Sharing photos of your kids online is a touchy subject. I’m guessing most parents out there have an opinion one way or the other. While I don’t have kids, I do have friends with kids. And I always make sure I know how they feel about photos of their kids being posted. For example, the mom of one of my favorite toddlers posts photos of her son, but only to her private Instagram account. This means that I don’t post photos of him because my account is public, unless I’ve been given permission for a specific photo.
Whatever you as a parent decide—that it’s okay to post on a private Instagram, but never on Facebook or Twitter or that you’re fine with photos being shared, but never tagged, communicate your decision and your reason to your family and friends. As with most etiquette questions, being direct and honest is the best policy, and you’ll find that most people will comply with your request not to share photos.
Photo faux pas are most likely to occur at birthday parties or school events—times when you might not know the adults involved very well. If you are the host of an event, take the extra time to send an email to the parents after the invite has gone out asking whether or not they are comfortable with photos from the event being posted. Be sure to tell them where you plan to share them—Facebook, Instagram, your blog, etc. This way you’ll avoid uncomfortable emails after the fact. If you’re a guest to an event and especially sensitive about your child’s photos being shared, be sure to email the host in advance as well.
If you do find a photo of your child shared (and tagged!) on social media, the best bet is to simply email the person who posted it and request the photo be removed. If you’re okay with the photo being online, but don’t want it tagged, request that in the email. Most everyone will remove or untag the photos, based on your request. But if you encounter some resistance, explain your reasoning that will help them understand why it’s important to you.
The bottom line: When in doubt wait to post. Send an email asking for permission from the parents, and if you get the okay, share the photo. That’s what the #latergram tag was made for, after all.