Newborn posed with fake BB gun in 'A Christmas Story' photo shoot goes viral

Adorable or insensitive? You decide

By Stacy Shanks - Social Media Producer

(Credit: Coffee Creek Studio by Amy Haehl)

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. - Many new parents schedule newborn photos shoots soon after their babies are born. The photography sessions can sometimes take on themes to represent a time of year or something the parents are fan of. 

An innocent newborn photo that’s a tribute to “A Christmas Story” is going viral. 

The Facebook post’s caption reads, “Ralphie loved his pink bunny suit I had made for him!” And it noted, “The BB gun is made of wood to ensure that he did NOT shoot his eye out during the creation of this photo.”

The movie is iconic for the phrase, “You'll shoot your eye out, kid,” so how could the photo shoot not include a fake BB gun?

While many think the image and set up are adorable, there are some bashing the idea of having a baby pose with a fake gun. 

At the time of this article, the post has more than 3,500 comments, many in support and many feeling it’s inappropriate. 

The photographer, Amy Haehl, has since issued the following statement:  

“I am a newborn and wedding photographer located in Shelbyville, IN. I have a passion for creating works of art that can be cherished for a lifetime while still being timeless. I have learned through my years as a photographer that sometimes you have to do something that fuels your creativity to be excited about and avoid burnout. This photo is that for me. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year centered around love, family, faith, and tradition…including the tradition of watching “A Christmas Story;” one of America’s most-loved holiday films. Every year I create Christmas-themed photos for babies born around the holiday. For years I have wanted to create a “Christmas Story” themed photo but hadn’t accomplished it until this year. I couldn’t wait to share it and put something positive and fun in everyone’s news-feeds in contrast to all of the negativity out there. I put a lot of time and effort into my photos and always try my best to make them perfect. So, of course this photo couldn’t be perfect without representing the Red Ryder BB gun. I searched and searched for one that would be small/newborn-sized and obviously not a real gun to avoid controversy. When I found this one made by Reuben Plaisance, I was so excited. Yes, it is a replica but still small enough to convey the idea but not look real. When I posted the photo, I did include a funny disclaimer in reference to the movie so that anyone who saw it would not take offense to it. Of course I know in the world we live in I was taking the chance that someone would be offended and I definitely did take that into consideration while still creating a photo with the perfect details. I know there have been a few comments made in regards to gun violence and this photo is in no way meant to encourage gun violence or offend anyone who has been affected by gun violence. Other than a few negative comments which is to be expected, there has been an overwhelmingly positive response to this photo and loved by many. The intention of this photo was to bring a smile to people’s faces and remind them of a time when life was much more simple and we were more focused on the important things in life. I want those who see it to remember life back when it was simple and families were more connected and we didn’t have to worry about many of the things facing us today that will affect this generation and generations to come. This photo is not about a baby posed with a “gun”… it is about love, tradition, family, and happiness. This movie has encouraged smiles, laughter, and happiness for 35 years. It also happened to be filmed right here in the Midwest where I was born and raised. I grew up on a farm with the best family anyone could ever ask for. I’m also a wife, mom, and a nurse. I worked as an ER nurse for many years before devoting myself full-time to my photography business. My parents raised me to be a good, hard-working, and loving person while always being respectful and kind to others. For that reason, i respect the opinions and concerns of others in regards to gun violence and for that reason I want this photo to be a reminder that it isn’t about the “gun.” It’s about so much more than that including being strong families, good parents, and raising children to have strong morals and values and respecting others. So, if anyone hasn’t seen this movie…cuddle up with your friends/family/pets, tell them you love them, watch it, and smile a little this holiday season! “
 

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