Denver Boudoir Photography – How to Choose your Boudoir Photographer: Security
Whew. Typically most of my Denver boudoir photography work is done from home. Editing, email, talk with clients, and do most of what I do day in and day out from my home. Today, one of the coldest of the year so far, I was out and about looking at new spaces, photographing some awesome people, and teaching! I was gone ALL day. When I came home, it was business as usual, getting dinner, checking email, everything seemed rather ordinary.
Until I checked Facebook, and several of my friends had sent me a link to a forum that had 121 pages of private online boudoir galleries, with passwords, for anyone to see. Yes, those password protected galleries were out there for everyone.
While this is a horrible situation, I want to assure all of my clients:
Your images were not compromised in any way, and your privacy and security is a priority to me.
I am fortunate that I was not affected by this storm of craziness, and while I am not naive enough to believe that it could never happen, I do know that my background in IT helps me to be a little more aware of online security risks. There have already been several articles posted for photographers, with warnings about how to secure client information properly, and things to think about – but what about my clients?
This is a series that I have been thinking about writing for quite some time, and it seems like the timing is perfect with the craziness from this incident still fresh in peoples’ minds.
How do you choose your boudoir photographer? What the heck do you look for?
The reality is that in an online world, information can be hacked and stolen. We have seen this in the past few months, and even corporate giants that are as large as Target are not immune to this possibility. What is SHOCKINGLY alarming is that several of the photographers that were notified didn’t appear concerned that their clients’ private galleries were hacked and shared with the world.
Several photographers responded with something along the lines of “well there was a password, so it’s okay.” The password was posted right next to the gallery – so yes, there was a password, but it was included for anyone who wanted it. The apathy in this response is absolutely astounding to me, and I want to encourage ANY woman looking for a boudoir photographer to think about this:
What does your boudoir photographer know and practice when it comes to image and online security?
This is a very serious issue, a federal crime, and has been reported to the necessary authorities by those affected, but how can you look forward and prevent this from happening to begin with?
ALL of my Denver boudoir photography clients have three options when it comes to releasing their photos:
Release ALL photos from a session
Release SOME photos from a session
Release ZERO photos from a session
Any and all of these options are 100% okay with me. Does it suck to not be able to show some of my best work? Absolutely. It is really, really hard sometimes. But the security and trust of my clients is more important to me. I am fortunate that most of my clients opt to release their photos, and I am SO happy to share them with the world. And when I do, you will notice that names are not attached to the photos in any way. This is intentional. I am extremely concerned about my clients’ security, and that brings me to my next point.
While this is horrifying, again, the reality is that in an online world, nothing is 100% safe. I know that my background allows for a higher level of concern when it comes to these things, I have even taught courses for parents about online security. However – an even bigger concern is the photographers’ lack of concern when they were notified. Not only were some of them noticeably nonchalant, but the galleries were still published online, they weren’t taken down. It is worth noting that while my boudoir photography tends to be more tame than some other photographers, some of these photos were very, very intimate.
How is it that a professional can be notified of a breach in client security and not be alarmed, and additionally, not take steps to fix it?
The fix would be very simple – take down the galleries. Is that an overall fix for a larger problem? No. But it would definitely help, and that wasn’t even done.
This is very, very frustrating for me. I realize that some photographers are amazing at what they do weddings, families, and lots of other genres. And they decide that they want to do boudoir – great. Fantastic. But there are additional things to think about when it comes to boudoir, this is not your everyday family session. There are concerns and measures that should be in place to protect your clients.
Some of these passwords that were “hacked” were very, very simple to guess, first names, basic words, and even two letter passwords.
Just to be clear – I am not vindicating what these people are doing. It is absolutely horrible and reprehensible, and to post private galleries with passwords is not only WRONG, but it is also illegal.
However, it is my belief that we also need to think about other roles in this situation – and why the security wasn’t as tight as it should have been.
Bottom line is:
Is your boudoir photographer aware of the risks, and so invested in specializing in boudoir, that they take extra precautions to protect you?
Please make sure that you are hiring someone who cares enough about you to take precautions, and contact your photographer to find out how they handle the sharing and publication of images.
You don’t want to end up on a billboard somewhere, and see yourself driving to work one day.
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If you’d like to have more information about what the heck is going on with sessions, parties and more, click here to grab my Denver boudoir photography guide – How to Look Amazing in Photos. It has tips and tricks to help you look amazing in photos – whether your clothes are on or off – and avoid having to untag yourself in a social media photo again. Or, just laugh with me at various shenanigans and get early access to events, model calls, and awesome goings-on. Either way, come join the list. We have cocktails.
I am so privileged to be a top Denver boudoir photography specialist! My clients’ privacy is a top priority for these intimate portraits. Any and all boudoir images that are posted have been shared by the subject with written permission. I am honored that my clients choose to share their images with the world, and talk about their experiences with those images.
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