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Fake It 'Til You Make It: Artist Mixes Total Strangers to Construct Family Portraits (PHOTOS)

You might think Craigslist is a strange or seedy way to start a family, but for photographer Jamie Diamond, it was as good a place to start as any.

The New York-based artist went searching for total strangers online and in public and asked them to meet her in rented hotel rooms to carefully pose as a family.

“I am interested in the shifting paradigm of the traditional family structure and in the paradox of the familiar,” she says. “The portraits are of actual people being themselves in an entirely new context; they intuitively follow the rules of the genre and the group they form for the camera ascribes them an identity.”

The resulting photos would have been totally mundane, except you see them and realize how much these strangers actually seem like family, therefore rendering them totally fascinating. Is that all it takes to be a family — the will to bond?

Take a look at Constructed Family Portraits:

  • Constructed Family Photos 1 of 10
    cover-1.56.30-PM

    Photos by Jamie Diamond

  • The Rittenhouses 2 of 10
    The-Rittenhouse-Family-copy

    "My work is an ongoing investigation of the rituals and behaviors surrounding vernacular photography and the public image of family," says Jamie Diamond.

  • The Walls 3 of 10
    Working-image_Wall-Family-copy

    "I construct situations and events for the camera that deconstruct family identity and structure and in so doing explore themes of photographic truth, gender, class, culture and identity."

  • The Westerns 4 of 10
    The-Western-Family_smaller-version-copy

    "My work deals with alienation, interaction and group identity, often in relation to social and gender based conventions and stereotypes."

  • The Lathams 5 of 10
    The-Latham-Family1

    "In the Constructed Family Portrait series, I invite strangers to meet me in public spaces or rented hotel rooms and construct artificial families for the camera."

  • The Warwicks 6 of 10
    The-Warwick-Family_-Smaller-Verison-copy

    "I am interested in the shifting paradigm of the traditional family structure and in the paradox of the familiar."

  • The Harmonies 7 of 10
    Harmonie-Family_smaller-version-copy

    "The portraits are of actual people being themselves in an entirely new context; they intuitively follow the rules of the genre and the group they form for the camera ascribes them an identity."

  • The Radissons 8 of 10
    Radisson_Smaller-version-copy

    "I am constantly questioning the past and present narrative, the still and moving image, and the space between authentic experience and artifice."

  • The Seasons 9 of 10
    Season-Family_-Smaller-Verison-copy

    Other projects from Jamie Diamond include I Promise to be a Good Mother and Life in Fiction.

  • The Hiltons 10 of 10
    The-Hilton-Family_working-copy-1

    Click here for more from Jamie Diamond.

 

All photos used with permission from Jamie Diamond

More from Meredith on Babble:

Follow Meredith on Twitter and check out her regular column on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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