A discussion about photo privacy on Shutter Sisters made me curious - has anybody used my photos online without my knowledge? I thought it possible that at least one or two have been copied or shared among people I don't know, it's common for people to share images they like with friends. But how would I ever know? Going out on a limb, I did what I thought was obvious, Googled theloushe flickr - my username and the site where I share my photos most publicly - and here is what I found credited to me:
1. My own photostream.
2. My own blog
3. Article about traveling with children (photo of my child and a friend's children)
4. Flickr "Hive Mind" page that collects photos with the tag "siblings" (by the time you go there, the pics of my friends' children in a peach orchard will probably have slid by)
5. Hive Mind "best" page of pics featuring Cary Street...the chandelier from the Byrd is mine. Not sure how long it will be considered "interesting."
6. A collection of click beetle photos (three of mine from May 23 are in there)
7. An announcement featuring a recent Byrd photo of mine
8. "Knowledge-worker" blog entry using a "pedestrians keep right" photo I took on the bridge to Belle Island
9. Something I cannot read (Russian?) that I'd like to translate, because it includes a photo of my sons jumping in a puddle.
10. Search for non-theistic images that includes a shot of my bookshelf, containing The God Delusion
11. Gifted education post with photo of my older sons on Belle Island
12. And old favorite shot of vitamins used on a health entry.
...and the last pic I can find, which the blogger has captioned "child communicating with his hands", is...
13. My eldest unintentionally flipping the bird at the camera. The blog entry (translated from Spanish) is titled "More gestures lead to a better vocabulary." Oh, joy.
Who knows what uncredited photos are out there. Based on what I've just found, I'm content that people are finding me, not feeling like I've shared too much. There's a delicate balance between exchanging information and putting creativity out there and exposing yourself. Many people worry about what might become of their photos. There is a strong concern about photos of children being available to "perverts" and disagreement about how likely this is, and how much harm is really done. There is also concern about creative ownership. It seems likely that there are uncredited photos of mine out there, and I'm not sure how much concern I feel over this. What is the actual cost to me or to my family? Thus far, I feel that there is more to be gained than to be lost by sharing, so I will continue to use sites like flickr.
What parts of yourself have you put out there for all to see? What is fair game, and what do you think you should protect?