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Work / Photography

Jesse Rieser captures the tacky Christmas traditions of suburban America

These pictures from Missouri-based photographer Jesse Rieser give a candid portrayal of what Christmas is for many people – gaudy light displays and awkward familial moments. Jesse’s photographic survey of Christmas in suburban America sees all sorts of interpretations of the festive period and it makes for uncomfortable but compelling viewing. From elaborate Christmas wonderlands in living rooms, to Santa playing pool in a dingy bar, Jesse’s photographs provide a deadpan glimpse into different Christmas traditions. 

The series was initially inspired “by the absurdity of a five-storey inflatable Santa who appeared to be guarding a tree lot,” explains Jesse. These flashes of excess feature throughout the series and while they’re tacky and a bit naff, the good intentions render them weirdly charming.

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America

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Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America