Alex John Beck reveals what people would look like if both halves of their face were identical
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By Sadie Whitelocks
PUBLISHED: 16:32 EST, 11 February 2014 | UPDATED: 06:23 EST, 12 February 2014
Everyone has a good side, so the saying goes, and now one photographer has attempted to show which one it is.
New York-based photographer Alex John Beck, 32, took portraits of ten people and made symmetrical images using the right halves of their faces, and another using the left. The resulting images were then placed side-by-side for comparison.
He told MailOnline: 'I was surprised at the subtle but undeniable difference between each character of our two faces.'
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Which is my best side? New York-based photographer Alex John Beck, 32, took portraits of ten people and made symmetrical images using the right halves of their faces, and another using the left.
He told MailOnline of the resulting images, which were placed side-by-side for comparison: 'I was surprised at the subtle but undeniable difference between each character of our two faces'
Indeed, in one 'left side' image a male participant appears with a relatively slender neck and matching moles on each of his cheeks, below the eyes.
But in the 'right side' shot he is thicker set with burst blood vessels marring his complexion.
Meanwhile a girl's eyes get closer together in her 'right hand' portrait - making her almost cross-eyed - but her 'left side' appears perfectly balanced.
Gapppy and then gone: Indeed, the 'right side' and 'left side' images bring out different facial features
Not what they were expecting: Mr Beck said that subjects expressed 'surprise' and 'disappointment'
According to science writer and author, Sam Kean, the left side of our faces are more expressive than our right
Mr Beck said that when his subjects saw the shots they expressed 'surprise' and 'disappointment.'
They included men and women of different ethnic backgrounds who he had met over the years through photography.
Describing their reactions, he said: 'Oftentimes they were dismayed to see even
a slight difference in emotion between one side and the other.
He says that this is because the left side of our face is controlled by part of the brain responsible for emotion
What goes on underneath shows on the surface: The left side of the brain controls language, for example, while the right side controls spatial awareness and identifying faces
Turning heads: Photographer Mr Beck says that he normally defines beauty the 'same way as everyone else' but in the context of the project it was defined as having a more symmetrical face
example, one side of the face frequently showed more focus /
attentiveness than the other.
'The mere fact that one side seems less present than the other proved worrisome, revealing a lack of total control, of total dominance over basic functioning of expression.'
Mr Beck says that he normally defines beauty the 'same way as everyone else' but in the context of the project it was about having a more symmetrical face.
He titled the collection of images 'Both Sides Of.'
The subjects' real-life images are not shown.
Eye-opening: The photography project was titled 'Both Sides Of'
Natural beauty: This woman's face must be extremely symmetrical, as her two portraits hardly change
Explaining why, Mr Beck said: 'Because
it's not about the deviation from reality, it's about the version of reality
that we're choosing to show.
'If we showed the original image everyone would use it as the point of reference, and rather than compare two versions, they'd just move their eye from one picture to the original, then back again, trying to spot what's different.'
According to science writer and author, Sam Kean, the left side of our faces are more expressive than our right sides, because they are controlled by the part of our brain responsible for emotions.
Vision: The subjects' real-life images are not shown because Mr Beck said he wanted viewers to focus on comparing the right and left versions
The left side of the brain controls language, for example, while the right side controls spatial awareness and identifying faces.
The right side of the brain also controls the left side of the body, making the left side more expressive.
Mr Kean concluded: ‘We think we’re aware of most of what we’re doing, and it’s a little disconcerting to see this ticks, and these little things emerge, suddenly.’