Digital Privacy and Family Photography

My Family’s Digital Privacy Policy

Digital privacy is something that has been on my radar from the first minute I picked up a camera and started my family photography journey. At that time in our lives, my husband and I didn’t post our children’s faces online, even on our private, personal social media accounts. If a family member posted a group photo of our family, they would use an emoji to cover their faces because they respected our decision regarding internet safety.

Once we moved away from the States and were farther away from family and friends than we had ever been before, my husband and I began sharing our boys’ photos on social media more. We wanted family and friends that normally got to connect with them to continue to do so.

I don’t think any one policy is “better” than the others, but I do think that it’s important for parents to come up with an intentional approach to sharing their child’s photos online.

Your Choices in Digital Privacy after a Family Photography Session

Not every parents wants to be as stringent as we were before we moved, and I don’t blame them. Kids are adorable and part of parenting is documenting every silly little face they make. In my work as a family photographer, I have had parents request that I follow various policies when posting their children’s images, and I always adhere to them. If you’re looking to develop your own family’s digital privacy policy after a photography session, I’ve listed the various policies I’ve come across, from least stringent to most private.

baby smiling close up

Full Reign

“Post whatever you like.” Most families give me full reign to post all the images from their session with zero stipulations. I’m sure to never list your children’s full names or birthdays (more about Private Identifying Information later).

If this is not your family’s policy, read on!

“Don’t tag me in the photos.”

Some parents are fine with me posting the photos, but they don’t want to be tagged. On Instagram, profiles have a section displaying images the user has been tagged in. Take this photo for example: since my photography account is public, anyone would then be able to go to this mother’s profile and see the images of her daughter if I had tagged her in them. She keeps her daughter’s images off her social media, but she didn’t mind if her images were on my photography account.

“Don’t post their faces.”

Some parents are completely fine with their child’s images being posted, provided their face isn’t shown. If this is your digital policy and you would like images of your family with your children’s faces hidden so that you can post them on your own social media, guilt-free, please let me know beforehand, so I can be sure to snap a couple of these for you!

“We don’t really post our child online at all.”

That’s totally fine! Your children are your children, and it’s your job to keep them safe. I totally understand not opening up the can of worms that is the internet before you have to. Parenting a toddler is hard enough without worrying if you sharing her having a meltdown over lunch is something her future law firm colleagues are going to tease her over.

Digital Privacy and Personal Identifying Information and Family Photography

A couple of years before I was born, my aunt and uncle had to go to court, toddler and newborn in tow, to explain to a judge that their six week old couldn’t possibly have taken out a line of credit. Someone had stollen their newborn’s identity, and during a time where these parents should have been catching up on sleep or spending time with their older daughter, they were preparing a legal case.

This sounds crazy, but it’s not uncommon. Children are more than 50% more likely to have their identity stollen than an adult. And it makes sense now days more than ever, with so many parents making newborn announcements on Instagram, which include the baby’s full name, date of birth, and the hospital where the baby was born. In fact, if I search a hospital in my hometown on Instagram and view the posts tagged at that location, there are no shortages of newborn announcements featuring the baby’s full name and date of birth, often times in conjunction one or both parent’s names as well.

As a family photographer, I am careful to never write out a child’s full name on my instagram. I never wish your child “Happy Birthday” publicly, and if you’ve lovingly decorated your nursery with a big name display, I will blur out the name when I post the photos on my social media.

Your choices matter, and you have control over your images when it comes to your children’s privacy.

Light and Airy Amsterdam Photographer Sim Sawyers

Sim Sawyers is a family photographer living in Amsterdam, Netherlands with her husband and two boys.

To see her galleries, click here.

To book a session, use the booking tab on her website or email her directly at

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