Photographer Harassed Online After Using American Flag as Prop for Baby Photo


Photographer Vanessa Hicks is fighting back today after being chastised and harassed online for using an American flag as a prop during a baby photo shoot. It was a simple Facebook share that has gotten quite a bit of national attention.

A few days ago, on March 8th, Hicks — a veteran of the US Navy — shared a photo of an 8-day-old baby named Landon being held up by his father — a member of the US Navy — in an American flag:

Hicks says she wanted to honor the flag and incorporate the family’s military background into the portrait.

The photographer got a number of positive comments about the photo and the shoot, but some people didn’t approve of the flag being used in this way. One of the critics was Facebook page You Call Yourself a Photographer?, which shared the image with its audience with a scathing message for Hicks:

“This flag is a symbol of everything my son died for many years ago. It was of the utmost honor to have a flag laid upon your coffin as my son did,” the page writes. “That honor is taken away when disrespectful photographers throw our flag code out the window.”

People soon started sending Hicks angry messages, and the story began attracting the attention of media outlets. Here’s ABC’s coverage:

Soon there was an outpour of support for Hicks as commenters began to leave positive messages to boost her spirits and defend her photograph. She responded with an update yesterday:

You Call Yourself a Photographer? then responded with a Facebook update of its own:

Hicks is continuing to stand by her photo and the photograph is now going viral online. It appears the vast majority of public comments — including on the original critical Facebook posts — are in defense of Hicks and her work. What are your thoughts on this matter?