How often have you heard people telling you “You look just like your mother”? Sometimes, even random strangers take one look at an adorable little girl and exclaim how she looks like the spitting image of her mother – a compliment a mother simply cherishes! It is a given that a baby has to look like either of the parents. In some cases, the baby can also have a stark resemblance to both the parents. This, like most of us know, is often attributed to genetics. Obviously! However, as common as that sounds, the fact is we never actually get down to knowing how genetics works! Don’t worry, we are not going to get into the nitty-gritty of the entire DNA structure and biological jargon. On the contrary, we bring you photographic evidence of how our genes actually work. These pics are sure to leave you astounded.
It all started when Ulric Collette – a photographer based in Quebec city of Canada – was thinking of some fresh photography ideas for a family portrait. Apart from being a self-taught photographer, Ulric is also a graphic designer and studied art in Quebec. Just before he came up with what he later called the ‘Genetic Portraits’ project, Ulric was working on “An image a day” sort of project which required him to work extensively on photoshop. During one of his attempts, he took an image of his son, spliced it into two and tried to ‘age’ one half of it. And the result left him shocked! Because the ‘aged’ half of his son looked just like him! From here on kick-started Ulric’s most innovative and ambitious projects – The Genetic Portraits! While he dabbled in creating portraits of siblings, parents-children, spouses, grandchildren-grandparents, we are mostly in awe of his mother-daughter genetic portraits. Have a look at it here to understand what we are saying:
One look at this picture and we’re sure you might be reminded of ‘Hocus Pocus’ or ‘Spot The Difference’ kind of games we all played as kids. However, while those games were all about spotting the differences, here it is about finding an astonishing number of similarities.
While we all have known about the mother-child bond for ages, it is indeed quite fascinating to actually see so many similarities from such close quarters. And what’s more surprising is that it is not limited to mother-daughter pair alone. In some pictures, even granddaughters look quite similar to their grandmothers!
Personally, what I found even more endearing is how Ulric managed to put the spotlight back on such an important aspect of society. And, he achieved all this simply through his art and did not need scientific research to back it up. It is quite evident in his pictures how Mother Nature has worked her magic. Initially, these pictures might amuse us. But soon, when we delve deeper into them, we can’t help but think about our own origins – how we are formed from a tiny speck of cell; how genetics attributes features to us and how this cycle continues for generations to come.
We all come from different races and tribes and take pride in our culture and roots. And, for all of us, these kind of photographs are a great way to connect the dots to our glorious past. It can be like some sort of a time travel through which we can take a glimpse of how our ancestors would have looked like. It is reassuring to know that we carry those very genes inside us, some of which could be reflecting in our appearance too.
And, we are grateful to artists like Ulric for coming up with such a brilliant concept. You can also visit his website (link given below) to know more about him. Thank you, Ulric! May your tribe increase!