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Birgit Püve May 7, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Estonia.
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Marianne and Mariette, Pärnu Estonia 2013

Birgit Püve (b. 1978, Estonia) is a portrait and documentary photographer currently based in Tallinn, Estonia. Since she started working on her own personal projects, her works have won several awards. In 2012, the picture editors of The Sunday Times Magazine’s Spectrum, UK, named Birgit the Spectrum Emerging Talent. The initiative was launched to seek out today’s freshest photography.In November 2014 she won the 3rd Prize at the major international competition, The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize organized by The National Portrait Gallery in London. Her works have been exhibited in USA, Canada, UK, Russia, Austria, Germany, France, Latvia, Poland etc and published in publications such as The Washington Post, TIME Lightbox, PDN Magazine, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, GEO, Ryanair Magazine, Newsweek Polska, L’Express, among others.Her first monograph “Elada mitmuses/Double Matters”, portraying more than 80 identical twins and triplets living in Estonia, was published in winter 2013.

About the Photograph:

‘This image is from my photo book Double Matters/Elada mitmuses (Hea Lugu Publishers) that I finished in autumn 2013. I drove thousands of kilometres to photograph more than 80 twins and triplets living in Estonia. It’s always fascinating – when there are two or more identical persons standing in front of you – that nature can create something so unbelievable and magical. There’s a secret in them that we, single-borns, don’t have. I wanted to explore the meaning of similarity and shared identity in a world that so much celebrates and adores uniqueness. How do twins and triplets act regarding the idea of ‘another me’ and how that affects their relationship? I found out that environment is a big part of their shared identity, so I tried to photograph the pairs in their private environments like homes, backyards or simple everyday locations. I found these girls through a local family magazine and instantly liked their physical presence. It was a cold and windy autumn day in October 2013 in their home town Pärnu when we met. They turned out to be big personalities and that added an extra layer to the portrait. This frame is one of the last ones we did that day. They were already tired, it was even colder and they forgot to pose – what I was waiting and looking for. Later, as it turned out, they also became the cover girls of the book.’