July 11, 2012

Wow, it has been so long since I posted.  I don’t have any real excuses except that this summer has kicked me in the butt.  Between my husband’s graduation, family in town, family living with us, finding an apartment, and getting ready to move to NYC, I feel like I can barely think.  I actually have been sewing, I just havn’t gotten around to posting anything.  Sometimes I feel guilty, but then I have to tell myself, this is my blog, I don’t have deadlines, I don’t get paid for this, all I can do is what I can do – and then I feel better.

With all of the excuses out of the way, I have a question for you all.  You see I have heard a few horror stories about people’s identities or blogs being stolen, or really rude comments.  As a result I have avoided ever posting any pics of my 2 year old daughter on the blog.  But then I also see a lot of great bloggers who post about their families and I love it.  I feel like it personalizes a blog.  I would love to take snapshots on our trips and add a little bit more familiarity and allow you to see more of who I am and what we do.  More of our creative life, not just sewing projects.  I mean, I am a stay at home mom, so the majority of what I do is with my daughter.  So here is the dilemma, do I allow pictures of my daughter on the blog and add a bit more of me, or do I keep it strictly business?

What do you guys think?  What is your moral compass when it comes to blogging about your family?

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  • Reply LisaRae July 11, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    I try to avoid using my kids names, but I have done it a few times. Try to use nicknames for them. I also try to avoid saying where I live city-wise and never mention when I’m going on vacation, only when I get back do I make mention of it. I try to stick to the rule of keeping really personal information -personal-. You can also set your blog so that you have to approve comments before they are posted. Then you might be able to filter out anyone who is looking to be rude. I know the Internet isn’t full of cupcakes and happiness but we can try and keep the troll population at bay with some of those steps.

  • Reply Dichohecho July 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    I love the personal touch, that’s why I read blogs rather than magazines! At the same time it could be a bit weird for her and you never know who or what is out there. Perhaps you could turn this into a sort of photo challenge – try and capture the atmosphere of trips in people-free photos and detail shots as well as the usual. You could find creative ways of keeping her face (obviously the most recognisable part) off of the internet. e.g. this (from a Google search) http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=yWd&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1280&bih=670&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=Mh3L7G6eWt_MsM:&imgrefurl=http://viccc.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/use-your-walking-feet/&docid=pUedZL9c68BtvM&imgurl=http://viccc.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/running_child-328×413.jpg&w=328&h=413&ei=uH_9T9WFK5C10QW–dW8Bw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=355&vpy=169&dur=227&hovh=242&hovw=194&tx=101&ty=130&sig=103129151615145216208&page=1&tbnh=143&tbnw=137&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:116

  • Reply Amy July 11, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    I used to follow your blog with your sister and only came to realize a few months ago ‘who’ you are! I enjoy your sewing and you continue to inspire.

    My blog started out more for family as my sister lives out of the country. She had started blogging and encouraged me to join her. So I did. I sew more now than I did before and I use the blog for sewing but also for family life. Much of my family, and extended family don’t live near us and I have friends who are interested in my kids too. I am just conscious of not adding certain specific details as LisaRae mentioned.

  • Reply Sassy T July 11, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    I personally wouldn’t post any of my children, if I had any, but that’s just me. There are a lot of weirdos who copy childrens images. One blogger doesn’t post any of her younger children any more because someone used them and as she said “creepy”

    • Reply Sassy T July 11, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      Just go with your instinct. Some people do others don’t.

  • Reply Vicky July 11, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    I’ve only just started blogging, and I wondered this very same question about my two year old!
    In the end I decided that pictures were ok, but I don’t use her name or any personal information like where we live or work etc.
    But I know where you’re coming from, you want your blog to be fun and not impersonal, but you don’t want to put yourself and especially your kids out there and made vulnerable. I guess whatever you decide to do, there’s no real wrong way to do it, just personal preference.

  • Reply Sarah July 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    I love your sewing content but I’d definitely dig seeing more of the wider context as you mention, so I think it’s great you are thinking about these questions. As for me, my rule is that I don’t post my daughter’s name nor pictures of her face. As Dichohecho says it is an interesting challenge to try to capture the atmosphere of a trip or activity without pictures of faces. I also try to be careful about not saying when we are out of town. I can’t believe that some bloggers (and ones with a huge readership) just put that information out there!

  • Reply Andrea B July 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    A personal touch to a blog is always nice, as long as there’s a good balance of content/information and look-what-I-made posts. I follow a ton of sewing and decor bloggers, and naturally I remember the ones who showcase a little bit of their personal life or at least have a unique voice — it keeps you coming back. I don’t follow family-focused blogs, though, because I don’t have children of my own so I can’t really relate. I’m sure the majority of your readers are mothers themselves, so I think it’d be worthwhile to open up that side of you.

    We’ve all heard one or two anecdotes about someone’s blog photos being used elsewhere, but I really don’t think there’s a significant risk to posting photos of your daughter online. Just be smart about the other personal information you reveal, and add a light copyright/URL watermark to photos that show your child’s face. This doesn’t make it impossible for people to re-use your photos, but does assert a copyright to your content. You can also make your website’s photos be “unPinnable” if you don’t want them spreading around Pinterest.

  • Reply Jennifer July 11, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I agree with others – I post photos of my kids on my blog, but I never use their names and I never talk about where we live.

    I also agree with putting a watermark on all photos and copyrighting your blog. Because I use a watermark on all photos, I’ve had people email me to tell me if they’ve seen them anywhere else (which has always been on Pinterest, so not any real theft of my images) – people will look out for you and let you know if they come across any inappropriate use of your photos so that makes me feel a little better about including my kids in my blogging.

  • Reply kristin July 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    It’s a balance for sure, and you should do what makes you comfortable. I would personally love to see more about your little gal and see her wearing what you make! I usually crop or somehow obscure my kids’ faces, and don’t use their full names. I don’t use my last name online. I do talk about my kids’ personalities, though, and I talk about where we live (since it’s a huge influence on my sewing). Not SPECIFICALLY where we live, of course, but the city. I also don’t talk about going on vacation until we’re back. Elsie Marley is a good example of almost unnoticeable face-cropping – she still captures her kids’ personalities and her sewing creations without showing their whole faces and she’s never said their names either. Good luck finding what works for you!

  • Reply Alisa July 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Make it personal! I always like that! I even use my kids names. And to be honest I have never read a horror story, just heard others talk about them.

  • Reply Megan July 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    I used to be freaked out by the possibility of someone using my images and such, but I blog for me and my family and have all of my posts bound into a book each year. If I can’t post about what we’re up to there’s no use in me blogging. That being said, if I start having issues (and hopefully I never do) I’ll go private immediately. For now, it seems like the not being listed on Blogger and not visible to search engines privacy settings work well and have kept the creepers at bay, then again I may be so boring that that’s really what keeps them at bay 😉

    As far as ugly comments go I’ve never had a single one. I don’t use word verification or any of that other stuff and have had zero issues.

    Good luck figuring it out!

  • Reply Heather Lou July 11, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Reading the comments I can’t help but think that either people are paranoid or I am naive… The warning about saying where you live or going on vacation is strange to me since there is no way anyone would be able to find my address without personally knowing me (unlisted number). Granted I also blog under a pseudonym but still… I say go for it Kelly. I think posting photos of your kids online in this day and age is no big deal and I don’t think any of the worst case scenarios are that traumatizing (who really cares if the photo turns up somewhere else?) But I don’t have kids so what do I know. Check out Bleubird Vintage – she basically turned her vintage store blog into a mommy blog but does it in a really beautiful and interesting way. However, I could just be totally seduced by the interwebs and oblivious to the real dangers to privacy and identity….

    • Reply ARELLIS Pena July 11, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      I feel the same way. I don’t have a blog yet, but I am sure my twins will show up fairly often once I do. People get distracted by “OMG, the creeps out there,” but the fact is (sadly) that the creeps that are really a danger to our kids are neighbors, teachers, family, family friends, etc… I wanted to point that out because most often than not the worst people don’t even seem creepy. Also, I think chopped heads, and blacked out faces are weird lol 🙂 Anyways, I would say as a parent you know what you feel comfortable with so go with that.

    • Reply ARELLIS Pena July 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      I feel the same way. I don’t have a blog yet, but I am sure my twins will show up fairly often once I do. People get distracted by “OMG, the creeps out there,” but the fact is (sadly) that the creeps that are really a danger to our kids are neighbors, teachers, family, family friends, etc… I wanted to point that out because most often than not the worst people don’t even seem creepy. Also, I think chopped heads, and blacked out faces are weird lol 🙂 Anyways, I would say as a parent you know what you feel comfortable with so go with that.

    • Reply Sewing Princess July 16, 2012 at 8:01 AM

      Just ensure your camera doesn’t capture location data… Many do today

  • Reply Emilie July 11, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    When my blog (now private) started becoming popular I asked my husband about this same thing and he said, “People were hunting down and killing families LONG before blogs existed. If that’s someone’s intention, they’ll find a way.” Creepy? Yes. But I found myself agreeing. I post my kids photos AND names on our blog and I have talked about where we live. But it depends on if you’re comfortable with that.

    I WOULD make sure to watermark all of your photos across the middle (not just in a corner or edge) to minimize theft.

  • Reply Heidi Sue July 11, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Okay, so I might be the naive, careless commenter/blogger but I say post pictures of your life/daughter/family! I really like getting to know bloggers through their photos and you’re right, adding photos of your daughter would make it more personal. I say go for it!

  • Reply Laura J. July 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    I don’t blog, but I read a ton and I’m starting to recognize other people’s kids on pinterest. I think it’s kind of cool. I love knowing where the bloggers I read live and where they like to shop and that sort of thing.

    BUT… as a parent, I think you should probably protect your kids if for no other reason than they’re going to be teens and adults some day. I think about this when posting pics of my little one on facebook. It’s cute to me, but how is SHE going to feel in 10, 15, 20 years? It’s a weird time because obviously we didn’t have to grow up with these sorts of considerations.

    I vote go personal but don’t use your kid’s face or real name. Definitely watermark all pictures of your work.

  • Reply Gayle July 11, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    I haven’t read all the posts above but remember a caution on GMA — don’t post pictures taken w/smart phones that have GPS …. there is a way to find out where the picture was taken — down to the exact address

  • Reply haphap47 July 11, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    My only caution is that consider your daughter’s future. She will have to live with whatever internet presence when/if she applies to college and for jobs. These things are really hard to clean up and get rid of. Not that I think you would post scandalous or indecent things, but most of us these days don’t have to worry about our baby pictures floating around for prospective employers to see, and I don’t think today’s kids can say the same thing.

  • Reply Leslie July 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Go with your first instinct about it. It’s always right. I went private after a rude comment from a stranger, but I had also been having feelings of wanting to do so way before that. That just sealed it for me. But I’ve had a blog for a few years and I never felt that way until the past several months. And honestly, I’ll probably go public again sometime in the future, like when I stop feeling uncomfortable about strangers being able to peer into my life. I don’t use my kids names and never mention our city. But since it’s a photography blog I’m not going to be cropping heads out. But the nature of your blog, you could easily do that and still show all your projects. I prefer blogs that you get to glimpse into their life. When they are too clinical or businessy I lose interest real fast. But your blog is great wether you decide to add more personal or not. Your projects are awesome.

  • Reply Robyn July 12, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    I love seeing all your projects, but it’d be great if you wanted to give a bit more of a glimpse into your life too. It’s whatever feels comfortable to you. I use my kid’s real names and their photos, but if I’m posting a picture of the kids then the whole family need to OK the picture before it’s posted. I know lots of bloggers that post pictures of their kids in swimwear, but I’m not comfortable doing that, it just keeps coming back to what you’re comfortable sharing.

  • Reply SuBoo July 12, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    I have often wondered about this myself. I don’t have kids but I do make a lot of clothes for my brothers’ kids and since they aren’t comfortable with pics up I tend to hide their faces if I’m showing off clothes on them. I don’t even really post up too many pics of me but I have been told I’m too paranoid and that it really takes the personal aspect away from my blog so I’m reconsidering…

  • Reply Susanm July 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    My blog is primarily about my experiences of a parent with a child with challenges – with the occasional craft post. Because of the personal nature of most of my posts, I don’t use pictures of my child or his full name. This is a personal choice.

    It comes down to your definition of privacy – it doesn’t have to be the same as someone else’s.

  • Reply Carolyn July 12, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    I say do whatever you’re comfortable with. My own personal comfort level is that I’m comfortable posting pics of my children, but I’m not comfortable using their names on line. Also, because of the type of work that I’m in I’m more hesitant to post clear pictures of my face b/c I don’t want my daughters to be associated with me. I know it seems odd, but that’s where my comfort level is.

  • Reply Kelli July 15, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I only know one way to be and it is honest and open, so for me I have to include personal content about my kids and their names WHEN it is applicable, but I never post where we live or last names. Plus, I don’t post that much about my kids, just when it’s something personal I really want to post or if it factors into what I’m posting about. Goodness–how many times can I say post in one statement????

  • Reply ay July 19, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I post it all. I get that other people are more protective but I believe there is more to gain by sharing bits of my life than omitting or censoring it. It is all about your comfort level as someone else mentioned. 4 years later, I’m still sharing. Hopefully it is for the better. http://www.simplifiedmom.com Either way, do what you think is best. 🙂 And keep blogging.

  • Reply Tiffany James July 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    It really does come down to sharing as much as you are comfortable with. I blogged when I first started with a pseudonym, but that was purely for future employment protection. Once I realized that I was going to be working for myself, I dropped the cover and it feels so much more natural to be sharing my actual self. And unfortunately, the commenters who say that if someone wants to know everything about you they will find a way anyway, are correct. Our whole lives are in some database somewhere, right? The way I look at it, in the grand scheme of things, no one really cares who I am, and the fact that I post pics of my kiddos on my blog or Flickr isn’t going to make me a victim.

    This is what I tell myself, anyway. Maybe I’m naive or too trusting, or just cynical enough to think it doesn’t matter anyway! Point is- you know your own limits. Trust your instincts, but I have to agree that it’s nice to get a personal look at people’s lives at least once in awhile.

  • Reply Kat August 1, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Funnily enough, my friends and family do not know I blog. They know I sew, I feel really shy and uncomfortable about telling people I know but not strangers by any means.

    I put my home town but not the street, I live in a town with 5000 other people and I’ve check how hard it is to find me. I don’t like any sewing facebook pages as it will have my last name, that is the point I don’t want to cross, giving out my last name.

    My blog represents my hobby, not my life, if we ever have babies, I’ll give them fake names, such as Ginger and Fred 🙂

  • Reply dixie August 1, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I know bloggers who only use nick names for their kids. I’ve also seen bloggers who only post pics of their kids from behind so you don’t see faces but you do see that they are playing or on vacation, etc. Obviously it’s not that easy when you want to show off your kid in clothes made for her. Maybe you could do face-down pics so you see her from the front but not her face? I know it’s difficult to get a child to pose so that may not be easy. Whatever you’re most comfortable with!

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