If you are taking pictures of an event or documenting your project's process, it is advised that you have your participants sign a photo release. The Group Participation and Photo waviers are two simple forms that cover liability and lets people know that they are being photographed and that these images may end up in your portfolio or may be used by MICA.
If you are holding a focus group or interviewing people about their experiences, stories or other personal information, it is advised that you have them sign a participation waiver. Work with your faculty advisor to create a privacy and informed consent plan. Make sure you the terms of your plan are clear to all the participants. This should cover issues such as if their real name will used, how photos will be used, and how sensitive information like medical and relationship histories will be documented.
Informed consent means the participant truly understands what they are getting involved in. The interviewer or project lead should have the participant read this form carefully and ask any questions they may have. When an individual is approached to be interviewed, either with or without electronic recording, it is important that you explain to them very clearly:
• Who you are
• What the project is about, why you are doing it
• What risks it poses to them
• Who will benefit
• What will become of the materials or information?