Personal photos on your blog?

30 replies
Do you think this is a bad idea? I started some blog posts about my kids, and I was including photos but just changing names. Then I was thinking maybe this wouldn't be good online for privacy reasons, and I should use stock photos instead. I just thought it would make it more personal with my readers. What do you think?
#blog #personal #photos
  • Profile picture of the author gamestoenjoy
    If you want to show your personal life to your readers, I don't see any problem in posting pictures of yourself or your kids in your blog. After all you do it on Facebook all the time...
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    • Profile picture of the author mikeink
      Posting pictures of your kids is okay. Just do not post their ages. First names are okay. Last names I would leave off. Locations could be touchy that is up to you.

      On a personal blog location may be okay with you, as long as it is people that you trust, that look at the blog. Like grandparents, family and (close friends).
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  • Profile picture of the author trump7
    Yes you can post the pictures of your kids on your blog and it is ok but you should not identify the identity of your kids.
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  • Profile picture of the author Samuel Adams
    Sharing family photos is a good way to make an emotional connection with your readers; but use common sense. For instance, never mention the name or location of your child's school. Also, don't publish a photo of your child wearing a school or team jersey as this could easily identify your location and lead to security issues for your family.
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Ford
    Yes.. Great.. Good idea for creating a kids blog. I think so far all people need a personal photo blog. Such as, I have a personal photo blog where i added my all personal photo and create a section for my kids, And obviously i did it with a strong privacy. I did not added here any sure name. Just put here nick name without any address. At the end, i want to say your decision is really great. Carry on...
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    There is no problem doing it and in fact it can attract more real visitors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by madelyndon View Post

    Do you think this is a bad idea?
    Yes; I think you should avoid it, if you're in any doubt at all.

    In the interests of privacy, and avoiding (especially as a woman) the potential future problems to which resentment and hostility can give rise, if you become successful.

    I don't follow this advice, myself , because when I started out, I was too naive to realise how important it might become, and now it's too late for me anyway, because the damage is done.

    I think it's an important (and widely under-appreciated point), and I congratulate you on being aware of it at the outset. I wish, with hindsight, that I had been.

    The theory that it "can attract more visitors" is deeply flawed, in my opinion, because in reality if photos are going to do that, the same outcome can just as easily be achieved with drawings, cartoons, silhouettes and all the other ways in which photos can be amended to make yourself still "there in a picture" but without actually being recognisable.

    A pen-name is just as personal, brandable and trustable as your real name.

    Originally Posted by madelyndon View Post

    I was thinking maybe this wouldn't be good online for privacy reasons
    I agree with that part.

    Originally Posted by madelyndon View Post

    and I should use stock photos instead.
    I don't agree so much with this part. You'd need to be very careful indeed over the exact terms of service regarding the potential usages (and their limitiations) of "stock photos", if doing that. It's easy to walk into legal problems if you're not very careful. Don't imagine that just because sites offer "stock photos" for use, or for sale, that it's necessarily ok to use them to represent "your own likeness" on a monetized website: that wouldn't always be so at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Yes; I think you should avoid it, if you're in any doubt at all.

      In the interests of privacy, and avoiding (especially as a woman) the potential future problems to which resentment and hostility can give rise, if you become successful.

      I don't follow this advice, myself, because when I started out, I was too naive to realise how important it might become, and now it's too late for me anyway, because the damage is done.

      I think it's an important (and widely under-appreciated point), and I congratulate you on being aware of it at the outset. I wish, with hindsight, that I had been.

      The theory that it "can attract more visitors" is deeply flawed, in my opinion, because in reality if photos are going to do that, the same outcome can just as easily be achieved with drawings, cartoons, silhouettes and all the other ways in which photos can be amended to make yourself still "there in a picture" but without actually being recognisable.

      A pen-name is just as personal, brandable and trustable as your real name.



      I agree with that part.



      I don't agree so much with this part. You'd need to be very careful indeed over the exact terms of service regarding the potential usages (and their limitiations) of "stock photos", if doing that. It's easy to walk into legal problems if you're not very careful. Don't imagine that just because sites offer "stock photos" for use, or for sale, that it's necessarily ok to use them to represent "your own likeness" on a monetized website: that wouldn't always be so at all.
      This made a lot of sense to me and exactly my worry. If I do become successful and known in the mommy world, I'm not sure having my kids out there for all to see is wise. I'm actually selling something on my site (kid photo invitations I create) but I will also have a blog where I write about kid parties and also just my life in general, about kids and being a working mom. My husband thinks I should just be truthful, because it is no different than being in the real world and someone stalking you and your family. It happens whether you are online or not, but I guess online I'm actually the one putting it all out there, so I would feel was the one to blame if it all went wrong. I maybe over thinking it, but I also don't want to go through the work of adding all these photos and then having to change them. I actually like the idea of silhouettes and my logo is one, so maybe I'll stick with that and keep it all consistent.

      Thanks to all for the advice!
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      • Profile picture of the author Ehsan Shujan
        I think it largely depends on your online activity.

        If you are promoting other people's stuffs as we do in affiliate marketing then there is absolutely no reason to post any personal photos. In this type of work i don't think there is any requirement of doing that.

        If you by all means want your blog readers to be emotionally connected with you & your kids then posting pictures may provide better results.

        If you want to brand yourself in the industry you are working in then again posting photo might be helpful.

        If your blog is a personal blog then i would suggest to post pictures.

        Last of all, as Alexa presented it nicely, if you have the slightest concern about your privacy then avoid posting personal pictures by all means. Privacy & personal security is far more important than your blog.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by madelyndon View Post

        My husband thinks I should just be truthful, because it is no different than being in the real world and someone stalking you and your family. It happens whether you are online or not
        I really don't agree with your husband about that.

        I know that that seems a completely logical and reasonable perspective, and it's what I used to think, myself. Some experience of malicious trolls online has significantly changed my mind.

        One encounters people online whom one probably wouldn't encounter elsewhere, including some people who have been struggling for many, many years to achieve any success at all. It's much easier than one at first realises (and perhaps especially for women?) to stir up the type of hostility and resentment which can lead to some really abhorrent and abusive behavior. It's just not worth risking it, when it's actually avoidable, with good planning and care.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeffery Moss
        Originally Posted by madelyndon View Post

        This made a lot of sense to me and exactly my worry. If I do become successful and known in the mommy world, I'm not sure having my kids out there for all to see is wise. I'm actually selling something on my site (kid photo invitations I create) but I will also have a blog where I write about kid parties and also just my life in general, about kids and being a working mom. My husband thinks I should just be truthful, because it is no different than being in the real world and someone stalking you and your family. It happens whether you are online or not, but I guess online I'm actually the one putting it all out there, so I would feel was the one to blame if it all went wrong. I maybe over thinking it, but I also don't want to go through the work of adding all these photos and then having to change them. I actually like the idea of silhouettes and my logo is one, so maybe I'll stick with that and keep it all consistent.

        Thanks to all for the advice!
        It makes sense that you would want to talk about your children on your blog as your business is related to children products. And, of course, you want your potential buyer and blog reader to know you are a mom and have experience with this type of product and understand the concerns of other moms. What you might do, is make is so that posts where your children appear are only visible to registered blog users. Is that an option with your blog software? This might reduce the chance that a perfect stranger coming in from Google will randomly see your children. I hope that idea helps you out. And, best of luck with your site.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          My husband thinks I should just be truthful, because it is no different than being in the real world
          I also take issue with that. In the "real world" you choose who you associate with and who you expose yourself and your children to.

          You don't parade them in front of a pedophile's home or walk them through bars or similar areas. Online, no choice of who is looking at you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Davidconstable
    I think you can post your personal photos on the blog, there is no problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author AzizA1
    Many Internet Marketers use pen names & stock photos rather than their real name & picture. ...Others (like myself) just use one real photo & real name.

    You don't really need to provide more than your photo, name, town & country where you live (but this isn't necessary!). As long as you keep it to the bare minimum, this should be fine.

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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Click through, and you'll see 10,000 plus personal photos of me on my blog lol! If you want to brand yourself, gain trust, and be transparent, post the personal photos. If the privacy fear thing clouds your mind, real, legit, successful blogging, is not an option for ya cause most readers will sense your fear of being transparent, and head for the hills hahaha....all the best!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      If you want to show photos of yourself, that's fine. Your business or job - offline or online - does not require you to give up your privacy. It's a choice you make.

      For children, though, it feels wrong to me to make that decision for a child. If it's a public site it's open to weirdos to look at and you may think you can't be found but you might learn differently. I wouldn't take the chance but that's just me.

      You can write stories about your children - tell cute things about them - without identifying them by name or by photo.

      At the time the internet was growing I had a reason (a stalker) for not putting my photo online....by the time I considered adding a photo I decided I didn't want to.
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  • Profile picture of the author vishwa
    If you are really concern about your privacy, I will suggest you to follow the advice made my Alexa Smith.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vid Yo
    Responses such as "Sure, it's ok to post your kids pictures" seems to be based on concluding the OP is asking if it's legal or illegal. These type of answers also seem to be ignoring the fact that children are human beings and not objects--meaning they WILL eventually grow into their own opinions about how they are involved (perhaps without their permission) in the activities we are engaging in today.

    There's no doubt it's more personal but if you feel a strong sense of anxiety as you're posting the pictures, I would say don't do it. Better yet, ask your kids if they mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    I have always avoided putting my kids' pictures online until they're adult or - in the case of my middle son - 6'2, 190 pounds of badass "he can kick your ass and knows how to shoot straight" physical brawn. IE: He's not someone you'd want to mess with as a kidnapper.

    I also disagree with your husband. Sorry to say but online, people let their creepiness shine through - and men get weird (I'm sure some women do too). I wouldn't risk it.


    I'd be honest and just say, "I'm protective of my kids!" Nothing wrong with that!
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    • Profile picture of the author Samuel Adams
      Originally Posted by TiffanyLambert View Post

      Sorry to say but online, people let their creepiness shine through - and men get weird (I'm sure some women do too). I wouldn't risk it.


      I'd be honest and just say, "I'm protective of my kids!" Nothing wrong with that!
      When you think about it that way, there is little way to control who sees your content online, especially on a blog. If the photos were posted on Facebook, then you could adjust the privacy settings so that only certain people could see them. If there is a concern about the family safety, the err on the side of caution.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
    Like Lexy and Tiffany, I'd w̶o̶r̶r̶y̶ ** about stalkers and not put anything there that would allow one to discover where you and your family live spend any time.

    **take precautions so as not to worry
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexander Mak
    A real life picture shows your audiences that this is a real person behind, and he is not afraid to reveal himself because he is running a legit business and provide value for people, It can psychologically create a more intimate bond with your readers. It effectively prevents you from being dismissed as a spam at the first glance.
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  • Profile picture of the author jwebb117
    I'm always iffy about posting personal photos on the web. This is probably just paranoia, though. I don't use facebook at all except for business so there's that. I agree that it can probably help make you feel a lot more personable to your clients. I've also heard of photos driving customers away based on the way the person looks, however.
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  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    When I had my personal blog I decided not to post pictures of my son. The choice is yours. There are a lot of arguments for and against.

    Just keep in mind that once you post a picture of your child, you have no control over who sees it or who uses it for their own purposes. Based on a lot of threads I've seen on this forum, a lot of people don't think twice about scraping photos from other sites to use for themselves.

    I've read some horror stories about parents posting pictures of their kids, only to find them being used on less than reputable websites. That's the risk you're taking.
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    • Profile picture of the author wtatlas
      All the people who have said that using real pictures of your family will help create a bond with your readers are drawing a conclusion that is not valid. It's another one of these IM "myths" that gets bandied about with no evidence either for or against. If you don't know a person, then how do you know you are looking at "real" pictures of their family or not? How do you know if someone is using their real name or not?

      Perhaps you assume so because they tell you they are but they could be using stock photos and assumed names and telling fibs. So what's to prevent a blog owner developing the same bond by using photos of models? The photos are only one part of a bigger equation which includes written content and products.

      Alexa Smith made the point that stock photo agencies might not be happy about you using their photos and representing the models as you or your children. The simple way around this is not to claim that the photos are of you or your family. A photo of kids that illustrates whatever your product is about is all you need. Let people assume they are your kids if they want; no need to disillusion them!

      Personally I think that, potential security issues aside, your children have a right to their own privacy and might not welcome seeing their photos plastered all over "Mommy's blog".

      One of my daughters has a website which supplies items for babies and young children and she has resisted using any photos of her own children.

      It doesn't appear to have made any difference to the rapport that she has with her clientele or to the level of sales that she achieves.
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      • Profile picture of the author Vid Yo
        Originally Posted by wtatlas View Post

        All the people who have said that using real pictures of your family will help create a bond with your readers are drawing a conclusion that is not valid.... The simple way around this is not to claim that the photos are of you or your family. A photo of kids that illustrates whatever your product is about is all you need.
        You say it's not valid, but what is valid is that we, as humans, are social creatures. I'm convinced it's human nature.

        If a blogger told me "this is little junior I've been telling you all about", and another said nothing about the pics they put up, I would instantly feel a huge connection with the first blogger that I wouldn't with the 2nd.

        ...just sayin'.
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  • Profile picture of the author evakent256
    If you want to avoid being judged, personal photos are never a good idea. People will know who you are and they will start to talk about what you do good and what you do bad. I would say anonymous blogging is the best idea, no? Use an alias, and stock photos
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  • Profile picture of the author carlo_sim
    It really depends on your goals as a marketer. Most of the high profile marketers present their personal photos online so that they can build trust with their audience and then translate that online trust.. offline.

    Once trust is established, it's now easier for them to monetize their blog with other offline activities such as events, talks, consulting services, etc.

    Each marketer has different goals. Plan out your campaign beforehand, list down your ways of monetizing your campaigns then decide on how you are going to present yourself online.
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  • Profile picture of the author youvana
    I personally like to keep my professional and personal life separate and so I reveal very little about my family online within my business. I suppose it depends on what you are doing, a friend of mine runs a blog where she blogs about her family and kids and makes money on her site from sponsors and from reviewing products. She does really well too and gets some fantastic products to review for free. However in my case I don't want to bore my personal friends with my Marketing activities so I spare them the annoyance
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