Karen, Broomfield, CO

by Maria Sofou

New York-based photographer Danelle Manthey has spent over 10 years capturing people across America with their Christmas lights: Manthey’s images show families and single men and women that devote months or even more to prepare their homes for the holiday season, turning them into mega-decorated wonderlands!

Manthey herself, while growing up, used to travel with her family around her hometown to check out all the houses covered in lights so the project, Christmas USA, was a familiar thing to do!

“Complete strangers from all over the country have sat patiently for me while I try to conjure up some magical photographic moment that not only captures their art but also a piece of them. I would generally spend at least an hour with everyone I photographed and was often invited into their homes to hang out and chat afterwards. It never ceased to amaze me that I was allowed into their homes to photograph them and their families when they had never met me before. I’ve come to view the decorations as a form of American folk art that the creators are constantly evolving over time. These are regular people in their everyday lives and often don’t think of themselves as creative, yet they turn out these amazing pieces of site-specific, temporary, interactive art,” the photographer explains.

Rombeiro Residence, Novato, CA


Baughman Residence, Prosper, TX


Ashworth Residence, Block Island, Rhode Island


Jack, Ambler, PADanelle_Manthey_03

Garret, Babylon, NY


Gil, Kenner, LA


Pick, Metairie, LA


Lucy and Lou, Brooklyn, NY


via featureshoot