animal comfort zone is and what the warning signs are. And these signs may be different depending on where you are. For example, the deer on my bike trail are quite happy if I stay at least five feet away and they will stomp their hoof if I get too close. Some birds will make clicking sounds when nervous. Other animals will freeze. The deer out in a refuge I take photos at get skittish very easily and are only comfortable when at least a block away. Approaching them will only cause them stress and they will flee. Remember, the photos you are taking as a camservationist are about the wildlife and not about you.
  10. You will get many wonderful photos you can share! I’ve been a camservationist for over 7 years and although I have a large number of photos that may never be seen by many people I’ve also had a large number of photos win prizes, been published, or displayed in exhibits.
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