If I photographed your child…

For those who have been following my photography or my family you all know that the biggest motivator in my start with photography has been photographing my own children as I’ve watched them grow. I’m the mother who has taken photos at every game, every event, in school, out of school, at dinner, at home, you name it and my camera is with me. it’s become a way of life that is so important to me because years from now I know there are so many moments I want to be able to look back and remember. I recall when Hope began kindergarten about a month into the school year we went in for an open house and her kindergarten teacher had so many photos to share with all the parents of our children in school learning, playing, and yes, growing. It meant so much to me that her teacher took photos of moments with my little girl as she was doing so many new things in kindergarten. That year with the support of her teacher I volunteered several times throughout the year to help out with the class but also to photograph moments with the kids. I ended up taking thousands of photos of Hope and her classmate and spent countless hours creating a keepsake book and burning dvd’s to ensure all the parents had photos of their kids.

Fast forward two years and life is incredibly busy. I still go in to take tons of photos of the kids and have enjoyed every minute of it but I’ve been too busy to make a book each year and to provide the parents with the photos. I feel guilty because if I were the parent knowing a professional photographer was visiting the class taking photos of my child I would be eager to see the photos and would be more than willing to pay for copies of the photos. I just have no  way of sharing the photos easily for the parents to both see and download without having an online proofing system. The little bit of funding that would make this process of sharing photos easier for me to share with the parents would be enough to recoup the expenses to enable a secure online for the parents to proof photos of their children. Add in the time I spend to take photos of the kids and as  you all can see – the efforts are more to ensure I enabled the parents a way to acquire photos of their children that I know they’d cherish.

I suppose for me posting photos online has always been a concern but with the security available these days through online photography proofing sites I’m a little surprised to hear the school not supporting the idea. I proposed the idea of posting photos for the parents online securely to purchase the downloadable digital files at a very affordable rate, enough to ensure parents had a way to obtain the photos but to also ensure it recouped the expenses of a proofing site. I definitely would never compromise sharing photos publicly without consent of the parents, which is something I always receive before sharing photos I share with you all.  Maybe I’m the only one obsessed with photos of my children but I would think (or hope) parents would be interested in seeing photos of their children. I highly doubt it would be a profitable portion of my business in comparison to the other photography but I’m so devoted to education that I have no doubt that if it were profitable it’d lead me to do more to help the school.

So with that I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts. If you knew a professional photographer was at your child’s school or an event would you be opposed to the photos being posted online if they were accessible through a secure online proofing site? I’d appreciate everyone taking a moment to take the survey below and then if you have comments please let me know your thoughts.

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May 5, 2010 - 10:44 am

Barbara Peterson - I have absolutely no qualms about you doing this but if anyone votes NO I’d think it might be that they don’t trust others to be as diligent as you are about controlling the photos access. That might be the school’s problem – not you. I’m assuming if they approved it then others might be able to do the same? Though anyone would be a generous of their time as you are.

Though I see photos of other friend’s friends’ kids all the time on FB. Humm.

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