In a recent Reddit thread, a soon-to-be mother expressed her anxiety about a maternity photoshoot that had been conducted. “I wanted to do them earlier but scheduling was difficult,” she said, referring to the difficulties in finding a suitable time for the photoshoot.
But her feelings of apprehension soon reached a fever pitch when she received a flurry of Facebook notifications. “I open Facebook and she’s posted some of the pictures and tagged me,” she recounted. “I look massive. I feel so ugly and fat. Is this normal photographer etiquette?”
Though her pregnancy hormones and her own body image issues are likely to contribute to her distress, the question of professional etiquette remains. After all, it is generally expected that the photographer should check with the subject before posting any photos. “I just assumed she would show me first and then ask before posting them,” she said. “I just want to crawl into a hole.”
It is important to remember that it is perfectly normal to feel a bit of self-consciousness in the wake of a photoshoot session, especially if you are pregnant. Everyone has a different body and it is perfectly understandable to feel uncomfortable about how it is depicted in photos.
However, this issue begs the question: had the photographer been overly insensitive in posting the pictures without the subject’s consent?
Posting Without Consulting The ‘Subject’ Is Standard
While professional photographers are allowed to post sneak peeks of their work on social media to promote their business, it is important to note that some clients are expecting to be informed and given a timeline of when the photos will be shared. As quoted by one of the respondents, “She should have given you a timeline and the expectations on how she handles the pictures”.
It is also essential for photographers to have clients sign a release form, stating that the photographer can use the images for their own publicity. Another user mentioned, “It was unprofessional for her to not let you know [the expectations] ahead of time… and it’s weird she didn’t have you sign a release form.”
However, it should be noted that for many, this seems to be standard practice. I have done a few professional photo shoots before (wedding, maternity, baby) all with contracts and one without [a contract]. All of them posted “sneak peeks” on their social media without contacting me or showing me first,” one respondent said.
Another agreed, saying, “I have gotten professional pictures taken multiple times by different photographers and this is standard. In my experience the photographer typically will show sneak peaks publicly before sending you anything. ”
So what do you think? Should the photographer have informed the soon-to-be-mother before posting pictures, or is what she did acceptable?