Photographer Compares Family Resemblance in his Striking Genetic Portraits
Ulric Collete the photographer created a project called “Genetic Portraits” in which he compares family traits side-by-side. You’ll notice some incredible similarities and unique differences.
Check out genetics at work and see how family resemblance and age compare with these stunning portraits.
Father and Son: Nathan and Ulric
For the very first image in this incredible series, Ulric decides to put himself and his son in front of the camera. Here we see his 7-year-old son’s traits compared to his own at 29.
Despite very different eye colors and shapes, the family resemblance is clear. His seamless work in blending the two images is a perfect portrayal of the phrase, “like father, like son”.
Brothers: Christophe and Ulric
Before he moves on to other subjects, the wonderful Ulric finds himself in front of the camera once again. This time he is compared to his brother. They share so many traits that it appears they could be twins.
Actually, the pair are a year apart but they look almost identical. The biggest difference we can see is the haircut. If you take a closer look you’ll notice there are some subtle differences such as the eye color.
Brothers: Mathieu and Ulric
Ulric now compares himself to his younger brother as well. Here, we can see that he and his younger brother do not bear as close of a resemblance as he does with Christophe.
It also calls into question one of the main reasons for this photo series: the comparison of family traits based on age. You might notice some small age signs in Ulric that are not present in his younger brother such as thinning hair or darker circles around the eyes.
Father and Son: Denis and Mathieu
Ulric captures his father and youngest brother in a striking side-by-side. You will notice the obvious differences first: Denis’s white hair and beard and blue eyes are ever different from Mathieu’s darker features.
But when you take a closer look you will see the family resemblance is glaring. The shape of their faces and noses are almost identical. Mathieu has a good look into what he will likely look like in the future by seeing his dad.
Cousins: Justine and Ulric
Ulric poses against his cousin, Justine in the first example of a man and woman in the family posed together. As you can probably tell, these two could easily be mistaken as siblings rather than cousins.
The black and white hair contrast is reminiscent of Cruella DeVille! But their eyes are such a similar color blue and their bone structure is shockingly similar. The biggest differences we can see are the shape of their eyes and their eyebrows.
Cousins Justine and Ulric (5 years later)
Ulric picked the project back up to five years after the first set of photos. This time, he started with a comparison of himself and his cousin once again, but they are now both 34 years old as opposed to 29.
You can see the difference 5 years can make! Their hair is obviously thinner, but that family resemblance remains. The similarities are truly striking.
Sisters: Justine and Emilie
Now, Ulric steps back behind the camera and compares his cousin Justine with her sister, Emilie. The two women are 2 years apart and if it weren’t for the hair and eye color, you would think this was just one person’s face.
It’s so incredible how similar the two really are. Their noses, mouths, and cheeks are all almost the exact same. They’d be twins if one of them dyed their hair and popped in some color contacts.
Twins: Laurence and Christine
Ulric turns to photograph twins, because what better way is there to really show family resemblance? The differences in their appearance are more aesthetic than genetic.
If we took away the makeup and hairstyles, they would look almost exactly alike. But we like this comparison for showing how your own unique style can really change the way you look!
Twins: Laurence and Christine (5 years later)
Here, the same set of twins are photographed again, but 5 years later at age 25. You will notice that they look very different from when they were 20.
This is mostly because of the way their styles have changed. We can also see how they have very different teeth. One wears darker makeup than the other. And they’ve kind of swapped hairstyles with each other based on that first photo.
Twins: Annie-Claude and Marie-Eve
This set of twins actually has some very noticeable differences in their facial features. Their face shapes and eye color are very similar in that special twin way.
But, their hair color really shapes their faces differently and makes them look pretty different. Additionally, while their eyes are the same beautiful shade of brown they are such different shapes.
Twins: Alex and Sandrine
Now we have our first set of fraternal female/male twins in the series. Despite being different genders, Alex and Sandrine look like they’re almost carbon copies of one another.
Genetics is a wild thing. You can tell the subtle differences such as the fact that Sandrine’s face is slimmer than that of her brother’s and her lips are more full.
Brothers: Renaud and Kristof
The brothers Renaud and Kristof are two years apart in age and their features are remarkably similar. We can see subtle similarities here that you might not notice if they weren’t placed right next to each other like this.
Their hair texture, skin tone, and eye color are all obvious similarities. But, they also share some similar freckles! The facial hair makes it clear what the older brother is between the two.
Mother and Son: Madined and Kristof
Ulric now places a mother/son duo in front of the camera. The pair are almost identical in their facial shapes. So much so that we have to wonder if he inherited any genetic traits at all from his dad.
It’s so obvious how similar kids can look to their parents and how traits are passed down from generation to generation. Not to mention, Kristof’s mom has aged with such grace. He should hope to have the same fortune!
Mother and Daughter: Julie and Isabelle
This portrait shows Julie, age 61 and her daughter Isabelle, age 32. It’s a perfect example of the comparison of genes and how appearance changes over time.
Both ladies have incredible curly hair. Isabelle can expect to keep those luscious locks for years to come. It looks like they share almost every other facial characteristic as well.
Father and Daughter: Daniel and Isabelle
Now, Ulric compares Isabelle with her father as well. It’s interesting to see that she does resemble her father as well. How can she look so much like both of her parents when her parents don’t look the same at all?
It’s a fascinating comparison to see her against her mother and father. Naturally, she inherited her mother’s darker eyes because the light eyes of her father are a recessive gene.
Father and Daughter: Ham and Sophea
Sophea is almost half her father’s age but the two share obvious similarities. Despite the age difference and the fact that they are male and female, it is easy to see that the two are related.
Their facial features are almost identical if you look past the fine lines on Ham’s face. Some differences do include the eyes and nose shape, but the family resemblance is still glaring.
Mother and Daughter: Sophea and Sophal
While it may have appeared that Sophea inherited all of her traits from dear old dad, we now see that her mother’s traits are also in the mix. You can see where she got her eyes.
Even their slight smiles are identical. One thing is for sure. This stunning family ages gracefully and we have no doubt Sophea will as well.
Father and Daughter: Ulric and Ismaelle
Ulric makes a return to being in front of the camera, but this time with his daughter, Ismaelle. We’re not sure if this family just has crazy strong genes or if most people bear this much resemblance to their family members and we just don’t notice it.
This image portrays the features we have that change with age. Our ears, noses, and lips will all grow and change throughout our life. But, we think a comparison of Ulric at his daughter’s age next to Ismaelle would be strikingly similar.
Brother and Sister: Nathan and Ismaelle
The siblings are now compared and it is obvious that the two are related, but they also have some striking differences. Their eye shapes are different despite having similar colors.
Their lips vary as well; however, we can see they both share those freckles. Interestingly, this is not a trait they inherited from their father so it must be one carried down from their mother’s side.
Grandmother and Granddaughter: Ginete and Ismaelle
Now, Ulric compares Ismaelle at age 11 to her grandmother so we can see the similarities and differences in traits across 2 generations! Until now, we’ve seen siblings and parents compared, but this adds another generation to the mix.
Interestingly, despite the fact that the pair are further away in age than any of the precious pairs, they remain strikingly similar. In fact, we would not be surprised if someone had told us this was her mother rather than her grandma.
Mother and Son: Ginete and Mathieu
We have a comparison of Ulric’s brother and his mother. This time, Mathieu is 5 years older than he was in the first images we saw of him. You might notice the small details in the faces that make it obvious that they are family.
The eye color is unmistakable and the noses are nearly the same. Not even the facial hair can cover up the family resemblance we see here clear as day.
Brothers: Lloyd and Jean-Philippe
It is more than those similar beards that make these two brothers. It’s clear that the genes run strong in this family. The brothers are 3 years apart and yet they look like they could be twins.
One may have hair on his head while the other does not. One might have blue eyes while the other has brown. But, they’re certainly brothers, through and through.
Brothers: Dany and Eric
Dany and Eric are 8 years apart, which makes them excellent subjects for this kind of project. We love that they did a fun expression rather than the solemn one we’ve seen in so many of the other portraits.
We find it interesting that they managed to grow almost the exact same facial hair. And, there’s no mistaking their eyes as those of brothers. The most striking difference between them is the hair on their head.
Brother and Sister: Jean-Michel and Genevieve
Something we find interesting about this pair is that their hair color is almost exactly the same. With so much variety in melanin content, this rarely happens!
The deep brown color of their eyes is unmistakably the same. Clearly, Genevieve has some high bone structure and these subtle differences make it clear that they got different traits from mom and dad.
Sister and Brother: Pascale and David
Pascale on the left is 45 and her brother David on the right is 36. Having almost a decade between them allows us to really compare the familiar traits and how they age over time.
Despite the difference in age, the two siblings look like carbon copies of one another. A few fine lines and some facial hair are not enough to disguise the fact that these two are obviously closely related.
Brother and Sister: Dany and Karine
We wouldn’t blame you for thinking this brother/sister duo are twins because we might have thought the same thing. But, the two are actually 4 years apart. If Dany grew his hair out to be the length of his sister’s they’d be almost identical.
Their eye color is definitely not the same. Nor is their eye shape. But their expression is the same and their faces from the nose down might as well be the same person.
Brother and Sister: Jean-Philippe and Veronique
These sibling shave strikingly different eyes that can be explained by a mix of their parents’ genetics. Regardless of this and their different hair, they are fascinatingly similar.
We’re continuously amazed by the different ways that genes can manifest in different ways and make people look unique while still bearing such close resemblance.
Sisters: Anne-Sophie and Pascale
We almost thought Ulric was trying to trick us with this one because we could have sworn that this was just one person when we first saw it. No way could that be two sisters pieced together, right?
It is in fact two sisters side by side. One is 19 years old and the other is 16. The only difference we can really notice is the eye shape. One sister has more of a hooded eyelid than the other, but the difference is so slight we had to take a good hard look to see it.
Sisters: Roxanne and Jill
Roxanne and Jill are one of our favorite portraits in this project because they are an excellent example of having seemingly very different features, but still sharing an unmissable family resemblance.
The women are 22 and 25 years old, respectively. All the major features are different. One sister has large brown eyes while the other has green pens with hooded eyelids. One sister has a slender nose while the other has a more broad bridge.