11/04/2013 05:36 pm ET

'Self Portraits' By Penelope Koliopoulou Show What It Would Look Like If You Dated Yourself

Penelope Koliopoulou

You've probably never seen couples' portraits quite like this before.

UK-based photographer Penelope Koliopoulou shot a photo series where she posed as both halves of different romantic couples -- and the gender-bending results are mesmerizing.

Koliopoulou worked on her "Self Portraits" series as part of her master's program in Fashion and Film at the London College of Fashion. "What inspired me is mainly everyday people," Koliopoulou told the Huffington Post via email. "Couples I know, my friends, my parents, their friends and people I observe on the street. Another inspiration was how badly Hollywood romantic comedies represent relationships. I wanted to make my own pictures that represent how couples really are."

The artist expanded on how romantic comedies inspired her in a Nov. 1 interview with Vice:

The problem in these films is to get the girl or the guy. Once they are together, everything's resolved and they supposedly live happily every after. So I first thought of making film stills from existing movies that would show the characters in real-life situations, good and bad.

Koliopoulou decided to make the series a self-portrait project rather than using models in order to emphasize how the images deal with identity -- and to encourage viewers to put themselves in her place. "I hope people who look at my pictures like my stories," she told HuffPost. "If they see themselves in any of my couples or situations I pictured that's a small win."

LOOK: "Self Portraits" by Penelope Koliopoulou

'Self Portraits' by Penelope Koliopoulou

[h/t Vice]