Portraits of People Who Look Alike But Aren’t Related At All

Canadian photographer François Brunelle is fascinated with the human face and the question of whether everyone has a doppelganger somewhere on Earth that looks exactly like them. For years now, he has been working on a project called I’m Not a Look-Alike!, which features portraits of people who look like identical twins but aren’t actually related at all. Brunelle looks for subjects whose faces are so similar that their close friends might have trouble telling them apart.

Once he’s in the studio with the look-alikes (which is often the first time the two subjects meet), Brunelle shoots simple black-and-white studio portraits of them in order to draw attention to the faces (rather than things like clothing and hair color).

Brunelle himself is a look-alike: he is regularly told that he looks just like actor Rowan Atkinson, who’s famous for playing the character Mr. Bean.

Brunelle’s goal is to capture 200 look-alikes and then turn the photographs into a book and exhibition. He has traveled all over the world in search of the subjects, and has received countless tips through his website since his project became widely publicized in the mid-2000s.

Image credits: Photographs by François Brunelle and used with permission

  • bayek

    Amazing, unbelievable that they are not related… doppelgangers, heh.

  • Jake

    That’s a cute project when it works, but some of those are really a stretch.

  • Kathleen Grace

    that’s pretty cool, some are much closer than others but the similarities are pretty amazing

  • Michael Choi

    This reminds me of my childhood, I had a classmate girl who was adopted and met her twin sister in the same school during 1st grade who was also adopted by other parents. Both didn’t know they were actually biologically related but they were identical twins and when both side of parents met it was a huge surprise. I guess they were meant to be together.

  • JosephRT

    Wow some of them are so close it is uncanny. Interesting concept too, must be hard to pull off.

  • quickpick

    wow, many of them actually look like siblings, unidentical twins and some even almost identical.. pretty impressive!

  • etothej

    This is a very nice project, although I do not particularly like the way the photographer made the poses..

  • White Hot Phoenix

    Some of those poses are really awkward!

  • WriterWriter1

    Have any of these people done DNA testing? This is too weird.

  • Erik

    The majority of these people don’t look alike at all.

  • Opie

    “Bob, meet John. John, this is Bob. Now touch your faces together.”

  • tess

    There’s a waitress who works at Red Lobster in Mesa, AZ and a girl I know who lives in Eloy, AZ who look like twins–or close enough to be sisters.

  • marc osborne

    each of these people said to themselves: “He thinks I look like that?”

  • Stephan12345

    Sorry, but these people don’t look alike at all. They are just wearing similar clothing and using similar facial expressions.

  • mike

    Well I don’t know. None of these pictures seem relevant to anything at all. The photographer might want to try something else.

  • original pinoy hater

    he made those other guys do some pretty gay poses.

  • sam

    this is completely idiotic. PP you are pulp.

  • Neoracer Xox

    wow get your eyes checked bro…

  • iona

    this is so cool! how does he find the look-alikes?!

  • zeebefree

    this is an interesting venture. most of them favor one another, but some of them don’t have too strong of a resemblance in the photos. it’s also odd to see an obvious lack of people of color. is this purposeful or is there a fear of not wanting to ask two brown/black people who might look like one another to participate in the shoot?

  • Svetlana Dunlap

    Okay. This is pretty cool, but those poses? AWKWARD!

  • charlie

    the only one that works is the two gingers (guy and girl)

  • Morgan Sheridan

    That begs the question– you seem be suggesting that art has to be utilitarian in order to have relevance to some.thing. Not everyone agrees that art has to be relevant. It was a creative project and dopplegangers are as good as any other inspiration.

  • Morgan Sheridan

    That’s a good question. If there were people of color involved in the project, I’d liked to have seen them too.

  • The Arrogant Hipster

    John: “Does Bob have to push my head towards his like that?”
    Bob: “Shh….”

  • Nintendo Legend

    Ah, my favorite kind of Internet commenter: “I am not interested in this; thus, I believe nobody else would ever find it interesting! I am not capable of imagining the viewpoint of a separate human being!”

  • Santa Claus

    Ha ha ha .. Great idea with awkward poses! ;)

    1st, 2nd and 4th are really awesome..

  • RockinB

    What kind of results would be if we study their DNA :) I hope somebody has this idea and use them to make a research.

  • Jean-Philippe Bousquet

    Je m’attendais pas à voir Rémi Girard dans ce projet!

  • Barb

    Interesting. Some certainly resemble each other more than others. The clothes certainly help. Still very interesting! It would be interesting to find out that some of them actually ARE related. I too would like to know how he finds and catalogues the subjects.

  • MK

    Lekkostronnicze te zdjęcia ;)

  • Leroy Jenkins

    You’re a douche.

  • Benjamin

    I think that this is quite deep actually. It shows the concept that, while people may not be biologically (closely) related, they can be the same. I personally think that all humans are the same on some basic levels and this brings me closer to people that I do not know. It brings out compassion in me. Still think it’s irrelevant Mike?

  • nick

    The guy running his fingers through the other guys hair! Sorry, but that’s a gay!

  • Mobi Mktg

    Does this photographer have that ‘face-recognition’ disease?…because these people mostly do not look that much alike to me at all – there are discernible differences in all of them…

  • dumb

    None of those people even look alike. This is dumb.

  • dumb

    Of course if you make people wear the same clothes, hair style, and accesories they will look alike. This is dumb.

  • Matthew Neumann

    So what if it is? Open your little mind.

  • That Guy

    What about folks of South American,Asian or African descent?

  • Svedingo

    None of them look the same

  • Ken Green

    And the homo-erotic poses are meant to show…what, exactly? Self-love?

  • Sean Coleman

    completely unrelated people that i think look alike

  • Oresias

    The 2 bald guys:
    1 looks like Gollum
    1 looks like John Locke.

  • Joey Duncan

    Those of you who are saying they don’t look alike, The title says ‘they look alike” not twins, jesus, just enjoy it.

  • Tim

    That’s the plot of the Disney series “Sister, Sister”. HA!

  • M Wayne

    “..but aren’t actually related at all.”
    So..errr…half of them are extraterrestrials then?

  • Michael Choi

    That’s cool, mine was in real life.

  • Barry Johnston

    My question is, how do they find these people ?? :)

  • Dbakeca Italia


  • Bwahhahahaha

    yeah, apparently he’s a racist. I mean, obviously.