- the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.
- the state of being free from public attention.
What is Privacy? Is anything sacred anymore? Are there any boundaries? Can we choose what to reveal and choose wisely for once?
Let's be real! Social Networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat have exploded over the years. As a result we are seeing a widening gap between those oversharing as opposed to those who choose not to share at all. How can we as photographers bridge that gap in an ethical way? Well let's see.
So why do photographers share their work online?
#1WE ARE ARTISTS!
As such we want to display our ART. At the bottom of it all, photographers are artists in addition to being service providers. Anyone who creates custom photography for each of their clients is definitely an artist. Often the photographer has a purpose behind the imagery they share, hoping that sharing art makes people think or feel something. Thanks to the Internet, we can share our art with a wider audience than we could have before.
#2 WE SHOW OUR WORK TO ATTRACT MORE AMAZING CLIENTS
Photographers share highlighted images from their sessions because they are delighted of what they created, and hope that showing their work will attract more clients who will appreciate the type of art they create.
#3 THE PROCESS
Choosing an image for an upcoming social media post requires some thought and pre-planning. I find that the pictures I choose to share online are symbolic, meaningful and resonate with me on a deeper level. Any image chosen is a message to my audience. Whether to entice a feeling, strike a cord with my clients or share a lesson learned, each photo is meticulously chosen with a purpose.
A respectable photographer would never share a picture to make fun of someone, or to “go viral” at the expense of someone else. Respectable photographers will also only share photographs online that their client is comfortable sharing.
Some photographers offer options to keep select images private but this is rare practice and often times comes with an additional price tag. They might have a separate price structure for families who want to keep all their images private because the photographer cannot use the images for marketing. I find this unrealistic and unfair!
Everyone has a different comfort level. Some clients are unbothered by sharing publicly and others like to keep their images very private. Whatever the comfort level, my job as a photographer is to ensure that everyone feels "safe" throughout the entire process from the start of the booking to the delivery of the final product and beyond. Since the very beginning when my journey as a photographer began back in 2014, I vowed to myself that I will be open and honest with my clientele in respects to their privacy. I held this promise dear to heart . Naturally, I would want to have this done for me so I felt a sense of responsibility and decided to extend the same courtesy to my clients. It all goes back to my life principals and the respect I have for myself and my clients. Since client preferences vary my main goal is to always be on the same page, gain an understanding of why "that's so" and most importantly respect each individual clients decision, whatever it may be like a mother choosing not to showcase her newborn due to the fear of "evil eye", Whatever the reason may be my clients always have the upper hand. They are directly involved in my social media sharing process and are given a choice of selecting a set of images they approve to share. What is the solution for my most private clients you ask? Well....."detail shots" of course where the identity of my client is never revealed and the option is always "safe" while providing much needed content for my social media sites.
I take pride in remaining true to my initial promise of "privacy above all" and I hope to practice this for many years to come.
*Here is a side note to other photographers struggling with the same issue. Put your clients needs before your own. Gaining permission for all content posted will not only make you a better person but most importantly a respectful professional.