Re-creating the Past One Picture at a Time

The Photo Blog
Dec. 12 2012 11:00 AM

Re-creating the Past One Picture at a Time

Behold is Slate's brand-new photo blog. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @beholdphotos and Tumblr. Learn what this space is all about here. (This entry contains nudity.)

Wilma Hurskainen's Growth.
In the Bathtub.

Wilma Hurskainen.

There exist countless photos of adults re-creating childhood pictures around the Web. But Helsinki-based photographer Wilma Hurskainen turned the trend into an obsession. In her Growth series, she enrolled her three sisters and occasionally her parents to re-enact dozens of photos from their childhood—a two-year process that involved traveling around their native country, Finland, as well as to Sweden.

Wilma Hurskainen's Growth.
Castle Olavinlinaa.

Wilma Hurskainen.

The project started off as a joke. The Hurskainen sisters thought it would be “hilarious (and/or scary)” to pose as their younger selves.

Wilma Hurskainen's Growth.
Birthday Cake.

Wilma Hurskainen.

Wilma Hurskainen's Growth.
Family Portrait.

Wilma Hurskainen.

Advertisement

But once they got started, Wilma didn’t want to stop. She asked her siblings, who all were studying in different cities at the time, to meet up in various spots where their dad had photographed when they were little. She became increasingly aware of details such as outfit choices or lights. And, soon enough, the series turned into her final graduation project from the Aalto University of Art.

Wilma Hurskainen's Growth.
The Royal Palace.

Wilma Hurskainen.

By artificially re-creating the family nest, Hurskainen physically brought her family members together. “At some point, we would only ever see each other for these photo sessions, and it was difficult to motivate my sisters to do these crazy trips and explain why it was so important for me to do this,” she says.

Wilma Hurskainen's Growth.
Skiing.

Wilma Hurskainen.

Wilma Hurskainen's Growth.
In the Cabin.

Wilma Hurskainen.

Yet the result achieves something more than just a silly counterpoint to Hurskainens’ old family portraits. Some of the photos pay tribute to family members who are no longer in the picture, like Hurskainen’s grandfather.

Wilma Hurskainen's Growth.
Grandad.

Wilma Hurskainen.

Though her sisters have sworn off ever posing for her again, Hurskainen says she would like to repeat the experiment in 10 years. Here’s hoping she persuades her models.

Wilma Hurskainen's Growth.
On the Deck.

Wilma Hurskainen.

 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.