If there’s one universal lesson that anyone who’s grown older can tell you, it’s that youth fades. When we look back at pictures of ourselves from years past, it’s hard not to feel a twinge of nostalgia for our younger selves. Celebrity and fashion photographer Doug Inglish conveys this idea in his series Then & Now. In sets of side-by-side portraits, he has photographed 14 male models; one photo is of the subject from the early aughts and the other image is them recreating the same scene at least a decade (sometimes two) later.
The portraits showcase people who have grown into their adulthood over the past many years. When possible, Inglish remade the shots exactly, whether it was through clothing, location, or both. It’s here that we can really see how the guys have changed; they not only look older but many have filled out with muscular builds, grown facial hair, and of course, have more wrinkles on their faces.
For Inglish, Then & Now is an emotional project. “It’s about nostalgia, longing, and loss,” he tells My Modern Met. “As soon as the photograph is taken it’s already changed, it’s already past. There is no present in photography; it’s all about memory.”
The series began by accident but became an unexpected visual diary for the photographer. “It began with my obsession with Jacob Buccholz, a model I started shooting in 2004,” Inglish explains. “Over the years, we kept in contact and one time when we were hanging out and looking at the old shots we decided to try to recreate some of the imagery. The result was gratifying so we kept going.”
The project has grown since then. “I decided to branch out and shoot with as many of my favorite models from the past that I could find,” Inglish shares. “Finding the guys has been the hardest part. As young men, they came to Los Angeles to become something, to find something in themselves. And there’s an excitement in that. But they’ve lived lives now, there’s not the same innocence. That’s compelling in its own right. What you’re drawn to at the beginning is open promise. But now what you see is the truths of these men.”