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Dad Captures One Second Per Day of His Son’s First Year of Life


On July 9th, 2012, photographer Sam Cornwell of Hayling Island, England welcomed his son Indigo into the world and became a father for the first time. Starting on that life-changing day, Cornwell and his wife Beverley have been documenting the growth of their boy by capturing at least one second of video every single day.

Yesterday, one year and thousands of videos after the project began, the photographer took the clips and combined them into the beautiful “moving time-lapse” seen above.

Sam, Indigo, and Beverley
Sam, Indigo, and Beverley

Indigo was born a month before his due date, and Sam and Beverley have had new experiences every day as first time parents. “We really had no idea what we were doing,” they say. Since everything was so new, documenting it with photographs and videos “just came naturally.”

At the end of each day and during special moments, the couple would pull out their iPhones and capture photos and short video clips. They created a Tumblr site just for Indigo to share those video snippets with friends and family.


Sam tells us that he was originally inspired by Cesar Kuriyama’s “one second per day” idea for documenting life.

Why a video time-lapse instead of still photos? Sam believes it’s more “dynamic” and that it can capture certain things photos can’t. “With videos you can see his first smile, hear his first coo, witness his first step.”


The final video contains clips selected from over 1,200 videos captured over the course of the year, and is meant to be Indigo’s first birthday present. It’s “hopefully something he will treasure when he’s older and not feel too embarrassed about,” Sam tells us. “He doesn’t quite appreciate it yet, but we hope that in a few years he will.”