Me, Myself and I – Francois Brunelle and his Doppelgänger Project [Find Your Look Alike]

Nathaniel Siri, Edouard Toledo. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Canadian photographer Francois Brunelle spent 12 years tracking down real life Doppelgängers — two individuals who are not related but could pass for identical twins — and photographing them. He calls his project “I’m Not a Look-Alike,” and it’s starting to get some well-deserved attention.

Francios Brunelle has a goal of photographing 200 “couples,” as he calls them. And when I first read that about his work, I was shocked. Having put out my own personal body of work where I shot portrait of 106 people over 3 years (Seattle 100 here)…I knew from experience what he’d signed up for… But the he added a whole additional layer. By “couple” he meant “unrelated people who look just like another person.” Whoa. I was blown away.

A student of the human face since his early days as a photographer in 1968, Brunelle’s work is a reflection of his fascination with “the resemblance between look-alikes” and his “ongoing effort to capture the elusive human soul. Those who know they have a Doppelgänger or know someone else who does are encouraged to email the artist with the look-alikes’ names, city and country of residence, contact info and — if possible — photos.

Monster respect to Brunelle for redefining determination. This project has take him 12 YEARS. 12 years is a serious chunk of life to devote to any project, let alone one that amounts to a slightly warped, “needle in a haystack” manhunt. And it seems to me that finding the subjects is just half the battle. There’s then the convincing of the subjects to participate, which involves quite intimately posing with a perfect stranger. [Never mind the fact that the other subject is virtually the same person you’ve seen in the mirror for the past X years] It’s precisely the sense of familiarity the subjects appear to have with one another that really strikes the chord with the observer, particularly once you know the full story. This is a major factor in what makes the whole project a mindblower and a true work of art.

It’s said we all have a Doppelgänger. I’ve been brow beaten teased for years by the photo industry that mine is is here in this post, but asking to be couple #187 is a little more difficult because of my doppleganger’s busy schedule. Then again, maybe I’d feel an immediate kinship with my other. You know, cuz he’s sort of walked a mile. So we’d hang out. Grab a drink. Make another Hangover movie. And maybe we’d start ironically singing Tom Petty’s You Don’t Know How It Feels. And then we’d send an email to Brunelle. Couple #187. What the hell.

Much respect to Brunell – great project. Enjoy the work and let him know if you find another pair.

Marie Johnson, Isabelle Péladeau. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Rudi Kistler, Maurus Oehman. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Marcel Stepanoff, Ludovic Maillard. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Morgan Bowden, Imogen Rawe. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Maurus Oehman and Rudi Kistler. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Stéphane Morin, Claude-Simon Langlois. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Ian Perrreault, Alain Roberge. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Marie-Chantal, Perron Nancy. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Carmen Apitzsch, Kerstin Rubin. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

Nina-Rose Singh, Anna Rubin. Photo Courtesy of Francois Brunelle / Rex USA

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Karen Jones says:

I would love to meet my look a like if there is one of them out there. how do I go about doing this

Moe says:

I would love to meet mine!

darrien press says:

how do I find this man? a picture of a girl that looks EXACTLY like me popped up on my news feed today.

Anonymous says:

In the article it says to contact the artist if you have a doppelganger. Where then? Here in this blog? I am the singer Sarah McLachlan’s look-alike (at least people would always think I was her). How to contact Brunelle then?

Tony says:

Matt Damon and Joe McNally should make a perfect example of Doppelgängers.

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Kelly Downing says:

My name is Kelly Downing and I am an unrelated look alike. Please contact me!

Bravo François! Quel beau succès. I don’t know if I have a Doppelgänger somewhere, but if you ever find him just let me know and I’ll gladly collaborate with you so you can get the two of us together and you can take a few pictures of us. Would be fun! Again, congratulation. What you’re doing is great…

Adam Rowney says:

This is such an incredible idea for a series. I think this would make for such a brilliant book, it would be interesting to read their stories. I wonder how different or similar they might be. I’ve heard fo twin studies that ask these questions, when twins grow up apart in different circumstances.

I absolutely love doppelganger stories, and actually have my own to share…

For the past twenty years, I’ve been told that I’m an absolute dead ringer for the actor, Richard Gere.

I’ve been stopped on the street by complete strangers, who –– after a bit of chit-chat –– asked if they could have a picture taken with me.

I’ve been given First Class upgrades on airplanes –– without my asking, and without any charges.

I’ve actually been chased down the street (in Darjeeling India) by a group of people yelling out “Mister Gere! Mister Gere!”

A few years back, I ended up meeting a gentleman who’s a personal friend of Mr. Gere. I told this man about my situation, where I’m always being mistaken for his friend, and he looked at me and said: “That’s weird. You don’t look a thing like Richard.”

Crushed my ego flat.

faisal says:

Throughly impressive, how difficult it is to do that.

Mike says:

Did any of them kill the other and assume their life?

Wow, what an amazing project. I had to do a double take on a couple of these photos… the resemblance’s are uncanny. This definitely sets a new bar for my next photography project.

Why are they all posed like I’m looking at the first photo of a really bizarre porn set?

DCThomas says:

Love it! I would like to find my Doppelgänger. I know she exists. At least she did. In college a professor kept mistaking me for another one of his students. Even tried to give me her purse.

Felipe Neuenschwander says:

Amazing! I guess we all have a Doppelgänger then…

Falk Meyer says:

It’s all Photoshop. I know, because I use copy & paste myself. :)

Joking aside, that is one hell of a project and extremely interesting! :)
Good job!

This is a fascinating project. I’d love to meet my doppelgänger!

Roman.K says:

Pretty Incredible

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