Brittany Allen
October 13, 2014 10:14 am

In 1975, photographer Nicholas Nixon began what would become his opus: a 40-year photo series focusing on the faces of his wife and her three sisters. Each year for decades, the Brown daughters would get together and pose for Nixon–wherever they happened to be, in whatever they happened to be wearing. The result of this poignant project provides a window into four different lifetimes. The photos are also a pretty compelling meditation on the drama of sisterhood.

Note the angst:

This November, the Museum of Modern Art in New York will be hosting an exhibit of Nixon’s work, called “The Brown Series: 40 Years.” All 40 annual portraits will be on display for the public. This exhibit also heralds the publication of a book of the series’ prints.

Naturally, the whole shebang has got us thinking: who else has attempted to stop the clock with some eloquent time-lapse photography? Turns out there are a few other dedicated shutterbugs out there, who’ve made a project of regular check-ins. . . Here are seven other time-lapse photo series projects that completely blew our minds.

1. This couple photographed themselves standing in their garden each time the seasons changed.

See harvest turn to spring:

2. The group of five friends who get together every five years to recreate the exact same picture, taken during an original vacation at Copco Lake in Northern California.

The men plan to keep recreating this photo until the last friend has died. Here’s a quick before and after:

3. A Texas P.E. teacher named Dale Irby wore the exact same outfit for his yearbook picture over the course of a 40-year teaching career.

4. These boys took the same photo under the Christmas tree every year from infancy to adolescence.

5. And photographer Zed Nelson studied another family trio–over the course of 23 years.

Nelson began this project upon learning of a family friend who was about to give birth in 1991. This photo series is fittingly called, “The Family.”

6. Diego Goldberg’s The Arrow of Time” project has also documented an entire family tree, but in a close-up view.

Goldberg began capturing his family in 1976, and has since branched away from his central crew of four to document his son Nicholas’ growing hive. Below, see the first three years of the original project:

7. Then of course, there is the even more meticulous spin on the time-lapse series by Karl Baden.

Professor Karl Baden, of Boston College, has taken a selfie every single day since February 23, 1987. He calls this endeavor the “Every Day Project,” and considers his photographs a commentary on the obsessive nature of art.

Here’s a slice of Baden’s work from 2012:

In these projects, photography is effectively magic: these artists (or citizens) have used simple pictures to preserve the mundane moments, and so document the passage of their lives. So whether you’re in the market for your own cool new scrapbooking tool, or just a junkie for the medium, keep your eyes peeled for other time-lapse photo series.

Images via, via, via, via, via, DallasNews, CNN, RYOT

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