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Would you mind if photos of work done in your house were put online.

(73 Posts)
Doodledog Mon 06-Feb-23 21:07:37

We've had some work done on the house (cosmetic stuff like decorating and built-in furniture) all by local businesses.

I have now realised that they have all taken photos of their work and put them on their (separate) social media pages without asking me or saying anything about it.

AIBU to be annoyed? They are before and after shots of my house, and I was unaware that they were being taken and that they were going to be posted online. I knew that the companies used this sort of marketing, as I checked them out before employing them, and there is no indication that it is Doodle Towers that is in the photos, just 'This is some furniture that I fitted in Hometown', sort of thing, but anyone who knows me will recognise that it's my house, and there are things like books on the shelves and ornaments on the mantelpiece that can be seen.

I feel uncomfortable about it, but I don't know whether to ask them to take the photos down, as it's a fairly normal way of showing off their skills and giving future clients ideas about what they can do. So far, all the comments have been positive, but I would have been really upset if someone had made unsolicited negative comments, which could happen. I would have been much happier if I'd been asked, and had signed off on what was being shown of my house.

What do you think?

Fleurpepper Mon 06-Feb-23 21:10:58

I would really mind. They must ask permission, and offer some kind of incentive or discount to use, if and only if, permission given.

Oreo Mon 06-Feb-23 21:11:39

It wouldn’t matter to me really.Most people won’t recognise your furniture or belongings anyway.Those who do will be your friends and relatives and they know what’s in your house already.Don’t let it worry you.

Glorianny Mon 06-Feb-23 21:14:57

I think you should ask to have them taken down Doodledog your home may not be identified on the site, but anyone could ring and ask the business for a reference from someone they had worked for and your name could be given. Unless they are very close up and detailed photos which give no clue to the layout of your house you have basically a guide for intruders easily available.
I think if they had asked and you had agreed that would be different, and some companies will give a discount if you agree to allowing the work to be used for promoting the company.

Fleurpepper Mon 06-Feb-23 21:15:00

It is the principle of the thing. Commercial firms often offer quite big discounts to be allowed to use photos for advertising. So you should send a registered letter to all of them, asking them to delete or come to some arrangement. Totally wrong to do this wihout your explicit permission, and in paymen, in kind or otherwise.

JaneJudge Mon 06-Feb-23 21:16:09

They should ask permission, then you could have said no

Galaxy Mon 06-Feb-23 21:16:10

That would really annoy me. I had my kitchen done last year and due to delays with the pandemic and my own laziness, the 'before' was really not great, I would not have wanted that online.

Grannybags Mon 06-Feb-23 21:16:49

I would have expected to have been asked first.

Doodledog Mon 06-Feb-23 21:29:40

Thanks all. They are close ups of furniture and the newly painted walls, with no guide to intruders - in fact there is a burglar alarm clearly visible in the shot of the hall smile).

I was surprised not to have been asked, as I was around for most of the renovations and got to be on friendly terms with the people doing the work. It would have been very easy to show me the snaps and ask if I minded their being posted.

They are small businesses, not people like Sharps, who may offer incentives to advertise, but this is a small town, and it's quite possible that someone who knows someone will have been told that the Dogs have been having x done, see the shots and put 2 and 2 together.

I would happily give a reference if asked, but it's the presumption that bothers me. For some reason, knowing that people can zoom in and see the books on my shelves is unsettling, but I know that that is being silly. Also, the shots were taken when I was in the middle of filling the shelves, and they are a mess grin.

Fleurpepper Mon 06-Feb-23 21:32:12

Totally wrong. I'd say it is actually illegal. I'd ask my Legal Services, personally.

Dickens Mon 06-Feb-23 21:32:36

My son does carpentry both indoors and out - and always ask permission before both taking and using the photo's.

There are no identifiable objects in the shots either - other than perhaps a strategically placed pot plant or vase of flowers.

As Fleurpepper says, it's the principle - they should have had the courtesy to ask you.

I think you should request that they remove the photo's and tell them you didn't give your permission. You don't have to justify yourself by giving reasons.

Grandmafrench Mon 06-Feb-23 21:34:14

It seems that the temptation to take photographs for a new website - especially when building up a business - is more than most people can resist. I also think it's a real invasion of privacy but then asking permission will often get a refusal. So, it's easier not to ask!

I had it done to me once after the installation of a really nice new sink. I was furious. Since then, whenever I have any work done I always state at the outset that I don't want any photographs taken on my property. Some people have been quite surprised and not very happy, which is possibly why it's often done surreptitiously and never mentioned. I usually point out that if I do find photographs of my home posted on any business' website, I normally post a truly bad review.

And don't get me started on being at some function and finding I've been included in group photographs without my knowledge. Nobody asks and nobody cares.

Fleurpepper Mon 06-Feb-23 21:47:41

One DD is having massive landscaping works done. She got a good price, and the guy asked if he could take photos. They said yes, providing none are posted anywhere without express permission, photo by photo.

Wyllow3 Mon 06-Feb-23 22:04:05

Completely wrong, I'd be furious unless it was utterly and totally unidentifiable like a light fitting or something and even then expect them to ask.

It's wrong in principle but if you don't want to rock the boat with a local firm where everyone knows everyone else then go into overdrive about how worried you are about security etc etc you just cant let them do it.......

Wyllow3 Mon 06-Feb-23 22:05:28

OH yes, I felt OK about some landscaping going up, but that showed no access information to the garden, and he's done a lovely job very reasonable.

Doodle Mon 06-Feb-23 22:09:56

I would certainly object. I wouldn’t want a picture of my house displayed. If I’d agreed to interior shots then I would have removed personal objects.
We agreed to our bathroom being used in advertising but not if it had show where our house was.

SueDonim Mon 06-Feb-23 22:11:01

That’s not on unless you’d given permission which, clearly, you have not. I’d ask them to take the photos down and reinforce that if they’d asked you initially and you vetted the photos first then you might indeed have allowed them to be used on their website.

I did allow a decorator to post photos of some work he’d done in our house but tbh, there wasn’t really anything personal to be seen and he’d asked nicely - and when we moved house, sent us a ‘welcome to your new home’ hamper! That’s how to do business.

Callistemon21 Mon 06-Feb-23 22:25:12

AIBU to be annoyed?
No, I'd be very annoyed indeed.
Surely they need your permission before using your home for advertising purposes?

When we had new windows fitted the firm asked if they could put up a sign in our front garden saying the windows had been fitted by ******.
We said that was fine but they never did put a sign up.

Doodledog Mon 06-Feb-23 22:29:20

Thanks again for the replies.

If we had an edit button I would show you the photos briefly, but I'm not having them on here as well grin

There really is nothing that identifies me. One is a wall of bespoke bookcases, and there are photos of walls in three rooms with closeups of the old colour next to them. The only visible furniture in those ones is covered in dust sheets. As Oreo said, anyone who's been to the house will recognise it, as you can see fireplaces etc, but as has also been said, in that case they are friends anyway, so it doesn't matter.

It is the principle, really. I am a private person, and it just doesn't sit right. I want the carpenter to come back and do some additional things that are on top of the original brief, so I think I'll wait until that's done and then say something, or maybe take a photo of my own and offer that 'in case he wants to use it, as I didn't give him any whilst he was here'. I'm not sure if that's passive aggressive or diplomatic, but I'm not sure I care grin

I think it's been thoughtless, rather than underhand, in all cases; but I do think that good practice would be to ask before taking photos in someone else's house in any circumstances.

Theexwife Mon 06-Feb-23 22:29:54

If the photo is of the outside of your house it can be taken without permission as it is a public space and then the person that has taken the photo owns it and can use it.

I always make a point of saying that I do not want any photos put online after having work done and so far they have complied.

Doodledog Mon 06-Feb-23 22:34:21

No, they are indoor shots. We didn't have any exterior work done.

M0nica Mon 06-Feb-23 22:38:15

It should never be done without the direct consent (in writing) from the client.

I complained to an estate agent who used a picture of our house on the front of the brochure for a new housing development, where no work had started. our house was in the same road but not near the site. The offending photo was removed.

Doodledog Mon 06-Feb-23 22:48:21

I remember that - it was most odd smile)

It's good to know that others would feel the same. Mr Dog is entirely unconcerned, and says they are just showing off their work, which is true; but I still feel a bit annoyed about it.

cornergran Mon 06-Feb-23 22:53:06

The plumber/heating engineer who revamped our bathroom took photos and asked if could use them on his web site. We happily agreed, not a thing to identify us, we were so pleased at the transformation we were delighted it would be seen. Not so many folk see our bathroom grin.

The next request actually made us laugh. Could he post a picture of the gas boiler he had fitted some months before - err, yes but why? Apparently another gas engineer was adamant it wouldn’t fit in the space it actually occupies. Evidence was required. Both harmless we thought as neither identified us in any way and of course permission was sought, that made all the difference. We heard later that several folk had contacted this local, small business and asked for a similar bathroom. Would we be as relaxed about it if he hadn’t asked our permission? Definitely not.

Norah Mon 06-Feb-23 23:02:09

Our pretty land, non-distinguishable, except to us by an oddity, has appeared in 'this area' ads for a product. Never our buildings. We don't like it, but we understand and are not upset enough to do anything about it.

I'd politely ask for the photos to be removed, if I were you.