Ulric Collette’s “Portraits Génétiques” Demonstrate Genetic Similarity by Merging Faces

Mother/Daughter: Julie, 61 & Isabelle, 32

Mother/Daughter: Julie, 61 & Isabelle, 32

All pictures in this article are © Ulric Collette and used with permission.

Genetics are awesome! We all learned the rules of inheritance in school: dominant outweight recessive. So if both your parents have brown eyes, you’ll have brown eyes, too. If only your mom has brown eyes, you’ll still have brown eyes because the genes for brown eyes are dominant. Only if both parents have blue eyes will the child have blue eyes, too. (Side note: I can tell from personal experience that this is true: my son has inherited his mother’s brown eyes, not the blue color of mine.) But how similar are two related persons really? One can easily tell father and daughter just by their looks, but it’s often difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes them look so similar. Well, Ulric Collette’s series of ‘genetic portraits’ (Portraits Génétiques in French) shows off just that, genetic similarity, by merging the faces of two relatives. And the results are quite impressive.

Ulric Collette "Portraits Génétiques" Ulric and His SonI started with that project in 2008, as part of a 365-day-project of self portraits,” Ulric recounts. “The first picture was this one with my seven-year-old son [see picture on the right; Ed.] In the beginning I wanted to create an ‘adult child’ face, but in the course of the editing I had the idea to compare our two faces. I have then done the same with other members of my family, and when it became obvious that there’s often an impressive similarity between two people sharing the same genes, I did it with friends, then strangers …

Daughter/Father: Ariane, 13 & André, 55

Daughter/Father: Ariane, 13 & André, 55

Twins: Alex & Sandrine, 20

Twins: Alex & Sandrine, 20

Father/Son: Laval, 56 & Vincent, 29

Father/Son: Laval, 56 & Vincent, 29

Cousins: Justine, 29 & Ulric, 29

Cousins: Justine, 29 & Ulric, 29

You can find more of Ulric’s work over at his website.

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