‘A Handmaids Tale’ Wedding Photographer Thinks He’s Deep
Source: Van Daele and Russell Photography

‘A Handmaids Tale’ Wedding Photographer Thinks He’s Deep


Oct. 4 2019, Published 12:08 p.m. ET

When “A Handmaids Tale” themed wedding photo made the internet rounds, the response was mostly negative.

The image shows a pair of happy newlyweds kissing in front of the “hanging wall” from the hit show based on Margaret Attwood’s novel. The wall displays the bodies of those killed by the fictional totalitarian state. What could be more Romantic?

The couple depicted in the photo has declined to comment and not made their full names public. Which is fair. The reactions have been mostly critical, with many finding the inclusion of the very dark location in a happy event distasteful.

The man who took the picture, however, has commented. Now I’m sure this will come as a surprise, but his comments were really bad.

The photographers’ name is Shawn Van Daele. He wrote his response to the photos reception in an email to NBC News.

Why The Picture Is A Good Thing Actually

Everyone is talking about this issue now, rather than binging on a television series and then not doing ANYTHING about what they’re SO worked up over until the next season comes out in the spring. What’s sad is that the oppression and hatred, the division, fear and breakdown of HUMANITY & COMPASSION is being perpetuated in every one of these comments.”

“What’s sad is that everyone is REACTING exactly as expected — just like in Gilead — and missing the opportunity to think for themselves, to educate themselves and become ENGAGED ACTIVISTS instead of simply keyboard warriors.”

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It all feels very much like when a Youtuber gets caught doing something awful and comes back with “but it was a social experiment.”

Daele seems to think that people are binging A Handmaids Tale and doing nothing about the issues. But his wedding photo will force them into action. This is bogus for a number of reasons.

  1. The idea that this photo will impact people more than the show is idiotic. HBO’s A Handmaids Tale will both be seen by more people and contains more depth and social commentary.
  2. This photo isn’t activism. It isn’t a call for activism. It’s a piece of media just like the show. The biggest response to it has been online commentary.
  3. PEOPLE ARE ALREADY FIGHTING FOR WOMENS REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS. Does this guy think he’s the first person to recognize that women deserve bodily autonomy? Has he not heard of any of the activism going on in America?
  4. The photo was in poor taste. That’s it. It’s no deeper than that.

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