This Man Took A Polaroid Every Day For 18 Years Until The Day He Died To Tell His Heartbreaking Life Story

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.

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