Skip Nav
Parenting Tips and Advice
7 Tips That Make Going Back to Work After Maternity Leave Easier
I'm a Family Psychologist and These Are the 20 Most Common Parenting Mistakes I See
Your Kids . . . According to Zodiac Signs

What to Do When a Stranger Photographs Your Child

What to Do When a Stranger Photographs Your Child

Jaime Y. was in the waiting room of her doctor's office when she noticed a man taking a photo of her daughter with his camera phone — while pretending to be doing something else with it. She shot him a dirty look and he put his phone away, but this Circle of Moms member is angry that a stranger now has photos of her child. What he did, she says, was "creepy."

While many moms who've had these types of encounters echo Jaime's sense of violation, many others report only a sense of mild discomfort. Why the range of responses? Parents have wildly different sensitivities to danger, as the stories below reveal.

Where — and Why — to Draw the Line

Caitlin A. is one mom who doesn't get rattled by strangers snapping pictures of her child. Often, she explains, the person is from another country or culture, and this kind of interest in your child is perfectly innocent. When she took her daughter to a local festival, several groups of international tourists asked her, politely, if they could snap her picture. She found their requests harmless and sweet. She adds, though, that if these tourists had not asked permission, or if her child had not been fully clothed, she would've felt entirely differently.


Most moms seem to agree that a line should be drawn with strangers who don't ask permission, and that the threat of pedophilia is the reason. Someone with bad intentions could use the picture to identify your child later, perhaps when she's at the same location with someone other than you. As several moms point out, in this situation, a predator who know what your child looks like could more easily pose as someone familiar.


But perhaps the scariest scenario of all is one raised by Jennifer A.: when you are not aware that someone is photographing your child. With requests made openly, at least you can rely on your instincts and make the judgment call to say no based on the context. What parents really need to worry about is the sneaky people. As she advises, it pays to stay alert.

Have you ever encountered a stranger photographing your child?

Image Source: Jinx! via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

JessicaSouza JessicaSouza 5 years
Not just pedopholes anymore either, it's people looking for pics of kids to put up fake cancer fundraiser sites. I would not even let someone if they asked. They may very well be looking for a nice "before" picture of the child. This is a big thing now.
RoseGarten RoseGarten 5 years
I prefer not to have pictures taken of any of my family without permission. We go to Ren Faires a lot and I will purposely turn away from a photographer or hold something up to prevent them from getting a good picture. The few times that we have had people persist and firmly tell them they do not have permission and to stop. Responses range from oh sorry to hunh? Just because we are at Faire in garb is not blanket permission for photos. Just to clarify we are there as paying patrons not as performers.
CoMMember1361487669289 CoMMember1361487669289 5 years
I'm ok with it as long as the person first asks and states why. I mean some grandparents asked if they could take pictures of my daughter for their grandsons flat stanley project. however this was in the middle of the library, random creepy people now thats another story.
tibby14 tibby14 5 years
I don't raise any concern when it is another parent taking a picture of their own kid and mine happens to be part of the photo, say they are playing together and it is cute. I do ask before I snap the photo in case other parents are not as cool with me capturing their kids being cute with mine. If they are some adult stranger with no kids of their own taking a photo of my kid, I don't know how I would react. It hasn't happened yet, but the thought makes me uncomfortable.
lisabrooks55138 lisabrooks55138 5 years
when my child was a toddler there was always somone taking pictures of him. I went to them and asked them to delete the photos because I didn't want them taking pictures of him they were offended but I stuck with it and they deleted them. and put their camera phone away.
CraigBurley CraigBurley 5 years
Interesting scenario, as a parent I would like to have to have consent before my childs photo is taken, and working as a freelance photographer I try to get permission to take photos before I take a shot, however sometimes the shot has to be taken beforehand to capture to shot wanted, in which case I try to obtain permission afterwards, not always possible to get hold of the parents to do so. HOWEVER, it is a parents responsibility to ensure children are appropriately clothed to be in public, and also as the photo is taken in a public place, you don't really get much choice, how many celebrity photos would be taken IF permission was sought?
100 Unusual Boy Names
GRACEDBYGRIT Athletic Apparel Honors Chelsea Hill
Potty Training at Night
Books That Will Scare You
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds