FAO and Flickr

About Flickr

Launched in 2004, Flickr is an image and video hosting Web site and online community, located at http://www.flickr.com/.

A free Flickr account allows users to upload 100MB of photos and two videos per month whereas a paid Pro account allows ad-free browsing and unlimited uploads. As a non profit Organization, FAO has been granted free Pro accounts.

Some of the benefits of uploading your images to Flickr include:

  • the ability to embed a slide show presentation of your images in your own Web site
  • enables new ways of organizing your images and reaching your target audience more easily
  • access to your images in as many ways as possible: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, mobile devices, blogs, etc.
  • provides a greater presence on the Internet which improves your credibility with search engines and increases traffic flow to your Web site
  • allows metadata to be added to your images such as title, description and tags
  • add location positioning to your images by using geo-tagging
  • view statistics for your images to see how people are finding your images

Image storage within FAO

FAO mediabase is the official online digital photo archive of FAO.  Maintained by the Office for Corporate Communication (OCC), it contains photographs shot by official FAO photographers working at headquarters and in the field.  These images document the people we serve, the problems they face, the global issues that touch their lives, and the ways in which FAO is helping. Access to FAO mediabase  is available for FAO employees and other registered users.  Use it to browse, search and download photographs from the collection. Contact the Photo Library  to request an account.

FAO’s presence on Flickr

Currently, FAO maintains two corporate Flickr accounts and a Flickr group:

  • FAO News”, administered by the Photo Library within the Office of Corporate Communications and External Relations, used to rapidly disseminate images of newsworthy FAO events to the media, and to reinforce the Organization’s image as an active, credible, world-class institution. Typically, the images are events-oriented with clear FAO “branding” visible in most of the frames. Photography uploaded to the account is always professionally shot to meet international media standards, and is available for immediate download at high resolution, subject to published terms and conditions regarding credit and copyright.
  • FAO of the UN”, administered by OCC, used to collect and share photographs shot by FAO staff, of FAO subjects and of FAO’s work in the field.

FAO's policy on Flickr

At present, the Organization’s policy is to have a strong corporate presence on Flickr. Units / offices are invited to support the Organization-wide Flickr presence by:

  1. promoting the link to the “FAO News” photo stream on their Web pages when and where they consider it appropriate, and
  2. contributing relevant images to the “FAO of the UN” Flickr.

FAO affiliated Flickr accounts

Creation of additional accounts (e.g. by decentralized offices, by headquarters units) is not allowed. To upload photos or albums to the FAO of the UN Flickr account, you can Contact OCC.

FAO photos on Flickr: quality criteria

To publish photos on a FAO Flickr account, and to contribute photos to the “FAO of the UN” Flickr, the following quality criteria should be applied.

To qualify for inclusion, a photograph should:

  • be of reasonably good quality (in terms of focus, composition and resolution)
  • depict FAO subject matter and/or FAO work in the field
  • have the written consent of persons appearing in any photo (permission form)
  • contain no content that could be damaging to the Organization or to individuals appearing in the photo
  • be carefully selected (avoid uploading 10 photos of the same subject, better to select the best 2 or 3 photos)

A photograph should also contain the following information:

  • a descriptive title
  • a description, including the text "©FAO www.fao.org" if appropriate and contact details
  • Include the project code if the photo is related to an FAO project
  • meaningful tags (keywords), if images are the property of FAO include the text "FAO of the UN" and "Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations"
  • whether you would like to enable public comments on your photograph
  • include the date when the photograph was taken
  • geo-tag images to indicate location

If you wish to create an album, provide a selection of no more than 30 photos and include a general title and description for the album and for each photo.

How to upload photos to FAO's corporate Flickr channel

All photos will be added to FAO's official Flickr channel: https://www.flickr.com/photos/faooftheun/.

Send your request to upload the presentation (ensuring all of the above mentioned requirements are met) to OCC. Be sure to download the request form, complete it and attach it to your request.


FAO images are all right reserved (see FAO copyright policy). As a general guideline, it is requested that all FAO photos have credit information, if possible.

The format can be similar to:

Copyright FAO. Photo credit must be given.
Photo credit: ©FAO/FirstName LastName of photographer

Example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/faonews/7364887634/in/set-72157630048250675

Private Flickr accounts

Even when participating in Flickr and similar sites as private individuals, FAO employees in all categories are asked to observe the following guidelines:

  • behave in a manner consistent with the role of an international civil servant
  • think before posting – use sound judgement and think about reactions to what you plan to post
  • respect your audience – avoid negative personal comments or inflammatory subjects
  • protect confidential information – including photos shot in FAO internal meetings or similar settings, or any third party photography made available to the Organization but not for publication – and respect embargoes on unreleased photography
  • FAO policy, procedures and rules apply to what you do online as well as elsewhere.

In addition:

  • do not post FAO-copyrighted photography on your personal Flickr account
  • remember that copyright of any photography you may shoot while on mission for FAO is retained by the Organization
  • if posting photographs of subjects relevant to the work of FAO, and if you identify yourself as an FAO employee, add a disclaimer: “The photos posted here are my own and do not necessarily depict FAO’s views, positions, strategies, opinions or activities.”