Whenever I go back home to Florida, my mom and I always pull out old family photo albums and flip through them to reminisce about my childhood. I’ve always wondered what my younger self would think about my present self if they were to somehow meet.
One Montreal photographer named Conor Nickerson wondered the same thing and decided to edit his present-day self into photos from his childhood. He told LittleThings:
“I got the idea for this when I was home on spring break. Last year, I did another project called ‘Then & Now,’ where I recreated decades-old photos and gave the viewer the ability to slide back and forth between the new and old photograph.
“So when I was looking through my old photos, I must have thought of that, because I decided I wanted to see if I could pull off the same thing with my own childhood photos, and I went for it!”
He put together a photo series called “Childhood” that put his present self into nostalgic childhood photos taken between 1997 and 2005.
“I gathered all the old hats and T-shirts that I could find and did my best to put myself into childhood moments, which, aside from these photos, remain only a distant memory.”
Using digital photography editing, Conor was able to make the photos look incredibly realistic.
To see more of Conor’s work, you can follow him on Instagram and Facebook. Keep scrolling to see all of Conor’s amazing photos.
Conor didn’t just quickly edit these photos — he painstakingly spent months getting each photo just right.
“It took me about six months of working in my free time to complete this project,” he told LittleThings. “Because there was so much trial and error and no one, set method for doing this, it took a lot of going back to photos and retouching using something I’d learned from editing another photograph.”
Here, Conor edited his present self into a Christmas photo from his childhood.
Of all the photos Conor edited, he loves this one the most.
“I think if I had to choose a favorite, it would be the one on the rock wall. It’s very simple, but it’s effective,” he explained to LittleThings. “It didn’t require as much heavy editing as some others, and it looks natural — like it could have been a real moment captured in time.”
Conor, of course, had to show his parents the photos as he was editing them, and they couldn’t believe just how real they looked.
“I would show them as I worked on it when I was back home, and they thought it was wild,” he told LittleThings.
Many of the photos Conor edited were from family events. This one is his older brother’s birthday.
While editing the photos, Conor felt grateful recalling his positive childhood.
“When I was going through these old pictures, it mostly made me grateful that I’m able to look back on these times,” he told LittleThings. “It made me feel fortunate to have had a good childhood, because I know it isn’t that way for everybody.”
Since uploading the photos to Reddit on October 11, 2017, Conor has received a ton of attention from strangers all around the world.
“I never expected the photos to get this much exposure. I was heading off to shoot some portraits of a friend and quickly posted it online, and it just blew up,” he explained to LittleThings. “I went into it as a fun project and an interesting concept, but some people have had quite an emotional response to it. It definitely took me by surprise.”
Besides photography, Conor loves music and is a talented guitar player. This photo shows that his love of music started early!
“There’s a picture of me singing at my uncle’s house, too. He had this home studio setup that we’d visit from time to time,” Conor told LittleThings.
“The photos are from around my house, growing up, around the area,” Conor told LittleThings. “Places my mom would bring me, like the apple orchard or the Quabbin reservoir.”
Conor was able to make it look like he went apple picking with his younger self in this photo.
Another memory he edited was his grandma’s birthday!
“Matching the quality of the new photo to the old was definitely a challenge!” he explained. “It involved a lot of blurring, sharpening, and noise to try to get it to look like an older photo.”
Part of what makes Conor’s photos look so real is that he dressed up in clothes that matched the photo to make them perfect.
“I feel like Me and Little Me would have gotten along pretty all right,” Conor said.
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