We Are Santa: Portraits and Profiles (Hardcover)
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Who doesn't love Santa Claus? From award-winning photographer Ron Cooper comes a beautifully curated collection of fifty professional Santas from across the country. We Are Santa is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of those who slip into the red suit to spread Christmas cheer. Before and after portraits, behind-the-scenes stories of custom made costumes and specialized training, and surprising anecdotes of on-the-job encounters bring these Santas to life.
Just as Humans of New York captures the lives of everyday people, We Are Santa celebrates the humanity of everyday Santas. From a third-generation Kris Kringle to an Orthodox Jew who has been playing Santa for fifty years, Cooper's portraits are a testament to the holiday spirit. When Santa Mike, a Navy veteran and aircraft mechanic, meets a six-year-old girl with a prosthetic hand just like his own, he says, "Her eyes got big, and she threw her arms around my neck. It was the highlight of my season. That's why I'm Santa."
About the Author
Ron Cooper is an award-winning travel, documentary, and portrait photographer based in Denver, Colorado. His work celebrates humankind, focusing on people, in particular, who adopt personas outside of their day-to-day lives. Ron has photographed drag performers in Cuba to Civil War reenactors in New Mexico. And along the way, he has photographed hundreds of Santa. We Are Santa is his first book.
"Santa Claus is coming to the bookshelf. Cooper, a photographer, has profiled 50 professional Santas, including an Orthodox Jew, a Scottish-kilted bagpiper, a veteran with a prosthetic hand and a woman. It's a lovely way to catch some holiday cheer - with photos as absorbing as the text."
- The Washington Post
"Fans of Humans of New York will love this curated glimpse into the lives of and humanity behind 50 professional Santas (an Orthodox Jew, a Scottish-kilted bagpiper, a third-generation Kris Kringle and more) in We Are Santa: Portraits and Profiles by award-winning photographer Ron Cooper."
"Cooper's photography is masterful and he seems to capture the personality of each Santa and their distinctive Santa appearance, 'a testament to the holiday spirit.'...[We Are Santa] is beautiful and worth a look and a read!"
- Virginia Gazette
"Cooper excellently captures the joy each of these Santas takes in becoming the world's most well-known bringer of Christmas spirit."
"Oft longed for, it's a lucky few who get to meet Santa each year. That's unless you're Ron Cooper, who has met dozens of them, photographing them for his project We Are Santa."
- Simple Things (UK)
"You can't possibly go wrong when you wrap up "We Are Santa: Portraits and Profiles," by Ron Cooper, this Christmas."
- The Telegraph-Herald (Dunuque, Iowa)