peeping tom turned peeping mom

ballet friends
peeping mom ballet

A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. This mom had to peep. Slip into Little Miss’s ballet + tap dance class, through the crack in the blinds. I actually like the dream sequence feel the blinds add to the photographs. It’s enchanting. Well, the subjects might help there.

peeping mom tap

What? They lock parents out of the studio (which is actually a good thing). To watch our corps de ballet, we must view the class on a TV screen in the "waiting room." So, I did what any normal psycho would do: I aimed my camera between two uncooperative blinds on the window. Score. Peeping Mom Photos Here » (click slideshow)



  1. Of course they lock the parents out of the room.

    And of course you need to do what you need to do to take those pictures.

    They came out wonderful.

  2. Hi Stephanie –

    I love the photo’s. They are beautiful. I am just curious – did you have to get the other parent’s permission before posting them online? I enjoy taking the types of photos and am always uncertain about what my obligations are towards the other parents of children in photos. Any advice would be great –


  3. She is darling. I like how the one maverick kid (ha) has the black leotard.. it makes the photo more cinematic and striking – the one contrast piece. Cool.

    And..not to sound like a downer but do the other parents know their kids are being posted on a popular website? I ask b.c as a mama I am SUPER careful of posting my children’s pics. On flickr (When i can even remember to upload) the few I have on there are set to private. Just a question since I know some parents who are the same way.

    I have a little toddler son and just had a girl and this is sweet.. like a glimpse of what we will see in a few years. I can’t wait till she takes dance lessons:)

  4. I have a question for you. Do you ask the other parents if they mind if you take photos of their children and post them? Because as a mom, I get very upset when someone posts photos of my child without asking me.

    This is not an accusation, as you may very well ask permission. This is more of an ongoing debate I have with a sister-in-law who keeps posting photos of my child to her Facebook account, knowing full well how not onboard I am with that. She keeps “forgetting”. Grr.

  5. Do you have permission to publish those kid’s photos on the web? Their parents have right to their privacy, if they wish so.

  6. Love the contrast between Abigail sitting crosslegged and patient and looking to her left and the little blonde cherub with her sliding straps & thumb in mouth, clearly wishing for her naptime and banky.

  7. These photos of yours are moving. I swear, I love your photography as much as your writing. It’s insane.

  8. I’m just curious- did you ask the other parents if it was OK for you to use their kids’ images on your website? What is the protocol for posting photos of people online without their permission?

    1. Author

      So there we are in a dance studio to see our daughters’ first day of ballet and tap. Mothers have cameras at the ready, only there’s not much to see, given that they want the kids to socialize, to dance, not to perform or cling to their parents. So I took some photos and let the others know that if they wanted, they could take their own at the window, as I did. I also offered to send them all a link to the photos once they were ready. That said, I’ve ALWAYS been good about respecting people’s privacy. That is, we’re at a birthday party, a nightclub, a museum, a playdate: when I post photos I email those shown in the photos with a link. If anyone complains (which believe it or not in the SIX YEARS I’ve been doing this, only ONE PERSON – aside from OMG I have a double chin in that one – requested that I remove her photos from her bachelorette party, fearing her conservative inlaws might find them), I have absolutely no problem taking the requested photo down. I’ve always operated this way.
      Especially when you don’t mention any names in the photos, so they can’t be googled, etc. I personally don’t see the harm, so long as the photos are in good taste (and attractive lighting), but I’ll always respect a parent’s decision, even if technically I have every right to post the photo.

      1. Just be v-e-r-y careful when your children get to be school-aged. Our school asks parents to sign a form each year for permission for photos to be taken in school and on school functions. No signed form for a child, no pictures or footage (for tv news stories on schools, for example) of that child is to be distributed, period.

        A few years ago, one mom got in major trouble for uploading photos of her daughter’s class at lunch to her realtor website, even though she didn’t use any of the students’ names. Apparently there is the expectation of privacy in certain settings: schools, medical settings, private businesses, etc. Thankfully my daughter wasn’t in that class, because I would have had a conniption.

        My SIL is the one who keeps “forgetting” and posting my child to her Facebook. I’ve asked her not to post my child, but she continues to do so, then acts as if I’m paranoid. It’s not an issue of paranoia; it’s an issue of respect. My child, my decision, period.

        1. Sallie- Is it an issue or respect or control? Would you say yes if she asked in advance or are you against photo posting as a whole? I can’t imagine being bothered by my son’s aunt posting photos with him. I also can’t imagine having a ‘conniption’ over another parent using a classroom photo with no names attached. I’m very curious about your take on this- the reactions are completely foreign to me.

  9. Abigail is such a doll… Wonderful photos, Stephanie. You always seem to capture the most special moments!

  10. It’s an issue of respect. *I* don’t even post photos of my child. It’s a non-varying position we’ve taken.

    I don’t tell other people not to post their own child, but I, with my husband, have made the decision for *our* child.

    It’s a parenting decision like any other, which is to say highly, highly personal and utterly OURS.

    As far as having a conniption in the other scenario, if I found my child’s photo unexpectedly being used as part of an advertisement on the internet, I would be horrified. (Maybe that’s just me, though.)

    I don’t judge anyone who doesn’t have my reactions or share my positions, but I do think ultimately a child’s own parents should have the right to make these decisions, not other parents.

    Does that make any sense? It’s late on the East Coast, so it may not.

    1. In Philly, a news story featured a local girl that had her facebook picture photoshopped onto a porn website. She did the story to warn others. Our family has absolutely no pictures on facebook nor is ANYONE allowed to post pictures of my kids. I was stalked in high school, being the niece of a well known politician.

  11. these photos are absolutely exquisite. almost brought a tear to my eye. such beautiful moments – especially that first one up top. that little girl is so captivated by abigail and look how abigail is standing so proud and tall like a beautiful flower responding to being bathed in sunlight, or in this case love and admiration. so beautiful. such innocence in these pics. she is going to be so incredibly happy when she’s older that you managed to take these. kudos!

  12. I love that first one! I think Little Miss is a natural – I mean, seriously, look at that body posture and head alignment. I know people who have been dancing for years that don’t have that kind of natural grace. Beautiful!

  13. It’s such a drag that this has to be an issue, which is not ot say I don’t understand the paranoia, but they are artistic pictures that should be able to stand on their own, as that and only that.

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