Posted on 58 Comments

Using kids photos without consent – cool, or not ?

On twitter today, I have been called names because I don’t think that its right to post photos of other people’s children online in recognisable photos on the public internet without asking their parents if its ok to do so.

It’s simple for me, but not for all.

I told what I think is a pretty innocent tweeter that I didn’t think it was cool to post. She had taken pictures of two children in a shop that she didn’t know, and who didn’t know they were being photographed, and posted the picture online to talk about how obese they were to raise awareness of a very real problem affecting many children nowadays.

I don’t think that is proper, but I can see how others might not think about it until someone else mentioned it.    I don’t think its enough justification for the two photographers who jumped on the tweets to start calling me names over it.

I’m not going to go into it all, but they were a couple of photographers that seem to think there are no consequences in this world, and don’t care about anyone elses feelings.   As far as they are concerned, they are going to take pictures of anyone, anywhere, and do whatever they want with them, including anybody’s kids that they take pictures of.  As far as they are concerned, people like me who would like to be asked before their kids pics were put on the internet are idiots.

Do all photographers think like that, or is it just the male kind?

In my view, the least anyone can do morally and ethically is to ask permission of parents of children that you are taking pictures of, if it is ok to use them in a public online place.   Many many people have valid reasons for NOT wanting recognisable pictures of their children posted online.  I don’t think it’s an unreasonable expectation to want to be asked  before for such an intrusion.

One told me that just because I “shat” out kids, I didn’t have the right to take the moral high ground.

The other told me that we shouldn’t go out in public if we don’t want to be photographed !!

Debate, right or wrong, what do you think?


For those asking to see the tweets/conversation.

My original tweet in response to seeing the pictures of two children and being talked about due to their size was to reply to the person who took them and say that I would delete them if I were her as posting pics of kids she had no permission to was not cool.

She was trying to show the potential dangers of chidren who are overweight in this world to highlight where adults are damaging their kids by leting them get overweight, but using very recognisable pictures of children she had taken in a supermarket.

I have a couple of tweets in my favourites, and I can’t for the life of me locate my favourites on the new twitter web.  I also have no idea how to lift conversations from twitter to post here, or I would have.

Two photographers who were not the ones who took the pictures decided to take it to a whole new level of discussion as they proceeded to call me all sorts for having an opinion that is not the same as theirs.  They were determined to nastily defend the right to use a picture in any way they see fit.

We can have differences of opinions and ideas, and if we don’t like what someone else has to say, we can challenge it.  Where it becomes not acceptable in my view is when people decide to get personal and call us names.

A nice photographer came on later and debated the issue, and apologised for the abuse I had received.  I did not give the two who were nasty any abuse back, rather I tried to discuss it with them, but they were not prepared to discuss, only to call names.

The original photographer who posted the pictures apologised for causing such offence and said she would remove them.

It seems to be that photography students might be being told the legal side which is that pictures in a public place are fair game, and that it is up to their own code of ethics and morality what they do with them.

I don’t know what the definition of public and private place is.

I am also glad of the support of the mum bloggers who have the same opinion as I do that random children should not be used for the sake of someone else’s idea of art.

To me, if they have to ignore the potential subjects feelings to portray what the photographer wants to, then there is something wrong with using or taking the picture.

That is my opinion, and I am open to discussing others opinions on the subject which seems to be a huge emotive debate.

Am I defender of those two children that I don’t know, yes, I guess in a way I am.  If someone did that to my children I would be furious, and I would hope that if anyone saw pictures of my children on the internet without consent, that someone would stand up for them.