Some people look different in photos and in person. Even if the portrait was only taken a few months ago, the person may look a lot different now whether it’s because of better skin, shorter hair, a new fringe, a different shade of lipstick, sparser eyebrows, wrinkles around the eyes or more facial hair. We are constantly changing and developing, and while those physical changes may be mostly unnoticeable from day-to-day, there’s no escaping the more obvious comparison in photos. Identities is a series created by London-based photographer Ana Oliveira which highlights the effects time has on a person’s appearance in portraits.
Each diptych consists of a ‘before’ image taken as far back as 60 years. The ‘after’ part is a more recent portrait of the same person in the same pose and similar clothing and accessories. A few people have commented that these comparative shots have a depressing undertone to them because the subjects appear older and more wrinkly, but I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, I wish I could age just as gracefully as some of these people.
I found the hairstyles in these portraits the most interesting. Some of them are very different from the original, but the ‘afters’ look almost exactly the same. I wonder if they cut and styled the hair that way on purpose to match the ‘before’ portraits, or they really ended up with the exact same hairstyle decades after (but with lighter, grayish hair of course).
Oliveira also created another Identities series with the same theme. In this set, she created before and after pictures of the effects of time, but incorporated some of the background elements in the original pictures as well.
If you don’t want to wait to see how you’ll look in a few decades, there are a ton of apps that morph your face into its older version based on the apps algorithms. They’re obviously not meant to be taken seriously because only time will tell how well we age, but it’s still good fun.