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'Mother + Daughter' photo series will make you do a double take

Nov. 13, 2013 at 8:09 AM ET

Photographer Carra Sykes, on the right, and her mom Marti Sykes.
Carra Sykes
Photographer Carra Sykes, on the right, and her mom Marti Sykes.

There comes a point in many a young woman’s life when you look in the mirror and wonder, “When did I become my mother?”

Photographer and graphic designer Carra Sykes has a cheeky take on that concept in her photo series called "Mother + Daughter," where the 25-year-old reverses roles by having her mother become the daughter. In the collection of photos, Carra and mom Marti Sykes, 60, each pose wearing identical outfits from Carra’s own closet.

Carra says she wanted to challenge age barriers with the series and get people to think about what it means to get older. She also wanted to have a little fun with and learn more about her mother.

And what better way than to have Mom wear a pair of hot pink gym shorts with lace-up boots and a parka? Or how about a black fedora with an oversized cat sweatshirt?

Carra Sykes, on the right, and mom Marti Sykes
Carra Sykes

While the photos show mother and daughter in a variety of poses – wearing a helmet, wearing a bandana and looking zen-like, lying on the sofa in a holiday-decorated living room – the resemblance between the two of them is uncanny. 

Carra Sykes, right, and Marti Sykes
Carra Sykes

For Carra, who always thought she resembled her dad’s side of the family, it was surprising to see just how much she looked like her mother. 

Marti agrees, adding that seeing images of herself and her daughter side-by-side both brought back vivid images of her own youth and made her proud of the woman her little girl has become. She admitted, however, that some of her daughter’s wardrobe seemed “a little out there.” 

“At times, she does remind me of myself at her age,” said Marti, who lives in Greensboro, N.C., “but I also see that she is herself in many ways, which is what a parent really wants to see.”

So are these two women, 35 years apart in age, as similar in personality as they are in looks? Carra says she and her mom share common traits such as being talkative and outgoing, but they are also quite different.

“I love the traits I’ve gotten from my mom, but I also love that we are different enough that I don’t feel like I’m hanging out with myself. We work well together and have a sweet time,” said Carra, who recently moved to Houston for a graphic design job and has more photo series projects in her future.

She credits her mom with helping her keep her creative juices flowing.

“Sometimes all you need is that little spark to get your heart going and stoked to do creative things. I love that my mom has stepped out of her comfort zone, which then encourages me to keep exploring, too.”

Carra Sykes, right, and Marti Sykes
Carra Sykes
Carra Sykes, right, and Marti Sykes
Carra Sykes


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