Time-Lapse of Daily Photos from the First 21 Years of a Young Man’s Life

Photographer Noah Kalina has taken a self-portrait a day for the past 12.5 years, but his already-impressive project has now been bested by one that’s nearly twice as long. When Leeds Met University student Cory McLeod was born 21 years ago, his parents began faithfully documenting his life by taking a single photograph of his face every single day. This past week, the project was published as a one-of-a-kind video titled “21 Years” that shows McLeod’s entire life in roughly six minutes.

Having over 7,500 photographs flash across the screen in around 360 seconds results in a much faster “photo rate” than Kalina’s video, and the fact that the photographs aren’t uniform in their framing and compositions doesn’t help either. You should probably stay away from the video if you’re at all bothered by rapidly flashing images.

Aside from that, this is an extremely impressive project that required a mind-boggling amount of dedication. If you’re having trouble staying motivated on a daily basis, imagine taking (and sitting for) a photo every single day for 21 years (granted, there are some missing photos replaced with drawings, but those are few and far between).

P.S. Here’s an interesting tip left as a comment on the YouTube video: “To see individual frames much clearer, blink your´╗┐ eyes rapidly.”

  • Koke Momo

    Far too quick in some parts; can’t really see the change very well seems very muddled.

  • Anatole

    I’m having a seizure

  • newamericanclassic

    I have.. maybe like, 4 photos of me from ages 0-5. and I’m the same age as this guy, so my parents have no excuse lol. we just don’t take photos as a family, except for holidays/vacation.

    I wonder what it’s like to grow up having photography as core to your daily routine as brushing your teeth?

  • newamericanclassic

    lol I think I’d prefer a 6-minutes clip to something the length of a feature film

  • Powershot

    Thats dedicated photography!

  • Helium

    He sure didn’t seem like a very happy kid. :(

  • Koke Momo

    I understand, not asking for a feature film, just something just a very tad bit slower. :)

  • AK

    I’m mainly surprised that after 21 years of daily practice these guys didn’t get any better at taking portraits… Nice to have if it’s you, but totally uninspiring for 99,9999% of the viewers… sorry for raining on their party….

  • Y

    wtf is with the picture at 4:46?

  • Lackawanna

    Creepy. I wonder if his obsessive parents squeezed the joy out of him.

  • Jan’s camera

    I think maybe one photo a month would have been easier to watch him grow and view.

  • rafavarium

    I think that the point of these pictures were not to have aesthetically pleasing photos as a priority, rather just capture quick snapshots of moments in the boy’s life.

    I also admire their dedication, interesting project that VERY few people complete.

  • Derek Mellott

    High as a kite.

  • silverhalide

    No doubt. It’s a fine line between dedication and obsession. Poor kid having to deal with his parents need to complete such a project. The result is pretty unwatchable anyway.

  • Peter

    I think this is not a time lapse. It’s a slide show.

    Not sure if they’re doing the guy a huge favour by throwing this on Youtube. Maybe if it were a photographic, or an aesthetic masterpiece…

  • Messenger

    I detest pictures of babies and this is little more than an exuberant display of home photos in a slide show that does little to entice the viewer into sitting through the whole thing. If his mother was standing next to me I might suffer through most of it. This isn’t something I would expect to see on this site.

  • Paolo

    Very good looking and totally American young man. If they had selected one picture a month and left them a few second each, this would have inspired in viewers interesting thoughts about identity, life and death.

  • Molly

    just heard about this video on BBC Radio 4 with an interview of ‘Dad’ and Corey.( He’s British, not American by the way). Well worth listening to.