Alice, Is it Okay to Take Photos of My Home Without Asking Me?

Alice, Is it Okay to Take Photos of My Home Without Asking Me?

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Ask Alice
Oct 6, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Dear Alice,

A family member came into my new home and unbeknownst to me, took photos of my rooms with her iPhone. I found out about this because they were shown to other family members. Should I say something?

Thanks,
Photographed and Peeved


Dear PP,

I appreciate the succinctness of your question so I, too, will get right to it: yes, you should say something.

Why? Because it bothered you and is probably still bothering you. I'm not suggesting you make a big to-do about it since it's likely there was no intent to cause harm, but it's usually not a good idea to let transgressions simmer, especially since the "offender" is a family member.

The etiquette of photographing and sharing (IRL or on social media) people, places and events is evolving and shifting and its quite possible that it never dawned on this family member that you'd consider this act a violation. (Unless, of course, you had asked them not to, in which case you darn tootin' have a right to be peeved.)

You don't mention why this sharing of photographs upset you: did this family member steal your thunder and show off your home before you had a chance to? did you want to settle into or decorate your new home more before its debut? do you have a spectacular home that you'd like to keep secret from the world (in which case, right this way to our house tour submission form)?

When you talk to this family member, let them know you wished they hadn't done that and give them a brief explanation why. Then, let it go.

Love,
Alice

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