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Presidential selfies: Teen's funny photo project goes viral

Jan. 28, 2014 at 3:51 PM ET

Hail to the chief and kudos to the teen.  

Chaz Rorick spent many of his evenings late last year attaching cotton balls to his head, cutting beards and mustaches out of paper and taking many, many selfies for a project that's made him the latest Internet star.

The 16-year-old high school student in Rochester, N.Y., has created an eye-catching photo series on Instagram that features him posing as the nation's presidents -- all of them, complete with similar expressions, poses and facial hair -- and then pairing his pictures with images of the real commanders-in-chief.

Recognize President Lincoln?

Rorick started taking the photos in November when he wore a tuxedo for a band concert and noticed he was dressed like President Truman, whose picture he had recently seen in a documentary. 

"So I just thought it would be fun to put up a picture mimicking him, including his glasses and pose," Rorick told TODAY Moms.

"People found it weird, but nonetheless interesting. So I did Teddy Roosevelt the next day, and I found it fun. I thought it might be cool to keep up with the routine and go for more of them."

Here's his version of President Obama:

Rorick completed the series in 44 consecutive days, using props he made himself and wearing coats and dress shirts from his closet, positioned to mimic the presidential garb. 

"I slicked my hair back with water, used a pocket watch that my girlfriend gave to me for Ulysses. It was fun, and completely free," he said.

Here's President Andrew Jackson:

Here's Chaz's version of President Kennedy:

Almost all of the photos are selfies, except for three: George H. W. Bush, John Tyler, and Benjamin Harrison. Rorick's friends took those photos after he dressed and posed like those commanders-in-chief.

Here's President Thomas Jefferson:

"Presidents with a massive amount of facial hair and actual hair were difficult. I didn't use wigs, so shaping my hair like theirs was tough," Rorick admitted.

President Martin Van Buren required some fancy sideburns:

The presidential photos series is getting a vote of approval from his friends and family.  

"Some friends initially thought it was weird to start out, but quickly embraced the nifty photos. My parents got a laugh each time I showed them the new side by side, and my friends asked about them every day," Rorick said.

You can see the entire project on Rorick's Instagram page.


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