There’s something incredible about how two family members can look so similar, regardless of how old they are or what gender they might be. Photographer Ulric Collette is a talented individual from Quebec City, Canada who has an eye for beauty in portraits. He has been in awe of family genetics for over a decade and was determined to find a way to combine his passions. After playing around with his camera, he developed a new kind of photo – “Genetic Portraits.” Basically, he takes two halves of two family members’ portraits and edits them side by side to highlight their similarities and differences. The end results are absolutely stunning.
Grandmother/Granddaughter: Ginette (61) & Ismaëlle (12)
One of the genetic portraits that stood out for Ulric upon completion was this one, depicting a 61-year-old grandmother next to her 12-year-old granddaughter. It perfectly encapsulates a detail that Ulric learned about family genetics.
“I’ve been told that daughters tend to look a lot like their grandmother from the father’s side of the family,” he said. While Ginette and Ismaëlle’s hair color is obviously different, they have very similar facial features. Even though there is an entire generation between them, they still look so similar.
Sister/Brother: Geneviève (33) & Jean-Michel (30)
Our first reaction when seeing this photo was that someone tried way too hard to do a cosplay of Conchita Wurst. We can safely say that this is simply not the case. This is yet another genetic portrait, this time putting 33-year-old Geneviève up against her “little” brother Jean-Michel.
We can’t help but imagine how much more similar they would look if Jean-Michel shaved for the photoshoot. Naturally, the only other difference between the siblings seems to be the bushiness of their eyebrows.
Mother/Daughter: Julie (61) & Isabelle (32)
She might be nearly double her daughter’s age, but Julie looks like she could be Isabelle’s twin sister, with dyed hair! Not only do the two women share the same eyes, nose, and mouth, but they even have the same complexion – freckles included!
There are some subtle indicators that Julie is, in fact, Isabelle’s mother. These include her eyebrows that have thinned with time. Not to mention the small wrinkles on her forehead. Other than that though, we’re entering the “Uncanny Valley…”
Father/Son: Claude (54) & Benoit (23)
We do not think the phrase “like father, like son” has ever been more appropriate since the phrase was invented. Benoit takes so much after his father that we are not sure if he got anything from his mother.
It’s as if Claude took a photo when he was 23, and then another 31 years later. Then, he submitted both portraits to Ulric and fooled him in the process. Whatever the truth might be, the apple certainly didn’t fall far from Claude’s tree.
Cousins: Ulric (34) & Justine (34)
Seeing that this is Ulric’s pet project, it only made sense that he’d include himself in some of the portraits. This also means that he was excited to use members of his own family.
In this photo, it’s incredible to see just how similar he looks compared to his cousin Justine, who is the same age as him. Sure, their hair color/style is very different, but their facial features are virtually identical, from the green eyes to the nose and mouth.
Sisters: Anne-Sophie (19) & Pascale (16)
Here’s another classic example of two twins who are different ages and through the power of “genetic portraits,” look like they could be twins! Many publishers have consulted Ulric about potentially compiling all of these images into a book.
“It would be great to do this with famous people and their family, maybe it could make a great book!” he said. We can imagine Ulric having a lot of fun one day creating a portrait of Angelina Jolie and her child Shiloh.
Son/Mother: Kristof (19) & Madined (41)
It should be no surprise that over the course of the last decade, Ulric has developed a technique of how to put together perfect genetic portraits. One of the key factors that comes into play is lighting, and Ulric can’t emphasize how important this is.
“There’s a lot of detail in my photographs, and I’ve learned a lot over time on how to best light the subject and what I need in my photo for it to work,” he said.
Sister/Brother: Karine (29) & Dany (25)
Some of Ulric’s photos hit home just how similar men and women can look when you put their portraits up against each other. This particular photo of siblings Karine and Dany hits home just how much siblings can look alike, even when they are different ages and different genders!
In fact, the hair might be the only difference! You can imagine the person in this photo turning to the left and appearing to be a woman, then turning to the right and appearing to be a guy!
Twins: Laurence & Christine (20)
What you’ll begin to learn is that some of the people in these photos worked with Ulric in other photos later on. Take these two twins, for example. Laurence and Christine had their first genetic portrait taken back in 2009 when they were 20 years old.
As you can see, they share identical facial features, despite having very different hairstyles at the time. However, if you look a bit further down the article, you’ll find a photo they took five years later…
Brother/Sister: Jean-Philippe (29) & Véronique (27)
There might be two years separating Jean-Philippe and his sister Véronique. However, there is no denying that they very much look alike. There seems to be a recurring pattern in these photos: especially in the eyes, nose, and mouth.
If you shaved both of their heads and all of Jean-Philippe’s facial hair off, we’d struggle to identify them. The only physical indicator of who they are would be their differing eye colors. Dig a little deeper though, and the siblings also have very different eyebrows…
Brothers: Christophe (30) & Ulric (29)
Just for clarification: the brother on the left is Ulric. A photographer by trade, Mr. Collette has been working on “genetic portraits” since 2008 and started with a side-by-side image of him and his son, who was seven at the time.
After his photo went viral, he “decided to try it out with other people, family and friends.” In this photo, it’s quite amazing to think that a full year separates Ulric and his brother. If we didn’t know otherwise, we’d assume this was a portrait of one person!
Daughter/Mother: Marilène (35) & Réjeane (64)
The harsh reality of life is that some people appear to age more drastically than others. As a result, it is easier to tell the differences between relatives in some of these genetic portraits.
Marilène might’ve seen this photo and felt scared that this is what she’d have to look forward to in 29 years time. However, we think that her mother has aged pretty gracefully. One thing’s for sure, they both rock the short hair with class and panache.
Daughter/Father: Ariane (13) & André (55)
Ulric isn’t just interested in creating genetic portraits of relatives that look like twins. He also likes to highlight similarities in family members who, on face value, appear to be very different.
It’s funny how this daughter and father have very different hair colors, styles, and eye colors too. However, the differences seem to end there. Ariane and André have a very similar head shape, while their noses and mouths are virtually identical. It’s safe to assume that Ariane potentially got her brown eye color from her mother.
Daughter/Mother: Marie-Andrée (55) & Claudette (81)
Not only does this feature the oldest person on this list, but this might be the genetic portrait with the most blatant differences. With that said, we can still see some of the key features that Marie-Andrée shares with her mother, Claudette.
While it’s difficult to tell if they do have similar eyes or not, they certainly have similar-looking noses and mouths. After seeing this photo, the daughter is still not excited at the prospect of inheriting her mother’s hairstyle later on in life…
Father/Son: Laval (56) & Vincent (29)
It seems like hairlines aren’t the strongest features of Laval’s family genes. At 29 years of age, Vincent ended up losing his hair pretty early on in life. However, it might take a couple more decades before his hair color turns grey like his “old man.”
We get the impression that Laval looked just like his son when he was 29 years old. The weathered nature of the father’s skin paints a hauntingly beautiful picture of the effects time has on the human face.
Father/Daughter: Ham (64) & Sophea (37)
Ulric’s incredible talent of showing the similarities between relatives in one photo has taken him to many interesting places, as well as plenty of art galleries.
“I’ve made a few exhibits around the world, in Montreal, Belgium and the U.S. and featured in a few art books and magazines,” he told Bored Panda. “My work is currently on display at the Transportation Mall Photography Exhibit at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.” This photo is a testament to how far his work has traveled.
Sisters: Véronique (32) & Catherine (26)
This is another one of those genetic portraits that screams out “twins” even though the siblings have a significant age gap. Véronique might be six years older than little sister Catherine, yet nearly everything about them is eerily similar.
Not only do they have extremely similar facial features, but they are also able to execute the exact same expression. There is a chance that one sister got their lips from their mother, while the other got them from their father.
Sisters: Roxane (22) & Jill (25)
Roxane and Jill certainly have plenty of differences, like their unique eye colors and different sized noses. However, they also have plenty in common. The sisters together in this photo could pass as one person.
This is in no small part due to the illusion created by their unified hairstyle. It could even be someone with heterochromia, a condition where each eye has a different eye color. Sorry to burst your bubble though: these are, without a doubt, two different people.
Brothers: Loyd (30) & Jean-Philippe (27)
Ulric has admitted that not every photo he receives is suitable for genetic portraits. People who are interested in submitting photos for him to work on need to be a certain size and lit in a certain kind of way.
“I’ve received a lot of photographs from families over time,” he said. “Most of the time the photos are too small, there are no details or the lighting is really different in the two photographs. For me, it is really important that I do the entire process by myself.”
Mother/Son: Ginette (61) & Mathieu (30)
This is the second time that 61-year-old Ginette has appeared in this list of genetic portraits. This time though, Ulric put her side-by-side with Ismaëlle’s father; her son, Mathieu.
This mother/son pairing is another classic example of how two relatives can look so similar despite being completely different ages and genders. Ginette is over double the age of Mathieu. However, like her similarities to her granddaughter, she passed on the same eyes to her son, as well as the same mouth and nose.
Twins: Christine & Laurence (25)
As promised, here are the twins Christine and Laurence, who first had a genetic portrait taken back in 2009 when they were 20 years old. However, after five years passed, they decided to submit a new pair of portraits to Ulric.
This time though, there are a bunch of differences. Firstly, the twins have very different hairstyles compared to last time and only one twin is wearing makeup. Not to mention the fact that they are posing aggressively for this photo.
Twins: Annie-Claude & Marie-Ève (39)
Some twins look so alike that when you put them up against each other in a portrait, it looks like one person. This definitely is the case, as far as 39-year-olds Annie-Claude and Marie-Ève are concerned.
If it wasn’t for their different hairstyles, we would forgive you if you assumed that one person was, in fact, in this photo. From their eyes and nose to the way their lips are positioned, the resemblance between these two twins is absolutely uncanny.
Daughter/Mother: Marie-Pier (18) & N’sira (49)
Sometimes, a person and their child can look so alike that they can often be accused of being siblings. It has happened to many of us over the years and the same thing has happened (on multiple occasions) to mother and daughter N’sira and Marie-Pier.
Even though there are over three decades separating the two, it’s quite amazing to think that there is that much of an age-gap between N’sira and Marie-Pier. They really could be sisters if you didn’t know.
Mother/Daughter: Mireille (37) & Maxim (16)
This is one of those genetic portraits that has an uncanny quality because of how similar the mother and daughter appear to be. Mireille has a very youthful complexion, despite being over two decades older than her daughter.
It seems like this is one family with very good genes and if Maxim hadn’t died her hair red, you may have suspected that this was a portrait of one person. They certainly have the same eyes, nose, and mouth.
Brothers: Éric (39) & Dany (31)
So what have we learned about these two brothers? Well, firstly, Éric and Dany look like they could be twins, despite being separated in age by almost a decade.
Secondly, Éric seems to take better care of his teeth than Dany (those fillings). To be honest, Déric (hypothetical name if the two brothers were actually one person) looks like the kind of guy who would shave half of his head hair off just for fun. The facial expression is very rock n’ roll!
Son/Mother: Ludwig (33) & Laurence (59)
By no means does Ulric claim to be a scientist. First and foremost, he is a photographer. However, his exploration into genetic portraits has introduced him to the way that family DNA manifests itself in the physical form.
“I’ve learned a few generic facts on genetics along the way but really had no way to prove anything, unfortunately,” he said. In this photo, it would be easy to assume that Ludwig simply shaved half of his facial hair. But no, this is a split of him and his mother.
Sister/Brother: Pascale (45) & David (36)
For a start, we’re going to go out on a limb here and say that Pascale and David look very good for their age (especially Pascale, who could easily be 20 years younger). Not only do these siblings share very youthful genes, but most of their differences are so subtle.
These include the tiny bit of stubble/soul patch that David has and the lipstick that Pascale is wearing. Of course, their hair is very different. However, if this was one person – we’ve seen stranger hairstyles…
Sisters: Gabrielle (28) & Léa (25)
They might not be the most identical relatives on this list. Make no mistake about it though: it is pretty clear that Gabrielle and Lea are in fact, sisters.
Sure, there might be three years separating these two and each sister has pretty distinctive features. Gabrielle has wavy hair and blue eyes, while Léa’s hair is straight and her eyes on brown. Nevertheless, the signs that these two are related are undeniable. For a start, they have the exact same mouth.
Sister/Brother: Ismaëlle (12) & Nathan (11)
There might only be one-year separating Ismaëlle from her young brother Nathan. However, there is no denying that these two are brother and sister and if you didn’t know their actual ages, you could easily assume that they were twins.
The way the photo is edited makes it look like someone sporting a pretty bizarre hairstyle, with one half consisting of long, red locks, while the other half is short and spikey. The power of photoshop in full effect.
Twins: Alex & Sandrine (20)
Having a twin is a gift and a curse. While it’s a great ice-breaker, being able to tell people that you have a twin, things can get problematic, depending on how much you look alike.
Twins Alex and Sandrine can often get called out for looking so alike. They are often referred to as the male and female versions of each other and based on this photo alone, it’s not hard to see why. Other than the hairstyle and facial hair, they are pretty much identical.