Baby pictures – then and now

While at the lagoon yesterday a group of young moms had set up for what I assumed was a playdate, toddlers and a few dogs in tow. As I walked along the sand, enjoying the giggles and excitement of the children ,  I asked one mother if I could photograph her beautiful child, blond-haired daughter. She agreed. She even had her child pose and say -”Happiness” – which I found more charming than saying the old stand-by, Provolone.

I didn’t want to be intrusive, but chatted with the moms and the dog owners. There was a little boy, maybe two years of age, who was enjoying his day wearing only what he acquired in the womb. An unusual sight in this day and age to see a child in their birthday suit –  on the beach. He was truly in his own little world. No fancy pants or designer bonnet to keep him from freedom. A quick  shot, one in which he was included.

Here’s my point – a long time ago in a world where pedophiles and other predators didn’t have the internet, and kiddie porn was something most people never heard of, babies in the buff were very common. Having your baby on a furry rug or cozy blanket seemed so innocent and was always something professional photographers offered to parents. A harmless photo which stayed in the family  – and no doubt embarrassed the adult subject for a lifetime.

There are stock images of babies in the buff on bearskin rugs  you can purchase online and even family photos of this type  for sale on eBay. Why?

Today we can check on-line to see where registered sex offenders live in our neighborhoods, and the type of crime committed. We take every effort to teach “Stranger Danger” to our children in hopes they will never be abducted. Most parents check all references for daycare providers and babysitters. Unfortunately, molestation is often perpetrated by a family member or close friend.  Child trafficking/pornography is a global concern raking in billions of dollars each year.

While technology is used for good, it’s also used for evil.

There will always be those who would steal the innocence of our children. Play safe.

________________________________________________________________Unfortunately, the child pornography market has exploded in the advent of the Internet and advanced digital technology.  The Internet provides ground for individuals to create, access, and share child sexual abuse images worldwide at the click of a button.  In present day, child pornography images are readily available through virtually every Internet technology including websites, email, instant messaging/ICQ, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), newsgroups, bulletin boards, peer-to-peer networks, and social networking sites.  Child pornography offenders can connect on Internet networks and forums to share their interests, desires, and experiences abusing children in addition to selling, sharing, and trading images. 

           Moreover, online communities have promoted communication between child pornography offenders, both normalizing their interest in children and desensitizing them to the physical and psychological damages inflicted on child victims.  Online communities may also attract or promote new individuals to get involved in the sexual exploitation of children. 



2 comments on “Baby pictures – then and now

  1. Popular Photography magazine ran an article some years ago about this subject. A grandmother (professional photographer) shot her two granddaughters jumping naked on her bed. She was arrested; the parents were charged (not there at the time). The grandmother was not allowed to see the children again without supervision. Accompanying the article was a picture of a toddler eating ice cream sitting cross legged and looking at the camera with ice cream dripping from her lips. In any other context this was innocent summertime fun. In this article it was truly provocative. The times have indeed changed. What’s more alarming is that Walmart no longer is in the loop to develop film because everything has gone digital. Which, by the way is how grandma got caught. Film developers are by law bound to report kiddie porn to the FBI. Rather than sort things out logically, the film developers just report everything rather than be accused of letting anything go.

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