A Photographer Captured the Similarities and Differences Between Twins, and It's Captivating
Peter Zelewski, a photographer based in London, wanted to investigate the mystery that surrounds identical twins. While many people try to lump identical twins together as one entity, Peter spent four years behind a camera — and met with more than 50 sets of twins — to prove that there's so much more to identical twins than matching outfits. He transformed his project into a book called Twins, and yes, the photos are truly mesmerizing.
"As a portrait photographer, I have always had a fascination with twins," Peter told POPSUGAR. "For me, it was always that mysterious bond that connects the twins which I have always found so intriguing. Even from a very young age I distinctly remember a time when there were twin boys in my class at school and being amazed by how enigmatic they were."
Peter admitted that he was obsessed with the twins' similarities from an artistic perspective at first. But once he got to know his subjects, he paid more attention to what makes them different.
"But as the series progressed, it was the subtle differences that were becoming equally as interesting."
"In the early days of the project I was more interested in the twins' similarities than the differences between them," he said. "Perhaps it was my own obsessive tendencies, but I just loved the symmetry, balance, and overall harmony I was getting with these portraits and did my best to reenforce the likeness between the twins as much as possible."
He added: "But as the series progressed, it was the subtle differences that were becoming equally as interesting, which was very unexpected. One example is 15-year-old brothers Joe and Duke. Although they are identical twins, the brothers couldn't be more different, both in their physical appearance and personalities."
Peter hopes that people who get a chance to view the photos or read Twins become just as moved by the sets of siblings as he was.
"I really do hope that anyone who looks at these images and reads the quotes can feel a fraction of what I felt when I made these special portraits," he said. "Of course, very few of us will ever be able to experience or understand the twins' bond fully but hopefully, by trying to see things through my lens, we can learn to value our own partnerships just a little bit more."
Scroll through to get a glimpse of each pair of siblings' backstories.
Delilah and Tullulah, 13 years old, Delilah older by 2 minutes
"People always ask the same question — 'What's it like to be a twin?' — but how can we answer that when we don't know what it's like not to be a twin?"
Elson and Elton, 18 years old, Elson older by 5 minutes
"I first knew I was gay when I was 13. It was a scary feeling but I felt so much better when I talked about it with Elton who told me he was bi-sexual. It was a revelation. We both came out to our parents a few years later and they have been nothing but supportive."
Grace and Sophia, 6 years old, Grace older by 1 minute
"We may look the same but we have different feelings. Our favorite quote is by Walt Disney who said, 'If you can dream it, you can do it.' I love my sister."
Hermon and Heroda, 35 years old, Hermon older by 1 minute
"We were born in Eritrea, Africa, and moved to London when we were seven years old to seek medical help after we both became deaf at the same time. Our disability has brought us closer together; we have an unbreakable, special bond that unites the two of us."
Joe and Duke, 15 years old, Duke older by 1 minute
"Joe is flamboyant and wants to be a makeup artist one day whereas I love photography and prefer to stay behind the scenes. The best thing about being a twin is being able to talk comfortably with each other and never having to worry about being judged."
Kira and Taya, 15 years old, Taya older by 2 minutes
"Growing up we were so close that we never felt the need to have lots of friends but now we would love to have a best friend other than each other. The problem is that when we meet someone new they always see us as one and not as individuals. Our individual identity is really important to us."
Mickey and Reggie, 2 years old, Mickey older by 2 minutes
"As Mickey and Reggie's parents, we are glad our sons are twins because we know they'll both have a best friend for life. As they grow older, we hope their bond will provide the security and confidence to ensure that whatever goals they pursue, the other will always be there to say, 'I'm proud of you.'"
Sharmeena and Ridhwana, 23 years old, Sharmeena older by 2 minutes
"Both Sharmeena and I have moved around so much in our lives — we have never really lived in a place we could call home. Making friends has been hard but we've always had each other."
Alan and Gary, 37 years old, Alan older by 20 minutes
"We argue over the stupidest things. Last week Gary ordered the wrong pizza: it was supposed to have tomato sauce on it and he ordered garlic sauce. Who orders garlic sauce on pizza?! I went mad and we didn't speak for two days."
Leah and Chloe, 13 years old, Leah older by 1 minute
"Chloe once fell from the top of our bunk bed and broke her collarbone. Even though she was in terrible pain she didn't cry once but I couldn't stop crying. It was as if her pain had transferred to me. I knew exactly how she was feeling."
Twins is published by Hoxton Mini Presswill and will hit shelves on Oct. 4.