An artistic look at Identical Twins, showcasing their many similarities along with striking differences.


By Zayira Ray, Contributing Photographer

Inspired by the photograph “Identical Twins” by Diane Arbus, I began my series “Twins” in the beginning of 2017 and picked it back up again in early 2019. Arbus’ artfulness in drawing attention to identicality and difference — both from a visual perspective as well as a sociological one on human relationships — led me to gain a keen interest in the complexities and nuances of those with a practically symmetrical “other”: twins. In this documentation of both likeness and otherness, the body of work grapples with the idea of maintaining one’s own unique identity and autonomy while having an inescapable, jarringly visible tie to another human being.

 “Twins” explores this innate depth of twin sisterhood, while also highlighting the subtle differences that can set such a pair apart, allowing them to exist both separately and together. The photographs aim to evoke a sense of peace and belonging with each other, but also to refocus the protagonist of each portrait from twin to twin, emphasizing slight differences in physicality, expression, and even psyche. Ultimately, the diptych format reinforces the multi-level duality found in the images. “Twins” deals with themes of identity, reflection and introspection. It is a narrative of a strange, sisterly bond — reflective of one another — but not entirely the same.

1. An almost mirror representation or two sisters.
2. Sisters reveal their largest differences.
3. Sisters embrace in two poses.
4. Sisters gaze in turns at the lens.
5. Two sisters embrace in close proximity.

Email Zayira Ray at [email protected].