This is a quick note on the use of images on this blog. I like posts to have a featured image, mainly to liven them up. But pictures of prisons are hard to obtain, and can’t be taken without permission. Even where they’re allowed, restrictions on what you can show often means photos of the physical environment, giving the impression that prisons are neat, orderly and empty places, when the reality is often more complicated.
Since I can’t afford to use some of the more interesting images taken by the handful of professional photographers who have done substantial work in prisons, what I plan to do instead is to select images I can use for free from online sources, which have some loose conceptual link to what I’m writing about in that post (as with this example chosen for a post loosely relating to ‘hope’). Where possible/appropriate, I also plan to use pictures of artworks by prisoners – I’m currently talking to some organisations about permission to do this.
I want to try and choose in a way that doesn’t trivialise what I’m writing about, and isn’t twee or in poor taste. I’d welcome any feedback readers might have about how to do this – and what to avoid.