‘Self-Portraits with Men’ Series Explores the ‘What-Ifs’ of Life with Different Partners


Have you ever wondered what you life would be like if you ended up with one of your exes? Or just a random person on the street, somebody whose trajectory in life would have changed your own drastically?

Czech photographer Dita Pepe has, but she took it an step further than most of us when she turned these spousal what-ifs into a series of portraits that take an interesting look at “what might have been” had her family life taken a different direction.

Pepe started the series by posing with friends and acquaintances, men and their children that she actually knew. As the series progressed, however, she eventually started reaching out to strangers, questioning in thought, execution and photographs what her life would be like had they been her partner.


As a whole, the series depicts a number of archetypes present across the globe; but individually, Pepe blends in with each of the families, completely immersing herself into the question at hand.

Whether the resulting images are taken at face-value or explored more thoroughly, the series will probably have you asking similar questions of your own life. What if you had ended up with this or that person? What would your family look like? Pepe knows, and in Self-Portraits with Men, she’d like to introduce you to her ‘families':












To see more of Pepe’s work, head over to hear website by clicking here.

(via Feature Shoot)

Image credits: Photographs by Dita Pepe and used with permission

  • bob cooley

    This is very Cindy Sherman-esque. Interesting variants, though.

  • LPP

    Nice pics No message though. Look like regular folks.

  • Richard

    Excellent idea, well carried out.

  • Noah James

    These are not photos of one exploring alternate selves but rather photos of a person playing someone else. For me this removes what was interesting about the concept.

  • OtterMatt

    I don’t really get it. Plus, am I the only one who finds it super creepy to be breast-feeding someone else’s kid, even just for a photo?

  • OtterMatt

    Also, DEAR GOD her lower body is about to swallow that swimsuit. That’s so uncomfortable to look at.

  • Display Name

    Shallow bastard.

  • joshsouzaphotos

    I believe that was her child.

  • Bingmar Irgman

    You don’t get to be selective about women with a pony avatar.

  • vonrock

    I love you just the way you are.” Billy Joel.

  • Gannon Burgett

    You are correct. It was indeed her own child, who posed in a number of the images.

  • sarahone

    this is pretty offensive, the dressed up white trash or classy depending on the people, and dont get me started on the breast feeding pic, gross

  • Michael

    her design and execution effort is not proportional to my reaction. anyway…interesting I guess on some level that escapes me.

  • Geneva Thomas

    Start working from home! Great job for students, stay-at-home moms or anyone needing an extra income… You only need a computer and a reliable internet connection… Make $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month by following link at the bottom and signing up… You can have your first check by the end of this week…

    Sign up here>

  • DrBen

    There is nothing “offensive” about the photos. The photographer has made photos expressing the fantasies we have all had about what our lives would have been like if we had lived them differently. Is her work a success? That is open to debate. I like her portfolio.

    The breastfeeding picture is one of the best (in my opinion). There is nothing “gross” about a mother nursing her baby in a family setting. From an artistic perspective, one of the most enduring and popular themes in religious art is the Virgin Mary breastfeeding baby Jesus. That theme was particularly popular in Renaissance art. Here are a few dozen examples:

    This genre is called “nursing madonna” or “madonna lactans” by specialists.

  • seorasx

    I wouldn’t say any where offensive as such though do find the Turkish (?) family where she has blackened up and placed them in a rundown area a bit dodgy. It might have been more interesting if she had subverted the stereotypes, questioning prejudices.
    Before I read it I thought that she looked very eastern european and blow me she’s (stereotypically) Czech.
    Using the same kid in several images, spoils it also a bit for me.
    Otherwise and despite my gripes really nice and interesting.
    So which is her real family ?

  • seorasx

    Having just looked at her website her self portraits with women is much more interesting, imho. The portraits with men here should really be ‘me and kids with a man’, much less focused.

  • Jason

    You are making some pretty hard judgements here, how do we know that these people did not live in these actual areas or that these are not their own homes behind them? If they were in their own neighborhood it would not be stereotypes at all but reality which is a big difference.

  • seorasx

    Hi Jason,

    You might be quite right but this is not a documentary body of work, its a work of fiction and fantasy, of role play. Of course photography only pertains to reality anyway and is itself a fiction.
    I would say that her work does reinforce stereotypes, this sort of person lives in this sort of house, etc. Thats why I said it might have been more interesting if there was some sort of subversion going on. Whatever, if a body of work creates debate and discussion….

    Her ‘self portraits with women’, much more interesting and I would recommend having a look.

  • Isaac Cobb

    You can really feel the amount of time spent receiving this photographer’s work through your comment. Well put.

  • Aezreth

    Reading the article I expected the men in the photos to be her actual exes and the kids theirs, I think that would have been more interesting. I still like it though, the execution is very well done.

  • OtterMatt

    You’re adorable. Good thing I’m married, so I honestly couldn’t care less. Besides, who said anything about her? I commented about how uncomfortable that swimsuit has to be to wear. It looks like it’s stretched to the breaking point.

  • OtterMatt

    Boy, that would have been nice to have any indication of whatsoever. All the photos put across is that she’s trying out other people’s families.

  • Bingmar Irgman


  • NuyaBizness

    In the immortal words of Harvey Keitel in the movie Smoke “Slow down when you look at them, you’re missing it”.

  • NuyaBizness

    Epic retort of the day..

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Ya know, feeding kids in public, is gross – make em wait! (^_^)

  • Kaybee

    Nice concept. l can see the feeling of detachment from then men/ husbands used in the first few photos. What like best in the lighting.