Photographer Took One Photo Every Day for Eighteen Years


Jamie Livingston isn’t a household name. And even though he has his own Wikipedia entry and has had his story told many times over the years, it’s as moving today as ever. Jamie was a New York-based photographer, film maker and circus performer who became famous by taking one polaroid picture every day for the last eighteen years of his life.

His tool of choice was an old Polaroid SX-70, and every day from March 31st, 1979 till the day of his death on October 25th, 1997 he pulled it out and snapped a photo.

Here are a few examples from over the years:





After his death, his friends Hugh Crawford and Betsy Reid did a massive “Photo of the Day” exhibit at Bard College where Livingston first started the series. Today, you can find all 6,000+ photos scanned and uploaded into an online archive which you can access here.

A few scattered days have only pictures of the date, signifying those that Crawford and Reid couldn’t find or, perhaps, weren’t taken. For the most part, however, every day is there.

Most of the photos are happy, showing friend, marriage, pets and outings. Others — many of them coming after Livingston was diagnosed with a brain tumor — are not as joyful. But if you want to see the entire collection and browse through some 18 years of friends, hardships, happiness and daily life, be sure to visit the entire archive.

(via Mental Floss)

Thanks for sending in the tip, Sam!

  • Anon

    Polaroid chemicals cause cancer?

  • Evan Skuthorpe

    I’ve just started a 365 Project for my soon to be born child, maybe I should continue it for a further 17 years!

  • Michael Lombardo

    I just start one also, good luck with yours!

  • brandon


  • Evan Skuthorpe

    Good luck with yours!

  • nab111

    I’ve just started a new project- I’m going to delete a photo every day for the next 17 years…

  • Phrog12764151

    So far, I have successfully take one every 10 years.

  • Mansgame

    Don’t forget to make a facebook page for the kid and write postings as if he/she is writing it and do it every few hours every day. Maybe something like “I think I’m going to kick mommy today but I love her so she doesn’t mind”. Your friends aren’t going to think it’s annoying at all!

  • Jim Grove

    Last I checked, 1971 to 1997 is 26 years, not 18.

  • Evan Skuthorpe

    I’d find that annoying personally ;)

  • renambot

    He started in 1979, not 71

  • Deathalo

    No, good luck WITH YOURS!!!!

  • DLCade

    Sorry about that typo guys, the date has been corrected from 1971 to 1979. Thanks for pointing that out @facebook-1342696259:disqus and @renambot:disqus!

  • bgrady413

    What a sad project, I wonder if he would have started the project if he knew how it was going to end.

  • Stan

    Am I the only one drawing connections to Instagram and hipsters?

  • alan freeman

    There is an app for that

  • Neoracer Xox

    it ends the same for us all my friend..

  • monteraz

    He lived for 18 years before the project came to an end, not 18 days…

  • Mansgame

    haha good…tell that to one of my buddies.

  • Junkie

    Good luck with the sleepless nights and the baby poo. ;) And the photo’s ofcourse. :D
    Btw. Congrats! (in advance.)

  • Birthday Boy

    It is awesome not only because he Took One Photo Every Day for Eighteen Years , but also it is taken by Polaroid folks.. Polaroid!. it’s not that simple as digital.

  • ProtoWhalePig

    Keep trying. It’s ’79 to ’97: 18 years.