SHELBYVILLE, Ind. – A central Indiana photographer is defending a photo based on the popular film “A Christmas Story” after some suggested it was inappropriate.
In the photo, a newborn dressed up as the main character Ralphie is seen holding a replica of the BB gun that plays a pivotal role in the holiday film set in a fictional Hoosier town called Hohman.
Amy Haehl from Shelbyville's Coffee Creek Studio said she has wanted to create a photo based on the film for years and she was excited to share something positive “in contrast to all of the negativity out there.”
"I've always loved the movie, I like to do things for Christmas time for fun, so I thought this would be a fun one to do," said Haehl.
However, Haehl says she knew she was taking the chance that someone would be offended by the photo and she took that into consideration.
“So, of course this photo couldn’t be perfect without representing the Red Ryder BB gun,” wrote Haehl in a statement. “I searched and searched for one that would be small/newborn-sized and obviously not a real gun to avoid controversy.”
But as expected, as the photo gained traction online, some people shared their concerns.
Haehl added, "Maybe those people didn't understand the movie and didn't understand what it meant and left the negative comments."
One comment said, “Will now unfollow you. Who the hell would take a picture of a baby and a gun just for money. Such a waste since you are so talented. Think hard about your lack of principles."
In response to the criticism, Haehl said “this photo is in no way meant to encourage gun violence or offend anyone who has been affected by gun violence.”
While there are some who criticize the photo, a majority of the comments are positive and supporting.
Further into her statement, Haehl said the intention of the photo was to bring a smile to people’s faces and remind them of a time when life was more simple and people were more focused on the important things in life.
“This photo is not about a baby posed with a ‘gun’… it is about love, tradition, family, and happiness,” wrote Haehl. “This movie has encouraged smiles, laughter, and happiness for 35 years.”
Haehl says, she is focusing on the positive and how the family loved the photo, while ignoring the negative and hateful comments. "Let it be fun, cute and simple and let that be it," said Haehl.