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Family taking photos/videos without permission


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#1 MeeraK

Posted 04 August 2019 - 07:38 AM

Hi there - we have a 2-year-old and I feel quite strongly about her growing up away from being constantly photographed/videoed. It seems to be the norm these days, and I totally understand/respect why people do it - but I feel it might be harmful in the long run to be constantly watched and every little thing recorded through an iPhone - in terms of children becoming quite self conscious from an early age. We had so few photos growing up, and the ones we have are so precious. When we take photos of DD, we tend to use a good SLR camera which we bring out for important occasions. And when we video, we do it in a very observational way - standing back and filming so DD usually isn’t aware she’s being filmed, she’s just in the moment. We maybe capture one video a week, which I feel may still be too much. My question is - do you think it’s reasonable to expect others to follow these rules when they are with DD? Last time we visited my MIL, she kept taking photos and videos of DD on her iPhone - presumably to show her friends. It all felt very contrived so I asked her to please stop filming with her iPhone from now on as it makes me feel uncomfortable - and she apologised and said she wouldn’t do it again. However, while I was away for a brief moment recently the iPhone came out again for some filming - I caught her red handed but I didn’t say anything as she of course knew she was acting against my wishes. I’m just wondering what to do about it - should I raise it again, or just relax about the whole filming thing? It’s something that I feel deeply uncomfortable about, but perhaps I’m being unreasonable?

#2 Mose

Posted 04 August 2019 - 07:49 AM

Look, I certainly don't have your approach, but it really is an individual thing.

What I would say though, is that your MIL is quite likely to encounter social situations where all her other grandparent friends are showing photos and videos to each other.  Doesn't mean you have to provide her with any, but I can understand that if you only take (and presumably share) occasional photos, there would almost certainly be social situations where this makes her feel a bit left out.

You aren't under any obligation to do anything about that of course, but it might be interesting to talk to her about why she does it and whether there is anything you would be happy with that might be a compromise.  The fact you were able to talk to her about it at all suggests a comparatively strong MIL/DIL relationship which is generally not a bad thing!!


#3 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 04 August 2019 - 07:54 AM

It’s not unreasonable, but it’s going to be really hard to enforce these days. Everyone has a phone. And grandparents just love their grandkids.

Besides, one day you will accidentally wipe your phone, or your house will burn down, or your computer will get stolen, and you will be begging for a copy of all those sneaky photos and videos. Doesn’t hurt to have a back up, IMO.

#4 José

Posted 04 August 2019 - 07:54 AM

i think taking photos and videos for personal use is ok. if they were sharing ln social media without asking id be more uncomfortable. and i suppose it depends what they sre filming, if its playing id be ok, if its using the toilet i wouldnt!
like you, many people dont have so many photots of their childhood and family so they love how easy it is to take photos now so current and future generations have more photos than they had.
i bet most people these days dont have a good SLR camera, taking photos in their phone is how people take photos. i think it would be hard to ask people not to photograph with their phones.
its your child so i think you get to set your own 'rules' but if your rules are no videos or photos with phones i think you will find family will struggle to follow them!


#5 gracie1978

Posted 04 August 2019 - 07:56 AM

As long as she isn't posting them over social media it's probably not a big deal.
It's not like she's doing it daily.

You sound a little pretentious in your post.

#6 born.a.girl

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:01 AM

I'm one of six, husband one of three, all have kids, some quite a few, and have honestly not come across this concept at all.  Not to say your approach is unreasonable, just that it's extremely unusual.

I also feel that your reasons - becoming self-conscious just isn't true - most kids love acting up for the camera. That really depends on the child - if they're uncomfortable they're the ones that drive what you do.  We have very few photos of our daughter during her teenage years as she hated having her photo taken.  Is there any evidence that it can be harmful?


Agree with pp on context, too.  Some things shouldn't end up on record, or be put on social media without your permission.

#7 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:03 AM

Sorry, I think you are totally overthinking it! As long as granny isn’t posting them all to social media, I think you are just making your own life difficult. And the idea that you can ‘protect’ your kid from cameras to somehow improve their self image is simply laughable in the current iPhone era. Sorry!

#8 literally nobody

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:07 AM

another one for overthinking it. cameras are everywhere nowadays. can’t even pick your nose without big brother watching. then there will be parties where everyone just takes pics. your daughter may be in the background.. they may put it on social media and if you’re not friends with them on fb, then it’s on there without you knowing it. not a battle id pick, it would get exhausting.

#9 AliasMater

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:09 AM

I don't share your views and I do think you are being unreasonable. Posting on social media is one thing, but you haven't mentioned that. Your poor MIL, being told off for this. I dread becoming a MIL I really do.

There are very few photos of us as kids too, but that is not a good thing at all. Gee I wish there was more than the one that I have. I would especially treasure photos or video with my grandparents whom all died by the time I was 4.

There is one time in my child's life where I didn't take photos because I thought I wouldn't want to remember him that way (he was on ECMO). 11 years later it is one of my biggest regrets, and when I think about not having them, I feel a bit sick. I would love those photos now and so would he. The nurses told me I would feel this way and they were right.

Edited by AliasMater, 04 August 2019 - 08:17 AM.


#10 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:11 AM

As long as she isn't taking nude bathing photos, I think you are over reacting. When your little one goes to a friend's party, school, daycare etc expect her to be accidentally caught in photos even if you do not give media permission. In fact daycare and kindy are supposed to take photos to provide YOU the parent with a record of your child's learning. It's the easiest for them. Time to start relaxing your standards.

#11 Orangecake

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:13 AM

I think grandparents do love to show their friends. My own grandparents in the 1980s had a small album labelled "brag book" for each of us and would add photos my parents sent them over the years. When they passed away we ended up with our own little albums back again, along with bday cards, art etc we had made over the years.

In this case, I would send them some of the photos/videos that you are comfortable with. I'd also try and see the bigger picture - are they loving and involved grandparents? Your daughter will most likely cherish a good relationship with grandparents as she gets older, so I would focus on this.

I agree it gets very difficult to monitor as kids get older - daycare, school, bday parties, sports events all tend to have a lot of photos taken.

#12 Sweet.Pea

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:18 AM

View Postgracie1978, on 04 August 2019 - 07:56 AM, said:

As long as she isn't posting them over social media it's probably not a big deal.
It's not like she's doing it daily.

You sound a little pretentious in your post.

I agree with you!

#13 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:19 AM

I feel sorry for this grandma. She probably doesn’t have a special DSLR and a photographic aesthetic, and is just excited about her grandchild visiting.  

I do think it’s unreasonable not to let her take footage in her own home.    Can you discuss your values with her, so she doesn’t overdo it?

Ultimately there’s a whole world of experiences out there for your child, and each day older you have less and less opportunity to curate it for her.

Probably the best you can hope for is to explain your reasoning to your kid, and when they are outside your orbit make sure they have the vocab themselves to say no (if they want) to any filming, sugary food, toy guns, gendered clothing or whatnot

#14 Hands Up

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:21 AM

Your poor MIL. She’s not posting them on social media. Honestly your post sounds pretentious (who cares if it’s an iPhone or a “good” SLR?) and you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The rest of us don’t have a phone shoved in our kids faces half the time. I probably take photos or videos once or twice a week. Let your MIL take a few photos for God’s sake. Looking back on our photos and videos is a favourite past time and the kids love it too!

#15 BadCat

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:24 AM

Team overthinking.

I get that you want to do the very best for your child but is this really the hill you want to die on with your MIL?

#16 28 Barbary Lane

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:28 AM

I know what you mean about not wanting them to be recorded all the time, but from the other side, we have thousands and thousands of photos and little videos of the kids and love looking back at them now they are older. I could see a thousand more and it wouldn’t be enough.

To be honest I actually think it’s a bit mean not letting your MIL have little moments and reminders of time she has spent with her grandchild. She doesn’t see him every day. When you go home she can look at the videos and photos and feel so full of joy at how amazing he is and how fast he’s growing. She can show them to her friends and they’ll all share her joy and pride as well.

I totally get not wanting photos and social media, but telling her she can’t even take her own memories, and will have to wait to see if you will provide her with one of your fancy SLR photos or observational videos seems pretty cold and a bit controlling TBH.

#17 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:29 AM

if she’s not posting it on facebook or insta or similar then i can’t really see the problem. as a PP said - one day you may be grateful for the family photographer/archivist - those memories are priceless - i’d love to see a 2 year old me talking, or dancing or just “being” - there’s hardly any record of my infant years....

#18 WaitForMe

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:33 AM

I actually wish we took more photos/videos of the kids. We just aren't photo taking people and never remember.

My grandfather was a keen photographer (back in the day before social media or even the internet), and was always taking photos or fiddling around with his camera unknown whether he was taking shots or not. And as we lived very close by, it was a pretty standard feature of my childhood. I don't think it had a negative impact on me.

Its social media thats the problem.

#19 rainycat

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:41 AM

Poor Grandma, I think you are being unreasonable and need to chill on this one.


#20 vanilla_bear

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:48 AM

I think the OP referred to her SLR camera not because of the quality of the photos taken, but to indicate that photo taking was more of a deliberate act - going and getting the camera to purposefully take photos. As opposed to smart phones which we have on us all the time.

There is definitely a line (mine falls at posting on social media without permission), but for me your MIL isn't crossing it.

#21 harryhoo

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:49 AM

My parents and inlaws love to take photos and videos too and it first it irritated me a bit because as babies they seemed to constantly have phones in their faces. However, mum was telling me a story about how her and dad were lying in bed one morning watching a particular video over and over and were in awe of how "amazing" their grandson was. After that it chsnged my perspective and I realised that they're only doing it because they love them so much and the videos/photos bring them so much joy when they can't be with their grandkids.
DS went through a phase of not liking his photo being taken and everyone respected that.

#22 Just Jack

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:53 AM

Team overthinking here.

Is the self-consciouness an actual problem with your child, or is it something of your own that you're projecting onto her?

I don't want to sound harsh, but if this is the most serious thing you have to think about wrt your child, you're very fortunate.

As for me, social media and naked photos are my line.

#23 Abernathy

Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:57 AM

You can never have enough people who love and adore your kids. Try and appreciate that. So long as they don't post on the internet then I would embrace their interest in your kids. Not all families have this!

#24 Navy Blue

Posted 04 August 2019 - 09:02 AM

I kind of get where you're coming from OP.

I'm not on social media, and make it clear that I don't want pictures of my kids online. Some people don't follow this, which is disappointing.

With my IL's it annoys me that they take very little interest in the kids day to day, but then I know they share photos with friends/family playing the doting grandparents role. I don't say anything though.

A factor for me with photos and videos is that one of my kids had SN. 9/10 I'm nearby to assist, but he's still developing appropriate social skills and I really don't want his vulnerable moments captured.

#25 Apageintime

Posted 04 August 2019 - 09:16 AM

Some of the smart phone snapped photos of my DS as a toddler are my favourite. I LOVE the little videos of him when he first started walking and talking. Oh man that baby voice was so cute.

Also, I had a phone stolen and lost 6 months worth of pics. Thankfully Granny had LOADS and we were covered.

I kind of understand why you feel the way you do. But I think you're being unreasonable. I wonder if this is about control more than photos? I am really guilty of making MIL things bigger than they are because of control issues.

She's only going to show her old lady friends and maybe look at them herself over a cup of tea.




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