Let’s cut to the chase:
If images of real life, daily shenanigans and bare butts offend you – I’m probably not the right photographer for your family.
What some of you may not know is that I am a European native. In our world a kid’s bare butt on the beach is nothing to get up in arms about, but rather as natural as wearing sunglasses on a sunny day. Nobody really enjoys sitting around in a wet swimsuit, right?
I recently posted about looking for California families to do A Day In The Life sessions with in a Facebook photographer group. The photo I chose to accompany said post is a beach session image of a kid’s bare bottom. I used this particular picture to demonstrate that I take a real and unfiltered approach to photography – to attract the type of family that would appreciate these types of images.
I have the parents’ consent to use said image online.
As it turns out, some people were hugely offended by this image. While members of the Facebook group post nude photos of women on a daily basis, this image of an innocent childhood moment proved too much for some.
One of the commentators said that posting the photo is providing material for pedophiles. Sadly pedophiles are sexually attracted to children – whether they are wearing clothes or not. Even if I didn’t post this particular image, predators will find millions of other pictures online.
A second comment stated that the child should be wearing underwear. My job is not to intervene in someone else’s parenting, but simply to document what unfolds in front of me. I believe we should let kids stay innocent for as long as possible, and forcing a child to cover up their body may cause them to become shameful and self-conscious far too early in life.
I was told to take the image down (not by group admins, but by other members of the group). After some consideration I did remove the image. Not because I changed my views on kiddo butt pictures, but because the main point of my post got lost – nobody was commenting on it because they wanted a DITL session.
The picture will remain in my portfolio, because showing the type of work I want to shoot is essential for finding my ideal clients. That being said, I respect a family’s wishes if they do not want compromising images of their clothes-discarding kids to be shared online – a family’s trust is essential for me to be able to do what I do.
I am positive that my kids will inherit the Finnish let’s- shed-our-pants-asap gene from me. And I will let our photographer snap away.
Hop on over here if you’d like to read more about how my documentary approach differs from lifestyle sessions.