Jamie Livingston may no longer be with us, but he left behind a legacy in Polaroid photographs that tell his life story in a truly personal and heartbreaking way.
The project started on March 31, 1979 when the native New Yorker and then-student took a single photograph.
Jamie then took a picture every day for the next 18 years with his Polaroid SX-70, until the day he died in 1997.
May 27, 1979: Jamie was a student at Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson.
March 31, 1980: The majority of Jamie’s photos were snapped in New York, like this one on the subway.
August 11, 1980: He’d also snap his friends.
June 13, 1981: As well as a filmmaker and photographer, Jamie was briefly a circus performer.
July 26, 1981: Some of his photos are abstract, others are thoughtful, and some are just hilarious.
July 18, 1982: Jamie took a trip to Europe in the summer of 1982 and, of course, documented every day.
January 21, 1983: Jamie at work as a cinematographer and music video editor back in the early days of MTV.
April 3, 1984: By this time, Jamie already had over 1,300 photos.
May 5, 1984: Goofing around with a friend.
May 8, 1985: Mirrors feature often in Jamie’s photographs.
April 29, 1986: Jamie was a huge Mets fan and can be seen here buying tickets with a friend.
September 23, 1986: Some of Jamie’s photographs are incredibly intimate, like this one of his long-time girlfriend.
March 30, 1988: Jamie laying out all his photographs — he now has thousands.
December 7, 1990: Playing around while shopping for Christmas trees.
January 2, 1996: It’s not always clear who’s behind the camera.
June 26, 1996: Jamie at the Twin Towers, five years before they were destroyed.
February 13, 1997: An exhausted Jamie, passed out in bed, suggests there’s something wrong.
April 25, 1997: But he’s still got plenty of time for his friends.
May 2, 1997: Jamie’s health begins to deteriorate, and he’s diagnosed with cancer.
May 4, 1997: Surgery leaves Jamie with a large scar on his head.
June 2, 1997: A self-portrait.
June 24, 1997: Medication has become a regular part of Jamie’s life.
July 29, 1997: Chemotherapy causes Jamie to lose his hair.
August 20, 1997: Jamie’s friends visit him in hospital.
August 21, 1997: Jamie photographs the drugs he must take every day.
September 11, 1997: His hair slowly starts to grow back.
September 29, 1997: But Jamie is still seriously ill.
October 5, 1997: Jamie proposed to his girlfriend, who is just visible in the background.
October 7, 1997: Jamie and his wife on their wedding day.
October 10, 1997: Friends at home.
October 20, 1997: Not long after the wedding, Jamie’s health suddenly takes a turn for the worst.
October 24, 1997: A friend plays music for Jamie in hospital.
October 25, 1997: Jamie’s final picture. He died on his 41st birthday.
You can see the full project here.