The special connection between twins will remain incomprehensible to almost everyone born with no genetic double. Professional photographer Peter Zelewski spent a number of years discovering the community of identical twins. He photographs the twins from different age groups, backgrounds and gender, all living in the multicultural metropolis of London.
As part of his ongoing portraiture undertaking Alike But Not Alike, Zelewski looks at the similarities and differences as well as the powerful relationship among groups of identical twins with a selection of hard-hitting images shot in about a two-year time period. Zelewski captures stunning photos of the twins, to showcase their similarities, but even more their distinctions from one another.
“When I first started the project, it was without a doubt the visual attraction which I found most interesting when taking portraits of twins,” Zelewski said. “But, as the series progressed, it was the subtle differences that became equally interesting.”
Even though the twins are purposefully clothed similarly, even making similar postures to spotlight their togetherness, Peter is able to catch their uniqueness as well, in the delicate variations of expression and feelings they show. “One example is 15-year-old brothers Duke and Joe. Although they are identical twins they couldn’t be more different, both in their physical appearance and personalities. By stripping down the background and photographing the boys in plain t-shirts, I was able to let their different personalities shine through.”
Not surprisingly, the photographs come with fascinating stories. The series includes the Eritrean born sisters Hermon and Heroda who both inexplicably lost their ability to hear at exactly the same time when they had been only 7 years old. Also part of the photo series are Sophie and Polly, a couple of monozygotic twins that happen to be so similar they have got matching fingerprints, which means their genetic make-up is practically indistinguishable. The telepathy and powerful bond between the different siblings are additionally highlighted by the sisters Chloe and Leah, who are so close they frequently wind up finishing each other’s sentences and claim that they can even experience each other’s pain.
The project, titled Alike But Not Alike, has is on display in an exhibition at The Hoxton in Shoreditch, East London, until May 22nd.