Ulrich Collette’s Spliced Portraits Shows Incredible Genetic Similarities In Relatives

Ulrich Collette

Father / Son: Denis, 60 & Mathieu, 25 years

Ulrich Collette

Grandmother / Granddaughter: Ginette, 62, & Ismaëlle,12

Ulrich Collette

Daughter / Mother: Marie-Pier 18 & N’sira, 49

Ulrich Collette

Father / Son: Denis, 53 & William, 28 years

Photography has long been used to document the scientific process and display visual evidence, so when Ulric Collette began to use the medium to show how genetics can exhibit itself, it was both the obvious similarities, and differences, that caught everyone’s attention. Working out of Quebec, Canada, Ulric, a self-taught photographer and graphic designer, began the photoseries in 2008 where family member’s faces were spliced together to create portraits that compared physical appearance with contrasting ages. The process seems like a no-brainer, but it was truly born from an accident. The photographer explains, “I was attempting to create something totally different with another project, and in the process I came up with the first picture, me and my then 7-year-old son,”. Realizing the easily viewed comparison between generations when shown spliced together, Ulric began to enlist the help of others to show the effects of genetics. He continues, “I decided to try the same process with a few family members and the project was born.”

Collette uses specific portraits edited down from hundreds of tightly-controlled photos, to create his finished works. Acknowledging that even with the advances of editing software, it is still very difficult to find an appropriate match that works, he explains the difficulty of the project, “I need to take a lot of pictures in a controlled environment of each model, compare the picture to one another, chose the right ones and stick them together in Photoshop” .

The photographer used many of his own family members to investigate these connections, including his daughter and mother (above, Ginette & Ismaëlle), and even himself and his own brother (below, Christopher & Ulric). Collette explains, “The reaction to the project never ceases to surprise me…A few of the ones I’m in shocked me – me and my brother Christopher, for example, we totally look the same!” (via huffington post and bbc)


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Ulric Collette Splices Together Family Members To Compare Physical Similarities

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Son / Father: Nathan, 7 & Ulric, 29

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Cousins: Justine, 29 & Ulric, 29

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Brothers: Christophe, 30 & Ulric, 29

The series Genetic Portraits almost works as a casual study.  Quebec based photographer Ulric Collette seamlessly blends the faces of two relatives to create one portrait that is hard to look away from.  The resulting photographs highlight the differences an emphasize the similarities between siblings, children, parents, and cousins.  It is nearly as if the images are a visualization of the genetic traits traveling between generations.  Genetic Portraits is also an absorbing record of time’s effect on physical appearance.  Eye  s, for example, appear to be near exact copies between father and son, separated only by the wear of thirty years.

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