Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix
Chris Higgins
He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died
by Chris Higgins

Yesterday I came across a slightly mysterious website — a collection of Polaroids, one per day, from March 31, 1979 through October 25, 1997. There’s no author listed, no contact info, and no other indication as to where these came from. So, naturally, I started looking through the photos. I was stunned by what I found.

In 1979 the photos start casually, with pictures of friends, picnics, dinners, and so on. Here’s an example from April 23, 1979 (I believe the photographer of the series is the man in the left foreground in this picture):

April 23, 1979

By 1980, we start to figure out that the photographer is a filmmaker. He gets a letter from the American Film Festival and takes a photo on January 30, 1980:

January 30, 1980

Some days he doesn’t photograph anything interesting, so instead takes a photo of the date. Update: this was an incorrect guess; see the bottom of this post for more info on these date-only pictures.

August 23, 1982

Throughout the 1980s we see more family/fun photos, but also some glimpses of the photographer’s filmmaking and music. Here’s someone recording audio in a film editing studio from February 5, 1983:

February 5, 1983

The photographer is a big Mets fan. Here’s a shot of him and a friend with Mets tickets on April 29, 1986:

April 29, 1986

In the late 1980s we start seeing more evidence that the photographer is also a musician. He plays the accordion, and has friends who play various stringed instruments. What kind of music are they playing? Here’s a photo from July 2, 1989 of the photographer with his instrument:

July 2, 1989

In 1991, we see visual evidence of the photographs so far. The photographer has been collecting them in Polaroid boxes inside suitcases, as seen in this photo from March 30, 1991:

March 30, 1991

On December 6, 1993, he marks Frank Zappa’s death with this photo:

December 6, 1993

The 1990s seem to be a good time for the photographer. We see him spending more time with friends, and less time photographing street subjects (of which there are many — I just didn’t include them above). Perhaps one of his films made it to IFC, the Independent Film Channel, as seen in this photo from December 18, 1996:

December 18, 1996

Throughout early 1997, we start to see the photographer himself more and more often. Sometimes his face is obscured behind objects. Other times he’s passed out on the couch. When he’s shown with people, he isn’t smiling. On May 2 1997, something bad has happened:

May 2, 1997

By May 4, 1997, it’s clear that he has cancer:

May 4, 1997

His health rapidly declining, the photographer takes a mirror-self-portrait on June 2, 1997:

June 2, 1997

By the end of that month, he’s completely bald:

June 30, 1997

His health continues to decline through July, August, and September 1997, with several trips to the hospital and apparent chemotherapy. On the bright side, on September 11, 1997, the photographer’s hair starts to grow back:

September 11, 1997

On October 5, 1997, it’s pretty clear what this picture means:

October 5, 1997

Two days later we see the wedding:

October 7, 1997

And just a few weeks later he’s back in the hospital. On October 24, 1997, we see a friend playing music in the hospital room:

October 24, 1997

The next day the photographer dies.

What started for me as an amusing collection of photos — who takes photos every day for eighteen years? — ended with a shock. Who was this man? How did his photos end up on the web? I went on a two-day hunt, examined the source code of the website, and tried various Google tricks.

Finally my investigation turned up the photographer as Jamie Livingston, and he did indeed take a photo every day for eighteen years, until the day he died, using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. He called the project “Photo of the Day” and presumably planned to collect them at some point — had he lived. He died on October 25, 1997 — his 41st birthday.

After Livingston’s death, his friends Hugh Crawford and Betsy Reid put together a public exhibit and website using the photos and called it PHOTO OF THE DAY: 1979-1997, 6,697 Polaroids, dated in sequence. The physical exhibit opened in 2007 at the Bertelsmann Campus Center at Bard College (where Livingston started the series, as a student, way back when). The exhibit included rephotographs of every Polaroid and took up a 7 x 120 foot space.

You can read more about the project at this blog (apparently written by Crawford?). Or just look at the website. It’s a stunning account of a man’s life and death. All photos above are from the website.

Update: I’ve made contact with Hugh Crawford and his wife Louise. Apparently the pictures that are just dates aren’t Polaroids — they’re placeholders for days when there was no photo, or the photo was lost.

Update 2: After hitting the Digg homepage, the original site has been taken down by the host. Hopefully it’ll be back up overnight; in the meantime if anyone has a mirror of the original site, please leave a link in the comments (you have to leave off the http part).

Update 3: The original website is back up! Hugh has managed to restore service, and it looks like the site is now cached across multiple servers. It’s still a little slow due to the huge amount of traffic, but at least it works. Go check it out.

Update 4: Jamie Livingston has been added to Wikipedia.

Update 5: Many people have asked about the Polaroid SX-70 camera. Check out this Eames film explaining the camera.

[To leave a comment, click here and scroll down.]

Comments (174)
  1. what a stunning find!

  2. amazing! great find


  3. Thank you.

    This was one of the most moving posts I’ve ever read. As soon as I finish writing this I am going to the blog.

  4. Epic and moving. Great find.

  5. This is a fascinating post - very moving. How on earth did you decide which of the multitude of compelling photos to include?

    He was about my age, went to college in the same area as me, lived in the New York area, Mets fan, musician …. I’m just convinced that if look at enough of his photos, I’ll find friends in common - a six degrees of separation kind of thing. May take a while!

  6. Incredible! Nicely blogged too, I might add.

  7. I actually teared up at my desk.

  8. That is amazing, his poor wife, imagine dying 18 days after your wedding. I wonder if he thought his health was improving and the relapce was sudden or if the woman married him out of pity…

  9. Thank you so much for posting this. What a moving piece…

  10. What can i say, this story, this blog, and this post, are very moving.
    I’ll keep them for a long time.
    Thank you.

  11. Oh my goodness, I started tearing up here as well. How long did he want to collect the photos? Was it mentioned? I don’t think I’d want to see the rest of the pictures, considering how it all turned out.

  12. amazing and moving.

  13. It’s true. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  14. Intense and sad

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this. You did a wonderful job with your write-up.

  16. The Jamie Livingston in IMDB was still working in 2003.

  17. He died one month and one day before my 41st birthday. This is both sad and scary!!!

  18. @Mike Cohen - the Lionel Richie Video Collection came out in 2003, but Livingston was only editor of one video (”Se La”), which was from a 1986 song. So he got the credit posthumously. I’m assuming the video in question is this one:


  19. Amazing, I was really touched by this……

  20. He could have worked on something that did not get released until 2003…

  21. I’ve got goosebumps. Thanks.

  22. What an amazing story

  23. I love that he used a Polaroid camera…and used it well. Would pay to see the public exhibit.

  24. Awesome find - one of those faint glimmering stars that really redeems the information age. I’m so glad this fellow shared his beautiful life with us.

  25. Unfortunately this cannot be done again because Polaroid is stopping production of their instant film.

  26. this is so fascinating, in a voyeuristic kind of way.

  27. Wow, this is intense.

    This made me cry, to think, especially to see the ring and the wedding. When I saw the wedding was 2 days after the engagement ring, I imagined there might be a reason–maybe he knew he was sick again by this point. The picture of them at the wedding is very touching. They look so happy and at peace, living in that moment, and that moment only.

    Just beautiful.

  28. thank u 4 sharing

  29. I’ll keep this post as a favorite. Happy and sad.

  30. I’m sorry to say this but those all these photos were taken from a Polaroid as we can see from the difference in depth of field between many of the pictures.

  31. inspiring dedication to take great pics

  32. What a bunch of emotional schmucks you all are! Do you cry everytime you read the obits?

    an amazing story…shared his beautiful life with us…I’ve got goosebumps…Epic and moving…actually teared up at my desk.

    Gawd — give me a break! He was a guy who started an art project of questionable value and then died of cancer just like five hundred thousand people do each year in the US. Big Deal!

    Get over it — your comments are pathetic and demonstrate nothing but the weakest sort of emotionalism.

  33. Thank you to Jamie’s friends for all their effort to share this with us.

  34. Thats was awesome and moving, great find!
    Thank you for posting.

  35. Thank you for posting this, and thank the photographer’s friends who put these pictures on the net. Just like so many others, it had a deep effect on me.

  36. Happy and Sad in the same time

  37. Stuff like this is significant. People NEED to be remembered. Especially when they do something so spectacular as this even with such a sad ending. He continued his passion right to the last day of his life. That deserves some kind of history. We need a way of downloading and saving the ENTIRE site. A way to make sure this is never lost. Suggestions? I can not wait till its back up so I can see it.

  38. Oh, wow. Thank you for sharing these. This is fascinating.

  39. This was quite different from so much found files on the web … may the man in the photos have found the good rest that all souls seek after.

    A visual diary oft times says so much more than the volumes of verbiage that are sifted through while trying to understand our lives or the lives of others.

  40. Thanks for doing this.

    > He died one month and one day before my 41st birthday. This is both sad and scary!!!

    Whoa. Jamie Livingston was born the same day I was.

  41. What makes it emotional, is the sense of viewing the course of a human life. how many of us can produce such an impact?

    I was impressed, thank you.

  42. @Datajack the Polaroid SX-70 had clip-on wide angle and telephoto lens attachments that changed the depth of field. It also included an autofocus system as a consumer add-on kit. This is not the crappy Polaroid you’re thinking of!

  43. Damn. This is an excellent find. A record of a life: the triumphs, the sadness, the boring days, friends, sports, and a career…and finally death, equally uneventful for the world, but probably heartbreaking for his friends and family.
    I didn’t feel like the need to want to know this man, because I knew that I’m alot like him. That’s the sad part…that I’ll also die in obscurity.

  44. @Datajack

    That is in the article several time, and well know as written by the photographs.

    Wake UP and Read The Article.


    A guy from Digg

  45. Ken… don’t be so rude and disrespectful.
    This story is very touching to me because my mother died from a brain tumour (her scar looked exactly the same, staples and all) so I can imagine exactly what this guy’s final year was like.
    Keep your insensitivity to yourself.

  46. @Ken

    Grow up troll.


    The rest of the internets.

  47. Ken… I’d rather be a feeling emotional schmuck than a predatory aggressive loser who has nothing else to do but find fault with others posts. Apparently you are the one who needs a life. I’m sorry your mother never hugged you.

  48. thank you.

  49. What a neat idea for a project. It’s a shame his loved ones lost him to such a terrible disease. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Ken… I’d rather be a feeling emotional schmuck than a predatory aggressive loser who has nothing else to do but find fault with others posts. Apparently you are the one who needs a life. I’m sorry your mother never hugged you.

  50. Hey ‘Ken’, humanity called.

    Apparently it hasn’t seen you in a while.

  51. Very nice post and such a sad story, I hope the site comes back on soon or someone mirrors it with more bandwidth.

  52. He had good friends and family, therefore he had it all.

  53. Wow…. Thats amazing. I was truely moved. You get the real life story and get to know a guy for 18 years. and then he dies. Its really sad. But whats so ironic about it, when you click on his name and it takes you to the internet movie database, the place where his picture should be, it says “No photo available”. Check it out. It seems like they should have plenty to choose from.

  54. hello, that was amazing.

  55. Ken - whew, thank goodness you’re not an emotional schmuck like the rest of us.

    You either get the point of something like this or you don’t.

    When I saw this I made an emotional connection with this man and his friends, even though I never met them. Emotional connections are the grease that allow society to work.

  56. Jesus wept!

  57. A prime example of passionate photography. Moving indeed.

  58. You helped immortalize this one man’s amazing journey. Great job!

  59. Stuff like this is what makes the Internet so interesting. Great job finding it.

  60. amazing photos, a great commitment to secure ones own legacy

  61. @Ken
    you need some JAM ROAST!

  62. A little note to Ken: It’s OK for you to feel some emotions for your fellow human beings. Trust me, it won’t make you less of a “man”.

  63. This is an amazing story which you have related in a beautiful manner.
    Sitting at work looking at those photos, it is hard not too feel a surge of emotion going through.

    I am looking forward to see the full site when up again.


  64. Very moving i_i

  65. Ken=asshole.

  66. Great and absolutely moving article.

  67. i wanna do something like this …
    but i dunno if i have the dedication in me …
    a friend of mine and me have a photo a day blog going at
    check it out … thanks …

  68. a story never dies. thanks.

  69. not very often that i am moved by a blog. thank you.

  70. Ken, I think you are missing the point. This post is so moving because it is the mundane record of one man’s life. He is a representative of all the men and women who live ordinary lives and fight cancer, ultimately losing that painful battle. I suspect that many of those who are moved by these photos have been touched by cancer or cancer survivors and victims. These silent moments that show the ebb and flow of his life are a tribute, in a way, to all of the cancer victims in the world.

  71. He must have been my age, or maybe a few years younger. Sad to see that he died so young, and that his death must have caused him and his family a lot of pain.

    He made a monument to himself. It feels as if he’s making friends (like most of us here) beyound the grave.

    Very impressive and very moving.

  72. Just a beautiful story

  73. It´s very good idea. I´m think do the same

  74. Weird and impressive. You can see feeling in all those images, not people.

  75. Even though the name of the post indicated he died, I was still so very moved to the point of tears when I got to that point. What an amazing project to take on, and CONTINUE on, even when he found out he was sick. Thanks for sharing.

  76. You did an amazing job capturing the essence of someone through over 6000 pics. Can’t wait for the site to be back up…

  77. Is Digg traffic boost worth Digg troll boost? YOU DECIDE.

  78. Ingenious, sad, poetic, fascinating, bittersweet, instructive…there are more words I could think of to describe this but it would take a while. So I’ll just say: Wow.

  79. @Alyce - well said.

  80. An amazing document.

  81. Epic.

  82. KEN- Did you get enough S*&*!!! I would give you more, but, I already gave you too much!!! You don’t deserve the attention like this MAN did…F.Off!!!!


  83. This is an awesome story.

    Regarding the identity of the photographer, it is pretty easy to read, in the shot of the film submission form, that his name was James Livingston, and once lived in NYC.

  84. wow, interesting

  85. as someone touched cancer by several family members and friends, this was touching to me, beautiful, thank you for taking the time to share this, yes its sad that he passed but at the same time, his legend continues, because of people like you who make sure others know about his beautiful life

  86. Finally! someone who in our lifetime is making history by a simple act of bieng who he was without having a history of unnecessarily exploited lifestyle of drugs and extravagant lifestyle. Almost feels like it was faith and fortune for anyone who came upon this story to realize the things we take for granted thanks to our dying generation. Jamie Livingston you were and are going to be remembered you have done well.

    Thank you.

  87. These pictures would look amazing in a dipity.com flipbook (no secrets, I work there). I think someone from the company is trying to get in touch with them. Here’s hoping!

  88. Beautiful story, touched my heart.
    Thanx 4 writing it.
    in LVX

  89. Undeniably fascinating, these few pictures say so much. I want to know more. Are there any plans to publish the exhibit into a book?


  90. That was awesome and I bet you more than anything there will be a movie about him because I would go watch it.

  91. Thankyou for posting this. Fantastic find. I am surprised at how fast this is spreading round the web, this being posted only 2 days ago…

    Can’t wait for the site to get back up and running.


  92. Thank you for writing about this amazing man. I must have been the only person who interpreted the wedding ring and keys as a sad memento. As a one-year widow, I thought that picture had been taken by his wife. It was lovely to see the picture of them at their wedding. Very touching.

  93. @Mary - it’s really hard to see, but the wife is in the background of the ring photo. It is definitely sad, though, given the circumstances.

  94. sad photo…

  95. Jamie and I worked on a number of projects together in the mid 1990’s. We lost touch around 1996. I am saddened by his death. He and is SX-70 will be sorely missed. I remember being part of a few of his photos. Thanks for the post

  96. Thank you, Higgins. My favorite post on MentalFloss since I started feeding a year ago.

  97. So captivating. This might seem odd, but, looking at Jamie’s series of photos, I started thinking about how Descartes became famous as a mathematician by imagining that a curve could be conceived as a series of infinitesimally small points, and hence approximated as a series of points that could be plotted on a graph with two axes, x and y.

    Considering Jamie’s polaroid-a-day over 18 years, I had four variations on a thought:

    * Here we have a life represented as a finite series of discrete points.

    * Here we have a life *represented* as a finite series of discrete points.

    * Here we have a life represented as *a finite series of discrete points*.

    * Here we have a *life* represented as a finite series of discrete points.

    The life represented is gone; the representations remain in life through us, if we view them and talk about them.

    Cavemen didn’t have the capacity to make the photos. They didn’t have the capacity to make optically accurate visual representations, and I’m sure they didn’t try to do that or even consider doing that.

    All they had was the talk part to keep memory alive. What would they have talked about with regard to Jamie Livingston? Not a photo a day.

    That makes me wonder what does it do to spread a life out in a photo a day? Where does it take one’s mind and heart to spread a life out that way?

    Maybe what we enjoy, in considering something like Jamie Livingston’s 6,697 polaroid photos, is the tension we experience between the ingraspable living essence and the absolute regularity of a quasi-mathematicized temporal interval.

  98. This story brought me to tears. Makes one realize how precious and short life really is.

  99. I’m going to cry. This is remarkable.

  100. Increible y emocionante.
    Gracias internet por acercanos estas historias.

  101. Oh wow, how incredible!
    It’s difficult enough doing it for one year, but that length of time is unbelievable!

  102. I, too, was in tears here in my cubicle. I can’t get to the photos site due to what my company’s web filters call “proxy avoidance,” but I certainly will as soon as I have an open Internet connection.

  103. E’ una storia incredibile! Le azioni di ogni giorno,pur nella loro semplicità,diventano belle e piene di vita. Grazie per averci permesso di conoscere una persona tanto straordinaria . Continuerà a vivere,grazie alle sue immagini e alla tua segnalazione.

  104. I can’t access the site right now, but it sounds incredible. I’ve been taking daily photographs since 2007, originally as a one year project. Once you start though, it becomes a compulsion, and now I can’t see any reason I’d stop.
    My photos are all taken on a cameraphone - I guess it’s the modern equivalent of a point and shoot instant-feedback Polaroid camera.

  105. Wow! That’s SMOKE, a Wayne Wang’s film, 20 years ago! The story is very nice!

  106. The last month (October 1997) is working but not the rest of the site.

  107. The coolest thing to me about this is how this guy must have looked at daily life. Every day deciding when to take that picture. From some of them, like the sporting events or with friends, it looks like he tried to capture what made that day unique from all the others. It’s not so much about Mr. Livingston as it is about his outlook. Every day, like every photograph is unique.

  108. Tahnks for sharing this. Very intense and sad.

  109. We can all learn from Mr Livingston. Document each day by one little act of kindness towards others.

    When people experience good things done to them by others, they preserve that memory for life.

  110. It’s an unbelievable story! Great find…

    I’m going to publish it on my website too.

    Alberto (from Italy)

  111. One of the few things I have witnessed in this highly interconnected era which touched me on a truly personal level.

  112. this almost brought me to tears. life is just too short when you have something to live for… your friends, your family, the things you love.
    brilliant post.

  113. Great stuff!! Powerful and moving. Too bad for the sad ending. Looking for current photo a day project.

  114. Hey everyone, I saw this story and it inspired me to make his polaroids into a video. Click my name to watch it.

  115. Website’s link isn’t working :(

  116. @Acid Burn - try it now; it looks like the link has changed a little as it’s been cached by the Coral Cache network. I have updated the links.

  117. I’m truly deeply touched by this series. Thanks for finding it. As a photographer I’ve heard and seen of many projects that were similar, but very few go till the end, and very are this touching and artistic. This is a walk down a very personal life-story. Beautiful.

  118. i was wondering if theres any place to view the collection of his photographs on the internet now that the addresszero website is not working.

  119. Thanks for sharing this Chris! I too will blog and reference both your site and OTBKB site. More people need to see this, and the way you worded and chose photos was perfect!

  120. What a touching story.

  121. What a touching story. Amazing too that he didn’t loose his beard from chemo.

  122. I am speechless!
    sad, amazing, brave, ingenious…

  123. A great collection of photo’s ….. kinda like life …. all the emotions … ending in death, albeit too soon.

    a fascinating exploration :)

  124. wow…i just stumbled to this page…interesting…

  125. i knew jamie. not well, but he was a classmate. many of my friends are in these photos. it’s like moving backward down a time tunnel as i look at them.

    it’s quite an accomplishment. what a lovely spontaneous thing to do. and kudos to hugh and company for their sweat and toil in bringing this together. magnificent.

  126. thanx for sharing this. this is indeed wondeful “life project” brought to a medium that will die soon …

  127. Unfortunately, the website is not up right now.

  128. Ken your my hero !! rock on..

  129. Just speechless, so happy and so sad all at once. Really a great find!!!

  130. This just shows that we go on living life one day into the next and by taking a photo each day and looking over them all you realize that every single day, every moment is LIFE happening. It’s sad in a way because there are terrible things that happen to people, a lot of suffering and pain but that is part of life and for it to be documented by images and not a story lets you take your own angle on it but no one will ever really know his life but him.

    Wonderful idea, may he rest in peace and his wife be healthy and happy…

  131. Hey Ken, when you get things wrong, you really get them wrong. I really think you missed the point of this blog, the photo’s and the meaning behind them. If you don’t know it, I am not going to try to explain as it is only something that someone can learn. Hopefully, you’ll understand that “big picture” one day. I loved this exhibit of photos taken. For one, I find life in NYC fascinating and have always wanted to have grown up in the fashion that he and his friends had. I grew up in a small town in Michigan which was nice, but NYC? I would have love it. Second, I like thinking of what I was doing the day some of these pictures were taken. I have a very close friend of mine that died in August of 2007 while I was in Iraq and I miss him dearly. We did everything together since we met in 1974 so I know how it feels. There is a photo taken 12-12-79 which is my friends birthday at age 19. Third, this type of photo exhibition makes me think of how blessed that God gave me more days to live than this guy and a lot of others, such as the families in Iraq. Our life is easy in U.S. Don’t take it for granted. I hope I can do something as special to pass on as this guy did.

  132. This is a truly inspirational thing. I would love to do something of the same fashion to pass on to my children, so that they could see how I lived, the times I spent with friends, these snapshots of memories long since past.


  133. wow nice!

  134. So Polaroid is dangerous to your health? Is it cancerous?

  135. My fiance died of cancer on October 24th, 1997… the day of the last photo in this collection… Stunning coincidence… has brought back a world of hurt though :-(

  136. Well, when I first read Ken’s comment on this website I wanted to respond. After reading through the rest of the comments, however, there is nothing I could say that would be better than the comments already posted :) Thanks!

    We often wonder if we, as individuals, can make a big difference in the world we live in. This website confirms that we can. Here is an average person, just like us, doing an average activity every day. His friends have given us a view into his ordinary life and struggles. Through this, Jamie Livingston is now touching more people than I am sure he would ever have imagined. What a good example. Thanks for sharing this!!

  137. Moving and epic.

    Y’all should have ignored good ol’ Kenny though. The poor thing is so convinced that he is worth next to nothing, that he also believes the only way to get other human beings to notice him is to be mean and shocking. Hats off to him coz it actually works. On second thought, bring on the Ken bashing, people. You may be averting a suicide.

  138. I think he is one of the Residents
    ???????????? i saw one of his pictures where he was wearing one of those “eyeheads”.

  139. By the way, the photo was taken in 1979. the year the residents started..

  140. Thank you for sharing this.

  141. beautiful post… really moving…

    And the poor man died on his birthday…

    So sad, and the photos are so beautiful…

  142. I wonder if he took more than one photo each day and edited them…otherwise it must be so hard to know what’ll be the most important thing about that particular day. Or maybe he took them at the same time each day? For more of a random selection.

    It’d be great to have that dedication, and other than ‘Ken’ it’s bound to touch a chord in terms of sadness. Life, death, passing of time and all that. Surely any human being could empathise?

    btw, Rapahel also died on his birthday. His 37th. Of syphilis…

  143. Thanks for blogging about this! I’ll be passing this around Twitter. Makes me wish Polaroid would see this and rethink their decision to stop making film.

  144. I was listening on the radio this morning on CBC and heard the story… so when I got in the first thing I did was find the site. I just finished going over the site… This was very moving story.

  145. What an amazing story!…This should be made into a movie….I’m lost for words!

  146. thats sad, but he had a great idea.

  147. Both fascinating and haunting.
    Thanks for sharing his story.

  148. Thats so cool. Yeah, I agree it should be made into a movie somehow.

  149. thanks for sharing.

  150. Soooo damn achingly significant!!!

  151. An incredible window into anothers life and death. I only pray that I may do the same with grace.

    P.S. Ken needs a dose of grace.

  152. awesome that’s a great history i really enjoyed! good bless that man!!

  153. I got very upset while looking these photos. He died? Life is very interesting. We are living as we don’t die one day :(

  154. Absolutely Amazing!!

  155. Compelling and sad. You remind me of a website which I have never been able to find again. It showed a woman for about 4 years. She took a photo in a photobooth every single day of those years. Towards the end, she becomes pregnant and has a child. The baby is about 6 months old around the time of the last few shots. There is no explanation for why she disappeared and afterwards, however much I have searched, I have never again been able to find the site no matter how much/or in which way, I have googled it. I also used other search engines. Anyway, she was based in Denmark or something like that and she traveled sometimes to Belgium to be with family. The woman was in her late 20s to mid 30s and that is as much as I remember about it though her face is as clear as the palm of my hand within my head.

  156. I couldn’t sleep last night so I was up and found your blog about this amazing man. My sleep problem was related to a recent trauma of my own but as luck would have it, this story helped me to tear up and release some of it. So, thank-you Chris for putting up this story.

    I was also moved by Ken’s pain. Sometimes our pain is too much and we block it out. When we witness others reacting normally to an emotional event, we have to work extra hard to hide our pain from ourselves. It makes us angry.

    In other words, that which we can’t tolerate in others (e.g. normal grief) is often being triggered by our own stuff.

  157. Hi Chris, sorry to bother you. I must have put in my website incorrectly as the link now shows an Open DNS.

    The above is correct.

    Thanks again,


  158. Hey Suzanne,

    Looks like there was a typo in the previous link — I’ve corrected it, and now both links work. Thanks for your support!

  159. Thank you for sharing this wonderful and sad, ever so touching story everyone has one… most we’ll never know, and in some some we get a glimpse of.

  160. wow

    i didn’t know abaout this man and his live till now. but i had nearly the same project for one year. and i have to say it was the best of my life…
    thank you for sharing!


  161. All we have are moments in life. He took the time to capture them forever and pass his memories onto anyone willing to look.

  162. WOW….incredibly moving.

  163. Thank you for bringing this out. It’s quite inspiring, but it’s also a sad story, like many.

  164. You’re an amazing detective & journalist. I began reading thinking well who cares and by the middle I really wanted to know what was going on. How many edits did you do from where you began. I edit edit edit and sometimes, even after something has been published I may edit again.
    I love this piece the universalism of it. It hits us where we feel.
    Direct me to your next piece.
    I think I’d like to read the children’s story.
    I have a friend on FB who writes delightful stories with witches kingdoms and more. They’re better than Harry Potter. I’d like you to meet or read his stuff.

    We are very different but alike in knowing how to stroke the feelings beneath the skin.
    Thanks for a good read Chris.

  165. think I did the link wrong. Amazing follow through & skills.

  166. Nice ~

  167. Sublime and haunting.

  168. hi,

    i heard the interview this morning at CBC’s Sparks. this touches something deep.

    bits of us.

    could remixing of those bits be part our digital legacies?

  169. I too heard this on CBC. It’s very moving. It really makes me think about our mortality and what will be left of each of us when we’re gone - digitally or otherwise. Jamie has a great digital legacy.
    Thank you.

  170. what a beautiful tribute. I lost a best friend a year ago and her motto was Carpe Diem or seize the day. Jamie sure did.
    thank you for this.

  171. CBC has led me to this collection. I was touched by the interview, and I am similarly moved by the blog. We live as if our time is endless, but then we’re shocked into the awareness of the retractile nature of the future.

  172. The power of Gold.


  173. I don’t have many friends. I don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t find myself to be appealing to others. :(

    If I photographed my life, it would be very boring. hehe

    Loved these photos.

  174. It’s a very inspiring story. Thanks for sharing!