• 01.15.14

Watch This Photographer Digitally Meet Her Younger Self, Without Inciting A Time Paradox

London-based photographer Chino Otsuka digitally inserts herself into photos of her younger self so seamlessly, it’s equal parts endearing and eerie.

The woman towing a suitcase in the photo looks kind of similar to the little girl she’s posing with, the one whose belongings fit in a bright yellow backpack. They could be related–sisters separated by many years, or maybe even a hip mom and daughter. The truth is, they’re more than related: they’re the same person.


If you could talk to your younger self what would you say? It’s a question that’s inspired science fiction fantasies galore, and countless therapy sessions. London-based photographer Chino Otsuka has found a way to interact with her younger self, though, time-travel be damned. Her new series, Imagine Finding Me, features recent images of the photographer digitally inserted into pictures from her childhood.

The idea itself sounds interesting on paper, but does not do justice to the reality. Otsuka’s facility with Photoshop renders these creations realistic enough to rupture the space-time continuum. She doesn’t merely look present in these vintage pictures from Spain, France, and Japan in the early ’80s; she looks involved, and fully blended in. Whatever ravages of time affect the film stock appear to affect the new addition to the old photos. “The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history,” Otsuka has said of the project.

The more current Otsuka’s mood even seems to match that of her younger self in many of the pictures, whether it’s curious, introspective, or bored. That she doesn’t look upset at the little girl instead suggests that perhaps she’s merely returning to these old photos out of nostalgia, not regret.

Have a look through more photos from the series in the slides above.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.