Saturday, 30 April 2011

Should I post photo's of my daughter online?

This is a subject that has been really bothering me all week and I have spent some time on twitter asking people's advice.

I am very new to the world of blogging and for the first time on Tuesday I checked where the traffic was coming from on my blog.  I found that a few people that were searching for disgusting things on google had been coming to my site.  Not many, and to be fair it didn't look like they had stayed long, but still if after a month of blogging this is happening surely it can only get worse?

When I first started blogging I wasn't going to reveal my real name and I most certainly wasn't going to put on photo's of me and my family.  However when I started looking into blogs and started to put together my own reading list I discovered that a lot of mummy bloggers did post photos of their children.  I am exceptionally proud of my daughter so I thought well why not?  Plus I also noticed that the blogs that I enjoy the most are ones with personal photo's on there, these are the one's which seem to engage me and grab my attention.

All was well and I was really enjoying blogging about my family and putting photos on of Mads for my Gallery and Silent Sunday posts.  Then on Tuesday I found out excitedly that I could check my stats and see all sorts of reports on how people were getting to my site and how they were finding me on google.  Some completely innocent, some a little bit strange. (A lot of people have found my site by looking up Hairy Daddy?!)  And then a few people were finding it by looking up obscene search words.  

When I first saw this I completely panicked and posted on twitter asking for advice.  I got some lovely reassurance from Karin at Cafe Bebe, and also Emma at The Real Supermum and Karen at Would like to be a Yummy Mummy who also explained that they had the same worries.  (If you click on their two blog names you will be directed to their thoughts on the subject.)  I also spoke at long length with Mr E who said that as long as I was careful why should I stop doing something that I enjoyed, at the end of the day there could be weirdo's looking at Mads in Tesco's, and if you thought that way you would never leave the house.  I decided it was right to be cautious but to put it down as a lesson learned.

Today however I have checked again and now I have noticed that I have been getting a lot of hits from a referring URL which is an image sharing website.  Again this could be completely innocent but I am now worried that people are sharing my photos.  I have decided that I am going to try and put a Copyright logo on my images from now on (or when I can get Mr E to design me one!) but again it has made me wary.

I understand that this sort of thing happens a lot and that I shouldn't be so sensitive but the thought of someone looking at my photos of Mads in a strange way or sharing my photos as their own makes me feel physically sick.  I have spoken to my Mum about it too, as well as discussing it with Mr E again and they have said that I should just relax and try not too worry but I do find it really difficult.  I don't want to stop posting photo's but I just have this at the back of my mind now and I am finding it really hard to shake it off.  When it comes to my personal facebook account I have thousands of photos on there but I have the maximum privacy levels so only friends can look at my photos and content, therefore why am I posting photos on my blog which is completely open and free to all?

Am I being over sensitive?  Should I just accept that I am putting on innocent photos that you could see in any magazine or television advert?  Should I stop putting photos of her and my family on there?  If I prefer blogs that have photos on does that mean I will lose potential readers by not adding them?  Does everyone get dodgy searches?

If anyone has any comments I would really appreciate it.


Mummy and the Beastie said...

I think wherever you go there will be worries like this and I too worried when I started my blog about what to reveal. I try to post pictures that don't show my son's full face and to try and keep some anonymity I use Beastie for my sons name and don't reveal my name. I know that I have recently posted pictures of my husband and I but that is for the same reasons as you said, people relate much better and enjoy personal photo's and I wanted to join in!

I have just searched my words and there aren't any really. One of them being 'Does Kate Middleton have a Golden Retriever' he he.

You are right to be cautious but don't let it spoil your blogging experience :-) x

Dianne x said...

I totally understand where you are coming from and your concerns. I do post pictures of my children and have asked several people about it. I think the majority of people I follow put family pics on their blog, which personally I feel helps you relate to their posts.

I have noticed some people I have tried to follow have a block on and they approve you before allowing you to follow, it might be worth looking in to that.

Keep posting I enjoy your blog

Dianne x

Frankie P said...

Mr P and i had a conversation about this when i started to blog and we decided that if i was to post photos of the boys then we would both have to agree on the photo. It is sad to think that an innocent photo could mean something else in the wrong hands.

I do like your idea of putting a copy write on the photos so i think i will look into that myself.

You just have to do want you feel comfortable with..

would like to be a yummy mummy said...

I share your same concerns and a while ago wrote this post:

I mostly show pictures that don't show the whole face or are from th back. The one on my header is going soon as it was pointed out to me that your photo could be cropped, blown up and your id could be stolen! Scary!!

I do worry about the weirdos out there which is such a shame as I would love to put millions of pictures off my family on my blog for everyone to see!

Liska said...

I have put my head in the sand with regards to this subject. Makes me feel sick x

WorkingLondonMummy said...

Great post. It made me think hard and in fact I took down a couple of photos as it is worrying who can see them. But I am trying to see how to lock photos so they cannot be downloaded

ChocOrange said...

Have been wondering this myself exactly. I don't put many photos of the Boy on the internet, there are only about 20 very choice ones on facebook for family. Like your hubby says though, anyone out there could be dodgy. I think we should be proud of our gorgeous kids though and not be afraid to show them off, after all most people aren't bad.

Nel said...

I've recently started blogging and have been wondering this too. I guess its the kind of thing new bloggers worry about?

Claire said...

As a relatively new 'mummy blogger' this is something I am currently grappling with. So far I have only post two photos of my little boy and one was with his back turned. Both times I hesitated. There are a lot of nasty types out there... But I am sure 99.9 per cent of the people reading your blog are doing it for the right reasons.

Emma said...

This blog has made me feel so much better, I came across your page through Emmas diary and have to say, it's beautiful. You and another Emmmas diary blogger have inspired me to start my own blog. I've made a few posts, all without pictures at the moment as I haven't fully got to grips with it. I'm not sure if I will ever post pictures (I haven't posted any on Facebook as I no longer talk or see 200 of the people on there!). It's something I'll talk to my partner about as its his child too.