When I started blogging from home, I had no idea what kind of world would open up right on my desktop. The homeschool blogosphere quickly became my online community of support and my talent with graphics made me some extra cash as bloggers requested side bar buttons and fun graphics for their promotions. I even made some custom advertisements for group blogs. That cash helped me buy my first domain name and pay for a host.
But I found my passion grew to be more than just graphics. My hunger for photography grew out of an urgent need. I had been paying $1 or so for stock photography for some posts (prices now up to $5), while settling for some mediocre photos from a select few photo sites that were free. What made it imperative for me to learn to take better photos was the amount of obscene and inappropriate images (warning adult content) on those very sites that we all have been using. I found that late night image searches yielded more disgusting images. I was looking for an image for a metaphor of being a mom blogger chained at a desk. Don’t let your little ones see what that link reveals.
Even worse was one afternoon as my 11 year old daughter was searching for a photo for one of her school projects and she gasped at the screen. Her eyes filled with tears as she feared even telling me what she saw, afraid she’d be in trouble. Thankfully, she knows I don’t suspect the worst in my kids and she told me what the search results of one of the most popular stock photo sites had showed her.
It was one of those days when a mom just gets downright angry that she has to have ‘the talk’ with her kids before she really wants to.
I sighed a deep breath and exited the screen for her.
That was the LAST time I would let my kids search for images.
A Christian blogger I had grown to respect had such cool photos in her posts and I asked where she got them from.
“Google Images”, was her response.
Ladies, if you’ve ever searched Google images for photos for a post you know what I’m thinking.
No way, Jose! It took just a few times to realize that was worse than going to the stock photography sites. Especially since we wrote a lot about girlhood. Any time you search for photos using ‘girls’ or ‘teens’ as the key words, you’re going to get results you’d wished you never saw.
Then one day a gentleman blogger ordered a graphic from me. He needed something patriotic with a man. Ladies, the search results at that popular stock photo site made me blush. I don’t know about you, but I got tired of searching the dumpster for an appropriate image for a graphic or blog post.
And here’s something you probably never thought about that could really hurt your ministry. If anyone ever, for any reason at all, were to make an accusation against your husband or son of an explicit nature, all the computers in the house could be subject to a search. Computers save every-single-image. So one accidental Google Image search could embed up to 100 inappropriate images on your computer. And before you know it, the police can arrest your husband or son as a suspect. As innocent as they are, the cost of a lawyer for something like that can be impossible to pay and even a suspected scandal can drastically and tragically end a ministry.
Oh there’s a lot more that goes into raising enough suspicion to warrant an arrest and investigation, but why take the risk?
photo credit Kaelen
So I began brushing up on my photo skills. I had my girls create a photo shoot wardrobe and we started planning days of taking our own photos. We still do this!
Now I share my photos at Pix-O-Sphere so you have a CHOICE. You don’t have to use sites that influence your kids or cause you to feel unholy. I know your relationship with the Lord is important and by providing photos that are appropriate has turned into a ministry for me. It brings me great joy to see fellow bloggers use the photos I share, knowing they had a safe place to search for photos for their blog posts. I’m not the only one investing their talent to support the family friendly blogosphere. Lots of bloggers are and so can you. It’s free to join.
I’ve developed genuine relationships with people by sharing photos for them to use. They know they can depend on my images. I have uploaded thousands free photos right here.
No more soft p*rn on my computer screen!
I don’t have to worry about feeling unholy and neither do you.
Every photo is moderated and you control the privacy of your photos.
They never use your images in cheesy advertisements like Facebook does.
The only photos ever sold are the ones you choose to sell. They don’t sneak in an ‘agreement’ in the terms to have total global freedom to sell your images without your permission like the other sites do. (All selling photos must be approved.)
It’s so rewarding to know we’re building a community for family friendly bloggers who have the same values for protecting our kids and families from the over sexualized society we have to face every day. We need to raise the standard for integrity.
We have a choice.
Psalm 101:3 “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” KJV