I was totally going to blog about my day and my frustration with house purchases, but then one of my good friends sent me this link and now I feel compelled to blog about this:
1st off, on behalf of MSNBC I would like to apologize to everyone for the 16-year-old-cheerleader big bubbly font they posted that in. I kept wanting to flip my hair and say "Like, Whatever!!!" as I read that.
For starters...this has been an ongoing issue over the last few decades. Our parents (if you're my age or older) had naked pics of us out the wazoo and never once were they suspected of doing anything wrong. As a photographer, I hate that #1 there is such a stigma attached to naked baby/kid photos and #2 that some people are idiots and can't tell the difference between an appropriate photograph and one that crosses that line, even if that line has changed some in recent years. As a former photolab manager, I also know that there are limits to what you can be prosecuted for, and that line is not something I would ever consider crossing when photographing my children or anyone else's.
I guess for starters, I think it should go without saying that your child's junk (be it girl junk or boy junk) should NOT be in photographs. While I totally get that photographing your naked child's cute bum may result in other parts slipping into a photo here or there. Guess what...this is the digital age...if you've got nutter butters in your photo...delete it! Your little girls girl parts have no business in a family photo album and likewise little boys boy parts. If they don't belong in a family photo album, they sure as shit don't belong on the internet. So to that end, keep the photos appropriate and keep your ass out of jail. Quite simple.
Issue #1 is that the internet is not monitored the way that mom's of cute babies would like it to be and that's a simple fact. If you have a blog, if you have a website, if you have a facebook/myspace/flickr not locked down to private-yes pedophiles could be looking at your photos...so could serial killers, stalkers, rapists, identity thefts, want me to keep going? The internet is a blessing and a curse. You can share your family stories and photographs with your family and friends, and you can also share it with people you don't want to. You have to be the judge of what you feel is an acceptable level of control of privacy on your sites, your photographs, and the content you place on your sites.
What this article has failed to point out is the fact that a vast majority of pedophiles can get off just by touching a child's toy or clothing. A photograph of your child in a baseball cap and t-shirt can be just as big a turn on to them as a photograph of your child in a diaper.
As for photographs of your child breezing through your back yard naked, well I don't let my kids outside naked, or near windows naked, or hell...even let them walk around the house naked! Naked is for birth, baths, and boinking (sorry, that's such a lame term but I was trying to stick with all B words). That's it. It's not the 50's, even though some of us wish it was.
Now to me, it's creepy to have a pic of a kid naked in a cop hat.
The artist in me says we cover up because we conform and it's bullshit and we should be more free.
The Christian in me says that we cover up because we are stupid and made ourselves believe it is shameful but it's not...yet we can't overcome that.
The mother in me says that I cover my children to protect them and to teach them what society says is appropriate.
The wife in me says I don't want anyone looking at my husband's junk but me, even if its a childhood pic.
As someone who's had her photographs stalked, copied, and used by other persons (sometimes the same person repeatedly), there is only one thing I can suggest. Don't put it publicly online if you don't want your worst enemy or worst nightmare of a human being seeing, copying, and using it.
The cops pepper the media with the information they want to, the information that they think the main stream Sally Dick or Joe can handle. That information gets filtered through the media in the way they want to present it to us to drive their ratings. The fact is that unless you work with pedophiles you don't know what makes them tick. If pedophiles are the reason the internet and photos scare you, then keep your babies off public sites.
I can't see myself ever deleting a photograph that I took because I was afraid that someone might find it. I can't see myself ever stopping the cute baby butt cheek photos that mom's love to have me take when I shoot their newborns. But I don't post those images online. Check my business site, my blog, my facebook or flickr and it's easy to see that I respect my subjects. Yeah. I shoot baby buns from time to time. Yeah I have photos of my little man in the bath, of him wrapped just barely in a towel, of him sitting facing away from me with his wrinkly butt cheeks fully exposed. I guess I just don't see the need for a full frontal photograph of a child ever ever ever. But if you're a parent who does...then its easy and simple and should go without saying that those images are private and should never touch the world wide web.
And if a pedophile ever drools over one of my photographs, he/she better hope to whatever god they pray to, that I never find out.