It took me until high school to meet and befriend a set of identical twins. Growing up, I had always assumed identical twins were basically the same person.
I quickly came to realize that even though they look quite similar, often eerily so, each one of them is their own unique person with their own priorities, interests, expectations, and values. And that was fascinating. London-based Photographer Alma Haser had a similar curiosity about the subtle differences among identical twins, and she decided to do a project to explore those differences.
In a project titled "Within 15 Minutes," Haser took traditional portraits of sets of identical twins and used them to create identically cut jigsaw puzzles. She then started swapping pieces, replacing each image with half of the other, and used this medium to explore our preconceived notions about monozygotic twins.
Even though the puzzles are made up of images of two humans who are, in theory, pretty much exactly the same (except in fingerprints and in consciousness, of course), once the pieces begin exchanging places, the differences are magnified and we can begin to see how unique the people in the portraits really are without ever meeting them. It's a curiously fascinating project for an intriguing part of the human experience.
Images used with permission of Alma Haser.