Man Recreates 30-Year-Old Photo with His Dad Alongside His Look-Alike Son: 'I Just Had to Do It'

·3 min read
Fred Smith with his father, Fred Smith with his son
Fred Smith with his father, Fred Smith with his son

Courtesy Fred Smith

While growing up, Fred Smith always heard he looked like his father.

"Everywhere I would go as a kid, people would just see me and automatically know who I was because I looked like my dad," the 35-year-old, a former sergeant in the U.S. Marines, tells PEOPLE of his father, Fred Smith, Sr.

Even today, the two share a striking resemblance to each other, and Fred thought of an idea for a picture that would showcase not only how much he and his father look alike, but how much his son, Dartynien, takes after them.

In July of 2020, Smith retrieved one of his favorite pictures of him and his father, taken three decades earlier as he sat on the hood of a blacks Oldsmobile outside of his late grandmother's house in California when he was 3 and his father 33.

Smith then recreated the image, even wearing a button-up shirt similar to the one his father wore in the picture 30 years earlier. He placed Dartynien, who was 3 at the time, on the hood of a car, set his camera on a tripod and snapped away.

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Fred Smith
Fred Smith

Courtesy Fred Smith

After taking the photo, Smith placed it next to the original image and uploaded the result to Facebook. The side-by-side pictures recently went viral, having garnered more than 69,000 likes as of late July.

Smith — who operates his own Canada-based photography studio in Calgary, Kallos Studios — says he was surprised at the response the images are getting online (he's received many flattering compliments, he says). But most of all, he is grateful for having been able to capture the moment at the right time.

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"Just to recreate it is a blessing — just the coincidence and the similarities in look and age and everything," he says. "I just had to do it."

Fred Smtih
Fred Smtih

Courtesy Fred Smith

Smith says fatherhood has been one of the greatest roles of his life and influenced him to write and illustrate a children's book, My Daddy's Legs, in 2019.

Smith Sr., now 65, has always been an influential presence in his son's life, Smith says. His father continually showed him the value of ambition and keeping high standards for himself.

But Smith says his father isn't aware that he's internet famous just yet.

"I haven't told him that it went viral yet because it's just been a crazy week," Smith says. "So I don't even think he knows what viral means, but I'll call him after this and let them know that the world knows us."

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Dartynien, meanwhile, isn't too hyped about becoming a viral star.

"I told my son and he didn't care," Smith says. "He just turned 5 last week, so like, 'Hey, man, a lot of people like our picture, a lot of people said happy birthday to you.' He's just like, 'Okay.' "

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