Outraged Mom Says ‘Walmart Illegitimately Withheld My Baby Photos!’

Image via iStock

Did Walmart make a nonsensical move when it recently allowed an employee to withhold baby photos from a mother in central Newfoundland, declaring the photos “inappropriate”?

When it comes to capturing those treasured moments, are there definite rules that all parents must follow?

Walmart’s decision has sparked some serious hullabaloo across the nation, and parents are arguing over their photo-taking rights.  

According to this article, “Robin Walsh, a mother of two and a teacher in Gander, said she dropped off a batch of roughly 100 photos to be processed at the local Wal-Mart, but an employee refused to return three of them.”

 The processing technician had flagged the photos as “inappropriate.”

“Two of the photos were of Walsh's infant daughter holding an empty beer bottle. Another picture showed her daughter and five-year-old son lying partially naked on their stomachs before a bath.”

Is it unusual for a mother to photograph her children’s bare, little bottoms?

No. We have all been there and done that. In this scenario it’s a rite of passage, not some form of child exploitation! And shall we point out that while Walmart found the bareness of little bottoms to be inappropriate, they readily developed the photos of Robin’s children in a bathtub, without issue.

{ MORE: What You Need to Know About Keeping Baby Safe in the Bath }

Adding fire to this photo controversy are the parents who strongly feel that photos of an empty beer bottle in an infant’s hand are unsuitable. Everyone’s opinions on this will vary. And I don’t want us to pass judgment one way or another on this mother’s actions. I want us to discuss whether or not the boundaries for appropriate, lawful photos was actually violated in this situation. She didn’t violate any laws, so did Walmart have any legitimate rights of refusal?

In another article, author Ian Mendes writes, “I will openly admit to having a couple of photos in our archives of our kids next to alcohol. When our oldest daughter was about 10 months old, we thought it was hilarious that a glass of beer at the pub was almost as big as she was—so we took a picture of it. I personally don’t see any harm in a photo of a child next to alcohol provided: a) the child is not consuming any alcohol; b) nobody in the picture appears to be intoxicated; c) the child is not being made to pose in a crude manner.”

Were either of these parents in the wrong? According to Walmart’s standards of appropriateness, they were. But I’m not so sure that’s fair. This seems more like a judgment call based on opinion, versus an actual stance against something lawfully harming to a child.

{ MORE: Living in an Era of Disrespect: Are We Raising Our Kids the Right Way? }

While describing this unfortunate clash of procedure and opinion, Robin said,

“Initially I laughed, especially when I saw what photos they were referring to, 'cause I kind of thought that it was a joke, but I was surprised. Then I became angry and embarrassed because a manager had to be brought in to explain to me why I couldn't have the photos, in a store full of people, and it sort of felt like I was being accused of some sort of child exploitation.

“I asked if I could see the policy as it was written down, and I was told that they didn't have it on hand and that it would take time for them to get it, so then I kind of questioned how they could make a judgment based on a policy that they weren't even clear what the policy was.

“The photo technician had apparently flagged the photos and when the manager came down and told me I couldn't have the photos, and I asked him what about the photos was inappropriate, he admitted that he hadn't actually seen them yet.”

After this story went public, Walmart made a statement saying, “the company ‘deeply regrets’ any inconvenience” for Robin. “It is the general policy of the Walmart Photo Centre to not print pictures that contain nudity. Exceptions, of course, are made with every-day situations such as child-birth or babies.”


Well … if you take Walmart’s statement to heart, the decision to withhold Robin’s three photos doesn’t make much sense.

Do you think her photos were ‘inappropriate’? What are the boundaries for appropriate photos involving children?

What do you think?

Outraged Mom Says ‘Walmart Illegitimately Withheld My Baby Photos!’

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Schazaura says:

    I don’t think that any of these pictures were inappropriate and Wal-Mart really had no right to withhold them from the proper owner of the photos.

  2. francine says:

    The picture with the beer bottle is one thing but half naked ( or full nudity) pictures of your baby we have all done it. Even my mother took nude photos of her children. I dont see anything wrong with this.


EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date

By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend