Everyone has an old photo of themselves that so perfectly captures a moment in time and the spirit of the person you were at that age. Typically, that picture is now curling at the edges, pixelated, maybe a little coffee stained.
Award-winning Argentinian photographer Irina Werning specialises in recreating vintage photos, capturing the lighting, setting, clothing and atmosphere of the original picture and – here’s the best part – putting the original person back into the frame.
She takes a person’s treasured memory, then sends them back in time to that moment, and the responses are priceless. Ms Werning is not only a talented photographer, but also a costume and set designer as she matches the scenery, clothing and vintage feel of the childhood photographs.
“There is great beauty in allowing someone to recreate childhood memories – it brings out a youthfulness in their presence,” says Ms Werning.
“My favourite part of recreating images is the reactions that I get from my subjects, particularly from women,” says Ms Werning. “There is something truly special about re-visiting your youth in this way, I think it helps people re-connect with the things they did when they were young, and makes them feel more youthful themselves.”
Ms Werning has had the chance to apply her unique skill set to Australian women, as part of a campaign by Nivea.
Alina Murphy from Canberra had a photo from 1978 recreated. The original picture was taken by her father on her fifth birthday. As she explains, “I got a cat, named Ranis, for my birthday. I was very excited to get this cat as it was my first pet! The dress I am wearing was a gift from my Mum’s aunt in Germany.”
“The whole photo shoot was a unique experience and the photographer had amazing attention to detail, which is really evident in the final photo. Seeing the new photo really felt like stepping back in time. I reflected that 37 years have passed since that original photo and in that time I have had a lot of amazing experiences with friends and travel.”
Watch this lovely, short clip in which Ms Werning transforms her subjects into the little people they were. It’s part of the NIVEA Cellular Anti-Aging Portraits Of Youth Campaign, which celebrates embracing positivity and revitalising youthfulness at any age.
The campaign is all about rediscovering the feelings of being carefree, confident and having no limits – and Ms Werning’s stunning work is just one way to show us that, despite the passing of time, we’re still the same beautiful, smiling people.
If you had the chance, which treasured memory would you most like to revisit?