The Etiquette of Photos

1 Nov

In the last few days I got in a bit of a dispute with a family member about pictures on the internet. Surprise, surprise, I have strong feelings about depictions of me and especially depictions of my kid on the internet.

There is no shortage of photos of my kid on the internet. More than one person has referred to my child as “The Kid with the Most Photos on Facebook.” I don’t mind pictures of her being put on the internet or facebook, but I do expect to be asked before such pictures are published online. 99.9% of the time I’ll say “Go ahead and post them!” but I still want to know, and have my wishes respected.


Don’t go postin pictures of me without asking my Momma first!
(Although with a sneer like this, you might not want to take my picture at all!)

Despite a bachelorette party being the subject of a recent blog post, I am also highly particular of how I come across through text and photos on the internet. I am careful to keep photos of me tasteful and often professional. My photos are more casual on facebook, due to (not to be trusted) privacy settings, but not too casual (see the part about privacy settings not to be trusted).

I afford the same courtesies to friends as I expect them to afford to me. Often, I focus my photos and content on the experience itself. I won’t post a photo of someone else without asking first. Mentions of my companions are often very brief, or not present at all. I absolutely love my friends and have a blast spending time with them, but I am not going to subject them to their photos being publicly posted or writing about them publicly without clearing it with them first.


This is so very especially true with photos of children. I usually try to take pictures so that other peoples’ kids don’t appear in the pictures at all. If there’s a cute picture with someone else’s kid in it that I’d like to share, it is essential to ask before posting. If I don’t know the parents well enough to feel comfortable asking, well then I simply do not post the picture. Some parents are very comfortable with sharing photos, and others do not want photos of their kids online at all. You must be respectful of the full spectrum of privacy preferences. Posting photos of other people and their kids online, without getting permission first, is a great way to get yourself uninvited from all kinds of social events.

What is your privacy level, when it comes to photos of you on the internet? How do you respect others’ privacy preferences?


One Response to “The Etiquette of Photos”

  1. Sandy November 2, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    I don’t have any particular standard. I try not to be stupid, assume everyone has access to everything, and don’t overdo it. So I guess that’s a standard?

    I haven’t even tried to take pictures at gymnastics class because I don’t want the other parents to think I’m a creeper and/or worry about me posting the photos. But it would be fun to take a video there.

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