I discovered my love for displaying memories in a scrapbook long, long ago, a trait I also loved about my grandmother. My first album I believe was from her – back when they were comprised of what looked like black construction paper. For my 13th birthday, I got a fancy one with hard plastic covering the photo; I still have both and just recently took the photos out. I will be making decisions on which ones to preserve and looking for ideas on what to do with the others, which will number in the hundreds, if not thousands.
By the time I graduated from high school, I had two large albums full in addition to the two I mention above. Dave & I got married and as our children grew, albums were added to the collection on the living room shelves. Our scrapbooks were often looked-through and thoroughly enjoyed by many. So I started to wonder, is there a difference in this digital age?
Well of course there is, is what I am thinking, but exactly what is it – I am not sure. A couple of decades ago, if your picture was in my album, then it was fair game to show it to whoever stopped by my house. So what is the difference if your picture is on my website, is it fair game to show it to whoever stops by the site? The obvious difference I see is whether or not I know the person. I am not going to invite strangers in to my house to look at my albums. So why would I on the internet?
While this is a good point, let’s look at the other side. I know a few people who are very adamant about their picture not being on the internet. I love and respect these people, and therefore, started wondering myself if there is some reason why I should refrain from posting photos on the internet. I asked a couple of my friends what their reasoning was and if they thought I should also have their concerns, and a definitive answer I have not heard. The more I searched for reasons on why I should not post, the more I felt a sort of paranoia, like there was something out there that would hurt me and I must find out what it is because being clueless was creating too much anxiety.
So while trying to come up with my own Photo Posting Protocol, I found many interesting lawsuits over people posting photos on Facebook; some of them I would have never believed, though every one of them had one thing in common – there was something that someone wanted to hide. The biggest issue according to my search results was about pictures taken at house parties and then posted on social media. This seemed to be a common suit. People thought they were in private and therefore acted in a way they would not want their employer to see and they did. And you know what? It seems that people have an expectation of privacy in many instances where it does not exist.
For me, I have finally found that I am fine with posting my photo online, for the only reasoning I could come up with for not doing so suggests I ought to get over myself. The sinful sort of pride and an over-inflated ego were at the basis of why I would refrain, and so therefore, I won’t. And while doing my due diligence to ensure that I don’t wind up in a suit, I found that when it comes to old family photos, most courts classify it as “de minimus,” meaning “of too little concern for the courts.” I can see Judge Judy yelling, “Don’t waste the court’s time!”
What about an old family photo that was sent to friends in a Christmas card nearly 50 years ago? Who do you suppose owns this photo, and can they do with it what they wish? I was surprised to find out, although it really should not be surprising, that the owner of a photo has nothing to do with who is in the photo or has material possession of the photo. It makes sense that a person could not possibly own all of the photos in which they appear, and many people could not own the same photo. No, a photograph’s owner is whoever pressed the button on the camera, causing the picture to be taken. In this case, my mom owns the photo, as it was taken with a tripod and timer. And obviously, this photo is before I came along. About two years later, I took the cat’s place. And about ten years after that, this very cat died in my arms on the way to the vet. Her name was Tammy.
The photos I will be posting, unless otherwise noted, belong to either my mom, my dad, me, or Dave. If you would like a copy of a certain photo or the right to use it somehow, either send me an email or leave a comment on the post where the picture appears.
At any rate, when I was presented with thousands of family photos a few years ago, I set out to do some sort of photo-blog online. For some reason, I felt angst about starting it, so I asked some. My parents, of course, and my brothers, I also asked my aunt, and three of them said, “Yes, go for it!” My brothers were more like, “Well it depends, what are you going to do?” And since I didn’t really have a clue, I did nothing.
Today, I have a better direction and am ready to get this project going. Most of the photos will be on Shutterfly and you can request access by sending me an email. If you find a photo of yourself on my blog or Shutterfly site and would like it to be removed, simply send me an email. No need to get me in a suit, and I’m not talking about a cat suit, nor in the way of 70’s style, but with the court of law you file.
And speaking of cat suits, I told you I took the cat’s place! See –
And you thought I was kidding, didn’t you?