He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died

The Photography of Jamie Livingston

Endurance is more important than truth.
— Charles Bukowski

mental_floss Blog � He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died Came across this article today on photographer Jamie Livingston. Livingston took a Polaroid photograph every day of his life from from 1979 until he died on his 41st birthday on October 25, 1997.

You can see the series of Polaroids here.

If he didn’t have a photo to take on a give day he’d often just photograph a note with that date on it. Especially moving are the photos towards the end of his life when he got cancer. These photos especially are hard to look at. They are intensely personal and painful — but they make you feel, and that’s always been the sign of the best photographers in my book, photographers that make you feel.

I’m always amazed at and admire people who show this level of commitment and compulsiveness to doing something like this. There are lots of of people who do 365 day type projects, but 18 years is a very long time. It’s stories like this that inspire me in my own obsessive compulsive goal to publish one million photographs online before I die.

More on Jamie here.

Thanks, Sacca!

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  1. “When you see such photos, you can’t help but wonder at just how sweet and sad and innocent all moments of life are rendered by the tripping of a camera’s shutter, for at that point the future is still unknown and has yet to hurt us, and also for that brief moment, our poses are accepted as honest.” – Douglas Coupland

    He wasn’t talking about this guy, but I think the quote still fits.

  2. Keith says:

    When I think of the commitment like this photographers have, I am encouraged to continue taking photos. Sometimes we dont know how it will all be in the end, but I think the mentality to keep shooting lets us capture part of life’s essence.

  3. Andrew says:

    I’m totally blown away by this. So incredible to see a life through the lens. Will share and bookmark.

    Andrew Dobrow

  4. TranceMist says:

    Amazing they survive.

  5. Spencer says:

    I think the website was hit too hard, as I can’t go there now.

  6. bugs says:

    Thanks a lot Thomas for this beautiful story.