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Magical Portraits of Identical Icelandic Twins

Ariko Inaoka

Strongly drawn to the powerful relationship between twins, Japanese photographer Ariko Inaoka began taking photographs of Icelandic twin sisters, Erna and Hrefna, in 2009. For almost four years now, she has established a strong connection with the twins. There was no cultural barrier because the twins speak fluent English. She describes them as confident, innocent, and intelligent.

“I still don’t know how it truly feels like to be that someone who documents the twins’ personal lives. I am still in the process of finding my answer to this,” Inaoka shares. She aims to visit the twins every year and document their physical growth and psychological development until they turn 16 or 17.

She remarkably froze a certain time in Erna and Hrefna’s conjoined lives as she magically and visually recorded their youngest and most carefree moments using film — as if they do not only resemble the same features but also, share the same souls.

I often hear that identical twins have telepathic connections between them. This is true with Erna and Hrefna. They are always together. Spending time with them makes me feel both comfortable and strange because I have never seen such a powerful connection between any two human beings. They say to me, “We dream the same dreams sometimes.” — Ariko Inaoka

Inaoka works as a full time photographer and a soba restaurant owner. She lives in Kyoto, Japan with her writer-photographer husband, Sean Lotman.

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

Ariko Inaoka

This post was contributed by photographer Erin Emocling

  • karen

    if this photographer wants to take photos of these twins and take advantage of the visual interest of twins and even exploit our cultural myths about twins, okay. but the way these girls are described is loaded with an insane amount of ridiculous BS, some of it arguably pretty destructive. let’s not equate the ideas twins give us with what twins actually are. as a twin, i find the idea that i would “share a soul” with my sister incredibly insulting. i think i have one whole soul of my own, thanks.

  • http://www.kismetjewellnakai.com Kismet

    These are fantastic!

  • Xander

    “…as if they do not only resemble the same features but also, share the same souls.” This photographer is obviously a fan of legendary photographer Diane Arbus, as well as the Jamison Twins, aka The Psychic Twins. The Jamisons even talk about how they are “one soul in two bodies” in their book Separated at Earth: The Story of The Psychic Twins.