05 Mar 2016

Not without our permission…


As part of our newly-forming ritual as young parents, Veronica and I spend some time after our Sunday service to lay out the rest of the day. Sometimes we’ll decide to visit a family member and other times we’ll run some much needed errands.

On this particular Sunday, we found ourselves at our local Target in the Bronx to purchase groceries, shampoo, formula, and diapers – regular family stuff. All was going well until our cashier decided to take her cell phone out of her pocket, snap a few photos of our son, and put her phone back. It was almost ninja-like in its swiftness. It happened in the blink of an eye and I was almost dumbfounded. Why did this woman think it was OK to take a photo of a child in front of his parents and go on with our transaction as if it were not a big deal? We were livid to say the least and humiliated that were forced to confront her in front of the customers behind me.

This experience actually brought out a bigger issue that my wife and I later talked about.

Many people feel that it’s perfectly fine to snap a photo just because they can. I think that in an age where everyone literally has a camera with them at all times, there needs to be some level of discretion and accountability with how we take our photos and videos. This can’t be truer, then when children are thrown into the mix. Yes, it’s possible that this woman had no ill intentions but the truth is, she should’ve just asked. I don’t know what our answer would’ve been but at the very least, she should’ve had the courtesy to ask if it was OK.

While we wasted no time to contact a manager in hopes of resolving the issue, the awkward position we were put in has stayed with me everyday since it happened weeks ago. Even with an apology from the manager that night and later, a second apology from Guest Relations, I just can’t seem to shake it.

This experience has definitely taught us how protective you must be of your children at all times. We’ve shared photos of our son online but it’s alarming to learn that a complete stranger can take it upon themselves to those same liberties.

What would you have done differently? Should people ask for permission before snapping a photo

  • DinaLineth

    Wow. That’s a no-no. I don’t know what my reaction would have been.

    And you’re right, she should have asked…at the very least.

    Only time I was walking London and this lady asked to take a picture. I said yes and was very grateful she asked. But with children…that’s tricky. I dunno. You did the right thing.