Long-Lost Twins? Photographer’s Project Features Unrelated Doppelgangers

Image Credit: François Brunelle via Musee Magazine

With more than seven billion people living on planet Earth, they say somewhere in this world, there must be someone who looks just like you – a doppelganger, as some would call it.

Fascinated by human faces as his subject, Canadian photographer Francois Brunelle has brought together more than 250 “twin stranger” pairings as of date, to pose for his more than two-decade project: “I’m Not A Look-Alike”.

At first glance, one would think that the portfolio’s theme is a family or sibling portrait. However, the featured “couples”, as Brunelle would call them, are totally unrelated to each other and come from 30 cities all over the world.

Brunelle says he found his first few subjects through people he knew. Then, after numerous media exposures, his work became known to other people across the globe, many of whom have reached out to him, willing to find and pose with their stranger look-alike.

The photographer remembers one woman from China in particular who wrote to him, “Dear Mr. Brunelle, I saw your project. Would you please find my look-alike, so I feel less alone.”

His work has also caught the attention of the Columbian government who collaborated with him for their project to promote harmony entitled, “Let’s Choose to See What We Have In Common”.

Because of this particular project, Brunelle has also been involved in a study conducted by Nancy Segal, a psychologist and director of the Twin Studies Center at California State University.

The study aims to provide a form of scientific proof that twins have similar personalities mainly because of their genetic makeup, not because their physical resemblance cause people to treat them the same way.

After letting blood-related twins and the unrelated look-alikes from Brunelle’s project answer the same set of questionnaires regarding personality measures (stability, openness, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and self-esteem), the results showed that the unrelated look-alikes showed little similarity. Meanwhile, blood-related twins garner close scores, indicating that their genetics are mainly responsible for the likeness. Results of the study were published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

In an article published by Gizmodo, Brunelle said: “Now my biggest challenge is to finish the project and publish a book with my photographs that is not boring but relevant and can reflect about what we are as human beings and also throw an honest look about what defines our identity.”

If you know a pair of doubles that can be put together for a photo or if you are one of them you can participate in the  I’m not a look-alike! project by viewing the details on Brunelle’s website.

Check out some of the portraits in Brunelle’s collection for the “I’m Not A Look-Alike” project: (Image Credits to Francois Brunelle)

Rudi Kistler, Maurus Oehman. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle

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