Friday, July 22, 2011

A Small Scribbletme World: Newborn Photographer Serving Augusta, Evans, Martinez & the Rest of this Small World!

All photographers (especially newborn photographers) love to share our images with the world on Facebook, our blogs & websites. It's just common practice to show our work and share our talent with the world. ALL photographers do it and it's a great way for parents to share images of their little ones with friends and family in different cities, states, & countries.

Yesterday a Scribbletime mommy sent me a link to a discussion that was taking place online about one of my pictures....a newborn picture of her baby boy, who of course lives in Augusta, Georgia. I was so glad she shared that link with me because it is a great reminder to all of us about how small our huge world can be at times, all made possible by brings the whole world to our fingertips, which is fabulous and scary at the same time.

The internet is a powerful tool...I personally couldn't function without it! I mean, how else would I instantly find out important things like what school supplies my son needs for his class and then the not so important things like what my friends are having for dinner tonight?!!

Before I go into my own personal privacy rules I follow for blogging, I want to share the super ironic conversation about this picture... (by the way, his mommy gave me permission to share this....)

The conversation took place on a social networking site that lets people bookmark their favorite website pages/images. Before yesterday I never even knew that such a thing existed. The Scribbletime picture was bookmarked on someone's "Newborn Shoot Inspiration" page (right next to a TON of Baby as Art newborn photographs by the way!!).

Then someone else saw it and said "What's so funny to me about this is I know this baby...or better yet, I graduated with his Daddy and went to church with his Mommy." But then the world got even smaller...

The person who had posted the picture said this: "Hahaha! That is funny! What's also funny is that I found this on Google Images looking for newborn images, and then the exact same picture popped up on my Facebook feed! His Mommy is my FB friend!" THAT PART is what's most ironic to me...she had seen this picture while searching for newborn inspiration images, and then it popped up on her friend's facebook page. Small world!

I love for mommies to share their precious Scribbletime baby pictures! But I want to make sure that you know I am very cautious about how much personal information I share about the children and families I photograph. It's tough to maintain a good balance because I want you to feel like you know the families, but at the same time I really don't want you to know too much!

I'm glad I'm not a wedding's too easy to share all the details needed to help tell the how the couples meet, tidbits about their families, where they live, her maiden name, where they work, where they go to college, other family member names, etc.

Which leads me to my personal blogging and posting rules....

  • I follow all OpLove privacy guidelines, and apply those guidelines to my non-Oplove sessions also. The name tag on a uniform will not be visible in pictures I share.
  • I share as little information about a family & children as possible. Sometimes I will share a baby's first name (usually because it's part of a picture, like a cake smash collage). There have been a couple times when I've shared employment information, but only by specific request or permission for the purpose of promoting a business or service. It freaks me out when I read photography blogs that tell all the details about a family or child...what school the kids attend, deployment homecoming details, exactly what job a person does in the military, etc. You can learn a lot of details about a family by reading their photographer's blog. I just read a blog advertising local boudoir listed all of the clients' first and last names, their appointment date/time, and the exact address where the session will take place. Wow, boudoir pictures are especially something photographers need to keep confidential instead of sharing all the session and client details!

  • I do not tag clients on Facebook! There have been a couple times when a client specifically requested to be tagged because for some reason they couldn't do it. I don't mind if you want to be tagged in your pictures, but feel free to do it yourself.
  • If there is any identifying information in a shot I have my heart set on using, I will blur or delete the information (a good example of this is dog tags).
Why do I feel the need to protect your privacy online? I don't want to do anything to make it any easier for identity thieves to gather information about our life, and to protect against child predators. Remember how Sarah Palin's email account got hacked? They knew all the answers to her security questions because the information was on the internet. As far as child predators, I think back to an incident a few years back that happened in the CSRA.... a man became obsessed with a cheerleader whose picture he saw on the internet.

From using only the internet, he knew her name, her school, and enough information to help him stalk her.
Thankfully he was arrested while stalking her (who knows what he was going to progress to after he was done stalking), but that situation sticks out in my mind and I use it as a guide when posting information about my sessions. I ask myself if I'm giving that stalker too much information!

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