Monday, September 29, 2008

Polaroid a Day Project

I enjoy taking pictures. Some might say too many pictures since I often have my small digital camera with me everywhere I go. But I was amazed to hear the story of Jamie Livingston who took 6697 Polaroid photos, one a day, from March 1979 to October 1997. Chris Higgins, a writer for the mental_floss blog discovered a website with all of these photos and started looking into the back story of Jamie. He had already deduced from the photos that he was a film maker, Mets fan and obviously an artist who made a photographic diary of his life.

When I look through these pictures and see a life laid out in singe frames through a Polaroid lens, I as myself lots of questions.

Who are these people?
Why is it so important to the photographer to document all of this?What does this say about our daily lives? And what is truly important?
This picture of Jamie and his girlfriend was taken in late April 1997. A few days later one picture tells a much different story...radiation tattoos. A few months later he ended up in the hospital. But was able to get out of the hospital and get married.
The photos go on until the last day of Jamie's life. You should visit Jamie's pictures and see what a wonderful story they tell. One man's dedication to taking one photo a day to show 18 years of his life even when things were not pretty or happy. Taking photos of the everyday and the mundane and sad things we experience is the polar opposite of how our society thinks about photography. If you took out all your photographs right now what would it say about your life? Is it all weddings, birthdays, parties, and vacations?
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