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Why do we share



You may have noticed that I have removed all of my beautiful images from my Instagram, Facebook, website and Google page.

“Have you gone mad? You’re a photographer, photographers share their images don’t they?”

I can assure you I haven’t gone mad and yes photographers do share their images don’t they. My question is why? Why do we share images from our sessions online? I graduated from University 19 years ago and it was a different world back then. I sound old don’t I because when I started photography at college and even up until half way through my degree everything was created using film. Then digital cameras appeared and mobile phones improved and before we all knew what was happening sharing images became part of our daily lives.

A few months ago I saw a story and post on Instagram by another photographer based in Australia, sharing information about an organisation called Project Rescue Children. I find anything related to child cruelty and abuse difficult to read because I was a victim from the age of 11-16. Even years later, after counselling I still struggle. When I became a mother myself it opened up buried emotions. It never ever goes away. When a child is abused, even after they are rescued, there are scars that never go away. So when I started following Project Rescue Children I was motivated to look at my own website and social media pages and it was a lightbulb moment.

I found myself questioning why do photographers share their work online? What do we gain from it? Some might answer more customers. I always ask my new clients how they found me. I’ve never heard “from Instagram.” All of my customers say Google searches or word of mouth. Then I started thinking about photographers 20-30 years ago. Their customers may have seen an advert in the Yellow Pages (remember those!). Or the BT phonebook. The photographer may have arranged over the phone to visit them to show them a beautiful printed portfolio with a selection of their work, or if they were studio based they could pop in or view their window display. How lovely to have this interaction. To talk to a potential customer, face to face, and see their reaction to your work and how much they would like the same for their own family. The internet has robbed this from us in a way. I have absolutely no idea who viewed my work when I posted. I knew if I received some likes and comments but apart from that I had absolutely no control over whose eyes were looking.

It is awful to think of evil people but unfortunately they exist. They are sadly part of the societies we live in. Where we build our homes to raise our children and where we take them on days out and holidays. Pretending the world we live in is safe and sugar coating reality is not preparing our children for reality. Images posted online can travel far and fast. They can end up being edited in sinister ways and shared in the darkest depths of existence.

As a professional photographer my customers are hiring me to provide a service to them not the rest of the world. I have never shared without parental consent and recently quite a lot of my customers have chosen not to share. One thing that every customer does when answering the question to say no to sharing is apologise:

“Hi thank you so much for asking, I appreciate that. I’d rather no photos are shared on website or social media if that’s okay please it’s simply because I just want the photos to be private to me and because I don’t really want my baby to be shared publicly. I’m sorry and thank you for asking.”

I obviously reassured this new Mum that I completely understand. As parents we are in charge of whether a photographer shares or not. When I became a Mum I also chose not to share photos of my baby publicly online. As a family we chose to share privately via an app called Lifecake. It was nice to have the reassurance that only family members who had been added could see. This website lists others like this: https://famisafe.wondershare.com/app-review/best-photo-sharing-app-for-families.html I don’t remember when or why I started sharing on my social media. Sometimes we just end up following the crowd. My advice to new parents is don’t! Share if you want to but share after researching. Who can see, who can share etc. In my experience family members prefer physical prints and books of the newest members of their family. If you don’t know where your image will end up then think about what you are posting.

For more information about online sharing visit https://www.projectrescuechildren.org

Thank you to Erin at Studio Camille for the inspiration to change my business https://www.studio-camille.com.au/about/




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