Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Almost exactly two years ago I interviewed photographer Francois Brunelle and wrote an article about his project, 'I'm not a look-a-like.' Have a look at the photos on his website, you won't believe these people aren't related.

The craziest, spookiest thing about it all is that when the look-a-likes meet - often for the first time in the studio, they invariably discover other similarities. There have been cases of people turning up wearing their own everyday clothes and not only having features that resemble the other but the same style, even the same tattoo. Once they start chatting during the shoot they often find they have similar life stories; one couple discovered they were born at the same time on the same day thousands of miles apart.
Here's the text from my article which was published in the Metro newspaper back in December '04.

Francois Brunelle collects look-a-likes the way other people collect rare stamps or butterflies. For the past three years he has travelled the world seeking out and photographing pairs of people for his forthcoming book and exhibition entitled ‘I’m not a look-a-like’. The starkly beautiful black and white portraits capture two strangers meeting a mirror image of each other for the first time. We all think we are unique, but this book proves it’s entirely possible that somewhere in the world there’s another ‘you’. It’s elevation of the ordinary person, or persons in the street to something special, all by virtue of the fact that they have a double.
So far Brunelle has photographed around 100 pairs of look-a-likes world wide, some of whom have been mistaken for their double for 20 years. Now he is seeking look-a-likes here in the U.K. Brunelle doesn’t mind whether his subjects are famous or not, as someone who is recognisable in his native Montreal would be unknown in England and vice versa. He says, ‘It’s not about celebrities, it’s about looking like other people.’ If you have a look-a-like and/or are interested in being part of the project, you can apply online here.

As the first (ahem - that's FIRST) person in the U.K to have written about it, it's very exciting for me to see how the project has gained such momentum globally and now here, with articles in many of the major British newspapers over the last few weeks. Tomorrow at 9am Francois will appear on LK Today (ITV) to talk about the project. He still wants to photograph another sixty pairs for his book to be completed and I know he would love some from the U.K to participate.

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