Argentinean photographer Irina Werning admits to being nosey. When she goes to someone’s house, she says, the first things she looks for are old photos. On finding them, she can’t help but wonder what it would be like for the subject, now many years older, to reenact that photo, bringing to life again the day the original photo was shot.
With the help of friends from around the world, as well as from her hometown of Buenos Aires, Werning staged faithful recreations of childhood photos, complete with outfits, settings, facial expressions and, of course, the original subjects, now decades older. The results are funny at first glance, especially when adults are decked out in the bizarre fashion stylings of young children, but also surprisingly touching, as they allow the subjects to go back in time and recall the past moments of their lives. We can also see how much they’ve changed–and how much they haven’t.
Flor, 1975 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Nico, 1986 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Male, Sil & Flor, 1983 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Oscar, 1978 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Lucia, 1956 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Ato, 1992 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Nico Mella, 1990 & 2010, France
Cecile, 1987 & 2010, France
Mechi, 1990 & 2010, Buenos Aires
La Negra, 1980 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Ian, 1983 & 2010, London
Marita and Coty, 1977 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Sonia and Lauri, 1988 & 2011, Buenos Aires
Pancho, 1983 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Sander, 1983 & 2011, Rotterdam
Puna, 2003 & 2011, Buenos Aires
Patrick, 1968 & 2011, Paris
Evan, 1957 & 2011, New York
Diego, 1970 & 2011, Buenos Aires
Christoph, 1990 & 2011, Berlin
Alexandra, 1970 & 2011, Paris
Carol, 1960 & 2011, New York
Lea B., 1980 & 2011, Paris
Johannes, 1994 & 2011, Hamburg
Irina’s parents, 1970 & 2010, Buenos Aires
Werning took the photos you see here in 2010 and 2011, and modeled them after photos from decades ago. She works with her subjects to choose the photo, and after that, the challenge is finding the right props, clothing and setting to take the recreation, as well as to find out what kind of camera and lens were originally used in order to make the recreation as faithful as possible. The process is painstaking, and Werning describes it as “photographic investigation.” Finally, the shot is set up and the subject poses just as they did so many years ago. “I am always amazed that they do it,” Werning says.
There are many more photos in this series, and you can check them out on Werning’s Facebook page or on her website. If you’re feeling brave, there’s even contact information if you’re interested in participating in the project by recreating an old photo of your own.