Sept-Oct Q & A: Photographing Kids

HEM’s Questions & Answers – Sept-Oct, 2011

Photographing Kids

My friend has a very popular homeschool blog. Several times she has written posts about activities that involved my children and included photos of them. I’ve told her I’m uncomfortable about this but she’s so caught up that her camera is ever present. I hate to stop seeing her, especially since our kids get along so well. Any suggestions? – Non-Blogging Mom

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7 Responses to Sept-Oct Q & A: Photographing Kids

  1. Ann Seeton on July 23, 2011 at 10:24 am

    By law unless she has a model release form she should not use the pictures of your kids if they can be recognized in the photos.

    You could make a firmer statement– one that is simple: you do not have permission to use pictures of my children, please remove them from your blog now.

    If she values the involvement of your family then she ought to remove the offending photos and refrain from using pictures of your kids in the future. If she doesn’t care– then why hang around her?

    You could also email the service that has her blog on it and complain about violations of your rights and the use of images without permissions– many blogs take violations seriously.

    You could go further and send her a letter through a lawyer requiring the removal of all pictures of your kids.

    The point is that your rights are being violated and you need to decide how you want to handle it.

    I’d ask firmly and then dump her as someone unworthy of my time if the pictures didn’t come down.

  2. Michelle B. on July 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Aside from the friendship issue of her not respecting your wishes…I would look more closely at why you’re worried about photos of your children being in her blog. What exactly do you think might happen?

  3. Elizabeth M. on July 23, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Honestly, I don’t think it matters *why* you don’t want the photos up. All that matters is that it’s important to you, you’ve told her it’s important to you, and she hasn’t respected your feelings and has consistently ignored your clearly stated boundaries.

    I would arrange to have coffee or tea with her, without the kids around. Then I would say to her, “This is something I’ve tried talking to you about before, but I don’t think I’ve made it clear how important it is to me.” (I’d say that just to give her the benefit of the doubt. Some people are so in the habit of ignoring the boundaries of others that they really don’t *hear* gently-stated “No”s.)
    Tell her: “I am not okay with you posting my children’s pictures on your blog. I understand that you get so caught up in taking photos that maybe you don’t even realize my kids are in the picture until you’re looking through the photos afterwards. But if that happens, then I need you to resist the urge to post those photos. This is really important to me.”
    If she presses you on the subject, telling you you’re making too a big a deal out of nothing, tell her that you understand that she doesn’t get why it’s such a big deal to you, and that’s okay — it’s okay if she just writes it off as one of your weird little quirks. We all have weird little quirks. But if she continues to post the pictures against your wishes, tell her that she’s going to be making it impossible for you to continue spending time with her and her kids. And if she posts photos of your kids again after this conversation, follow-through — don’t initiate any more visits, and if she invites you to do something, tell her clearly that you wish you could but that her unwillingness to respect your boundaries has made it impossible for you to accept her invitations.

    Good luck with what sounds like a really frustrating situation — I hope some of the advice here helps!

  4. Chris Peters on July 23, 2011 at 10:50 am

    There are a number of angles here. Asking not to photograph your children, or at least not their face, so they are unidentifiable in the image might be the easiest step.
    Ask for copies, you’ll appreciate them later. Is there something that she does with the images that you don’t like? Does she post them on facebook and tag their names? I post customer’s portraits online regularly, but I always ask if it’s ok and a few times I’ve been asked not to identify them.
    The other side of the coin is anyone can take pictures of anybody in a public space and publish them. It’s one of our freedoms. If you’re in a public space you have very little right to not be photographed.
    Feel free to contact me directly if you have anymore questions.

  5. Chris Peters on July 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Ann, Actually the law is not written that way. I could take a picture of children at the local park and publish them legally. I could even sell the image and make money, although most stock photos do need a release. Photographers are allowed to shoot in all public places without a release from subject in photo and as long as they are not breaking any other laws are within their rights.
    http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm
    A synopsis of US photographers rights.
    We need more information as to when, where and how the pictures were taken and why the is there discomfort about the photos.

  6. Chris Peters on July 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Let me put on more parent hat and look at this. I do not appreciate my kids getting plastered all over the internet by others. I do ask before posting pictures of anybody, kids or adults. One of our friends’ daughter is a ballet dancer and she really hates being tagged in photos in her leotard. She doesn’t want the world to see her in the leotard, although she doesn’t have a problem wearing it for dance performances.
    I have the right to take photos, although I do not always exercise that right. Do my kids need to grow up with their images plastered all over the web? No. It could be a problem later in life. Nor do I want people to have that access to them.

  7. Always Learning on July 28, 2011 at 6:17 am

    I “do not” think it matters why you do not want them on her blog. (Note:Michelle) I do think that you need to be more direct and ask next time she calls to play…”Is this a real play date or a photo shoot date?” If it is for the kid to play go if she has selfish, personal motives don’t go. If she values your friendship she will respect your wishes for your kids. Isn’t that why we homeschool, to be able to say what our kids do and do not do. Have a blessed day!