#flagbaby

Well yes, it was I that took this now infamous, controversial photo. My life was in a whirlwind for the last two weeks!! For those that are not on my business page, here is the post that I had posted in the beginning of all of this craziness:

““**Long post but please read**
Yesterday was a hard day for me.
Yesterday, I almost let the hatred of some cyber bullies get to me.
Yesterday, I ALMOST believed them.

I posted a picture that I had recently taken of a military man holding his newborn son in a vinyl prop flag that I purchased at The Dollar Store. I love the shot. The family loves the shot. Most of you loved the shot.

Yesterday, I woke up to see this photo was shared on a group site that is meant to bash other photographers. It was in their opinion I had disrespected our nations flag. I had disrespected our country by taking this picture. Several of these people not only bashed the picture, but me, saying I should be ashamed of myself, my husband should be ashamed, etc and I received several private messages to my business page. They even took it a step farther and bashed the service member in the picture, hoping he gets in trouble for participating in desecration of the flag.

I am very well aware of our U.S Flag code. I also know exactly what desecration of a flag is. It’s when you pull into ports and you see protestors with our flag and have spray painted horrible things on it. It’s when you watch the news and you see other countries burning our flags, and you are a young Quartermaster scared because you know you are just a few nautical miles from that exact country.

I almost let these cyber bullies get me yesterday. I could have easily deleted the picture off of my business page and ended it with that. I almost did. Then I thought, WHY?

These cyber bullies would win!
Hell no!
So I went to the group and I stood up to them. I stood up for what I believed in! And you know what, so did so many others! A photography group saw the picture and agreed there was nothing disrespectful about it and went to the page and stood up for it. Friends, who I didn’t even say anything to, somehow saw it and went and stood up for the picture.
The HONOR of the picture.
In the last 24 hours, the image has gone viral. From my business page, over 12,000 people have seen the image.
This morning, two local reporters have contacted me wanting to talk about this image and the affects of cyber bullying and pages like this.

I didn’t ask for any of this. I just took a picture.

But, I stood up for the picture. To me, that is what being an American is about.
””

— www.facebook.com/vanessahicksphotography
What started as this horrible group sharing this picture in hate, turned into a viral picture that was being seen literally all around the world! I had calls from Bahrain, Australia, Canada, and Guam, all reaching out to me over this photo.

After my first segment on Fox and Friends, that's when it became national!



To date, this video on Fox and Friends Facebook Page has been seen by 1,412,315 Views,  and shared over 17,231 times! From there, I feel like every news outlet was talking about it, from Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Huffington Post, you name it, it was on there! It was even trending number 1 on Facebook for some time!




I was blessed and shocked when Fox had called me that weekend, and wanted me to go to DC that weekend to do two follow-up segments!



When I look back on these past two weeks, I have continued to state how all of this started from hate, this hate group, who thankfully has been shut down since them, they wanted to tear me down. All of this happened because I decided to take a stand. I would have never imagined this to go viral, be in newspapers, etc. I think that just goes to show that you never know when one decision could change your life.

While I am so honored for all of this that happened, I am really happy and excited to get back to my "new normal" and back to doing what I love, which is taking pictures and helping families preserve their memories.

Thank you all for your support. The thousands of emails and messages I've been going through shows that the majority of people have been in support of this image, and that means the world to me!

Here are a few more articles about the image:

http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2015/03/13/photographer-baby-flag-navy-support/70237378/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/12/living/feat-baby-cradled-in-american-flag/

http://www.today.com/news/veteran-uses-american-flag-cradle-baby-controversial-photo-it-ok-2D80545282 

@vanessahicksphotography

AUTHENTIC. GENUINE. REAL.

HAWAI'I WEDDING & PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

Based In Honolulu, HI • Serving All Hawaiian Islands

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"My family still gushes over how amazing she is and how wonderful it was to have her capture our special day."
Leanne g 

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