The “Birth” of Photography

August 19th is officially known as World Photography Day. It is an annual international celebration of the art of photography, or more specifically, the process of photography we know today.

After years of experimentation Louis Daguerre went public with his improved photography process, which shortened the time of exposure from over 10 minutes to just a few seconds. At first, he did not disclose exactly how the process worked. Only the secretary for the French Academy of Sciences was informed of the process, but only under strict confidentiality. On the 19th of August 1839, the French government gave rights for the photography process, now known as daguerreotype, “free to the world” along with working instructions. As you can imagine, this completely revolutionised the art, wildly boosting its popularity due to the new ease of application. Thus, we annually celebrate this incredible invention still to this day.

Competency and the Internet

Photography has evolved greatly since then, ultimately bringing us into the digital age, and in this digital age, it is much easier to share our photos with one another. When it comes to curating an online reputation for yourself (and your children), it’s important to learn online competency. This way, you can keep your family (and your photos) safe.

The first step to internet competency is knowing that your digital footprint is permanent. Yes, we may have apps that utilize “disappearing” messages and images, but they never truly disappear. Once you upload or send an image through the internet, it is stored in a cache file. These cache files are stored all over the world, meaning that once you’ve uploaded or sent a photo to someone, you lose the ability to completely control what happens with that image and where it ends up. This is especially important to remember when children are involved. You wouldn’t want to find an image of your child being used on some unknown social networking site in a foreign country. Protect your children online by ensuring that they are not identifiable in images that could hinder their future academic or employment opportunities.  

Tips for Safe Sharing

Some parents choose not to share any images of their children online. In these instances, make your requests known to friends and family members. Set up private groups on end-to-end encrypted platforms, such as Signal or WhatsApp to share images with friends and family. If you’re not overly concerned about sharing your kids with the world, there are still precautions you should take when deciding to share images online. First and foremost, you need to meticulously choose the images you wish to share. Ensure that there isn’t any identifiable information in the image, such as street addresses, locations, school uniforms, or images outside the front of your house.

If you don’t feel comfortable creating a private Facebook album to share with friends and family, you could use a dedicated image sharing platform, such as Google Photos or Apple’s built-in album sharing options. Always try and utilize two-factor authentication. This is important for both social media sites and dedicated image sharing applications.

No matter where you choose to share your images, always double-check your privacy settings before doing so. Ensure that your privacy settings allow you to only share images with family and friends. If you’re wanting to share family photos on Instagram, you may want to set your account to “private” so that only the people who follow you will be able to see them.

At the end of the day, no matter what you decide to do with your images, always remember that once they’re online, they’re online for good.