Single photographer ‘made’ herself a family after mum’s nagging

Every single gal is all too familiar with the nagging and prying from well-meaning family members.

‘When are you going to settle down with a nice man?’ is the question that’s dreaded by every girl sans beau at family weddings and trips home.

Well, one woman grew so tired of being pestered about settling down that she decided to take matters into her own hands.

Suzanne Heintz has been photographing her imaginary life with a mannequin husband and child – from proposal, to wedding, to family holidays – for 14 years now.

The 42-year-old American photographer  presents her work in a funny and thought-provoking series of snaps called ‘The Playing House Project: Life Once Removed’.

Suzanne was tired of the pressure to conform to expectations for a ‘woman her age to have a ring on her finger’.

“People said: “You’re such a nice girl, why aren’t you married?” explains Suzanne.

“Even my Mother must have thought she was setting me straight when she said: “Suzy, there’s nobody perfect out there. You just need to PICK somebody, if you’re going to settle down.

“I snapped back, ‘Mom! It’s not like I can go out and BUY a family! I can’t just MAKE it happen!” But then, I found a way. I bought a beautiful family… of mannequins,” said the photographer.

Suzanne was raised in the Mormon Church in New York, which she said was her first experience of the role of women as mum and homemaker.

“Seeing me work with the mannequins is such a peculiar and funny thing to witness, that people are immediately disarmed. As soon as that happens, their mind is open and impressionable.

“I thought it was high time to call this nonsense out publicly, because this notion of insufficiency is not just about me, nor exclusively about women in regards to marriage. It’s about anyone whose life doesn’t look the way it ‘should’” she said.