Facebook! Twitter! Instagram! We are addicted to our social media. As quickly as a new site appears, people set up accounts and begin posting. That is fine if you want the world to know everything about your personal life, but problems can arise if you invade someone’s privacy by sharing their personal details without permission. In some instances, sharing may expose someone to danger should a violent ex or a stalker find the post. Some employers monitor employee or potential employees’ on-line activity. The less than flattering photo of someone who had too much to drink or was behaving badly could cost him or her their job or promotion.
I have seen DJs taking photos and video during a prom, Christmas party or wedding reception and immediately posting it on-line. Some photographers also post “sneak peek” photos. A florist or baker may post photos of their creations without realizing who may be in the background. Unless your contract signed by the event hosts or sponsors gives permission to take and use photos to promote your business, you could be in trouble. If the hosts have given permission and a guest who appears in a photo is unhappy, the guest can take it up with the hosts, not the merchant. Though we are all proud of our work, it is common courtesy to be sensitive to others. Let the guest of honor post the first comments or photos of their wedding, graduation party or other event, then post yours. Waiting a day or two won’t hurt your business. And be sure to give credit to the baker, florist, decorator or other professional whose work your post includes, unless the cake falls or the flowers are wilting, in which case the merchant will appreciate having their name kept secret.