Photographer Jesse Rieser spent seven years shooting scenes of how we decorate for Christmas, the season of excess. The series is called Christmas in America. Buzzfeed talked to Rieser about the project.
I think the project started in a more cynical tone and quickly changed once I learned the level of sincerity — and almost childlike enthusiasm and love — people have for the holiday. It quickly went from a question of, “is it keeping up with the Joneses” to something very endearing, no matter how quirky it may come across.
I think there are landmarks in any project that can help identify or solidify a project's identity and message. For this body of work, the “Protecting Dream” image was the first captured for the project: The humorous yet unsettling juxtaposition of Santa Claus and armed US military helped set the tone and establish the themes of Christmas in America.
See a selection of images from Christmas in America at Buzzfeed. Don't miss Santa Claus flying in to a church service, the Elvis shrine, and the "Bavarian Christmas Village Garage."
(Image credit: Jesse Rieser)