Modern photos that recreate cherished childhood snaps

Irina Werning's "Back to the Future" project asks adults to visit the sites of their cherished childhood snapshots and recreate them with matching clothes and facial expressions. The effect ranges from adorkable to heartwarming, with all the shades in between. Shown here: "NICO IN 1990 & 2010, France."

Back to the Future (via Reddit)



    1. Arty-Werning photos were more spot-on, BUT — I actually loved the homey feel of Ze Frank’s one. The folks who made them, re-create them themselves, and the stories they add are what eclipes the craft of the other link. The one about the couple who are re-creating their prom picture of 1978 — with their WEDDING picture? What a great story. And the fact that a friend noticed in the prom picture he leaned away from her (he broke up shortly after picture, and they found each other years later) and now he leans towards her? That’s substantial as opposed to simply aesthetic …

  1. Someone should throw a NSFW tap on this guy. One of the photos shows a bare-chested lady. Otherwise, awesome post!

      1. Yeah, I tried that one at my workplace. ‘No, it’s ok for me to be looking at naked people, it’s not turning me on.’ Didn’t really work.

  2. I also immediately thought “Young Me, Now Me”, but the difference, I suppose, is that that was a crowd-sourced project (I was one of the crowd) whereas this is a project by a single photographer. And there is such as simultaneous invention.

    @simonbarsinister — NSFW doesn’t necessarily mean sexual. It’s just not safe for Work. Many workplaces around the world, not just in the US, have greater restrictions than at home on what kind of content you can/should be accessing. HR departments in those kinds of offices are usually not interested in hearing your explanations that this was *artistic* nudity…

  3. This is really amazingly well done. And correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to have been done largely without photoshopping (based on my examining of the pixels). At least, they don’t seem to have been “shopped” in the sense of pasting in a prop or a backdrop.

    …btw, lest people downthread feel the need to repeatedly explain what NSFW means, or what “American” sexual mores (real and imagined) are, etc.–I wouldn’t bother. Something tells me simonbarsinister knows all that already.

    1. Whether or not it was inspired by that other site, this is noteworthy because it is so incredibly well done, without compositing as you say. There is clearly extensive photoshopping, but not for backgrounds or props.

      Hard to say exactly how it was pulled off – either identical vintage cameras were used, or the photographer spent tons of time figuring out how to get the lighting right, and doing the post-processing perfectly to emulate the film look.

      I’ve both tried to replicate lighting and process digital images to look like specific films before, so I know how extremely difficult it is.

      All that, on top of finding almost perfectly matching clothes and props, getting the poses right, etc. I particularly liked the one of the girls in hula outfits – the girl on the left has the bra part of the hula outfit lowered below her breasts in the original, and it’s identical in the new one. And the posing is near-perfect – look at her hand on the left. It’s all about the details.

    2. I don’t know about the lack of photoshopping. There’s something clearly unnatural going on in the recent version of this photo. I suspect the photographer couldn’t replicate the lighting of the older shot.

      1. It would be easier in PS, but any professional photographer should now how to create an effect like that with a couple of lights, styrofoam and some black cloth. Note, I am not a professional photographer.

  4. YoungMeNowMe is cute, but the attention to minute detail in these photos takes it way beyond a quick snapshot in vaguely the same pose as an old photo. The photographer even simulated the same film grain. They’re amazing shots.

  5. What a great idea!

    Oh god! My favorite kid pic of myself is when I was dressed as a superhero (5 or 6 y-old). Back then, I thought my getup was pretty badass, my child’s mind completely oblivious to the fact that it consisted of a swimming cap, plastic diving goggles, a t-shirt with birds all over it, a towel for a cape and shiny blue jogging shorts…

    It would be pretty darn hard to re-create, but… ooooooh so tempting!

  6. The boingboing sample shot was one of the least interesting, I thought. Fascinating stuff.

    Also: Oh time!

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