In 1979, This Man Started Documenting His Life With A Polaroid Every Day Until He Died

Jamie Livingston, a filmmaker, photographer, and a circus performer from New York, started documenting his daily life with a Polaroid camera way before it was cool. On March 31, 1979 he snapped his first pic of his then-girlfriend and continued his project for the next 18 years until he lost his life to cancer, concluding with a tragic snap of his deathbed on October 25th, 1997.

Livingston’s ‘Photo of the Day’ project gives us an intimate glimpse into the lives of 20 and 30-somethings in New York several decades ago. From raw pictures of Livingston’s colorful life in the Big Apple, to touching battle with a brain tumor – the artist’s down to earth collection has it all. All of his photos were put on a website by his friends Hugh Crawford and Betsy Reid. Even though Livingston is not here anymore, his legacy lives on with many people who find a connection with him through his photographs.

On March 31, 1979, Jamie Livingston, a filmmaker, photographer, and a circus performer, began taking one Polaroid photo every day


June 15, 1979

He called his project ‘Photo of the Day.’ This was his very first photo


March 31, 1979 

Livingston documented his life in New York…


March 31, 1980

June 10, 1983


February 23, 1985


February 23, 1997


November 23, 1979

His friends…

March 27, 1994

January 22, 1994

March 05, 1994

April 19, 1982

October 6, 1996

His job…

October 8, 1983

March 13, 1980

July 27, 1994

And his girlfriend

April 25, 1997

May 23, 1997

April 22, 1997

In 1997, things got grim as Livingston was diagnosed with a brain tumor

February 12, 1997

But he kept his project going on

May 1, 1997

May 3, 1997

August 20, 1997

September 29, 1997

June 24, 1997

Despite all of Livingston’s efforts, his health was declining

July 29, 1997

So he and his girlfriend decided to get married

October 5, 1997

October 7, 1997

Sadly, their marriage didn’t last long – Livingston died a couple of weeks later, on his 41st birthday

October 21, 1997

This is his very last photo taken on October 25th, 1997

October 25, 1997

Even though Livingston is not here anymore, his legacy lives on. His inspiring body of work has touched the hearts of many people around the world – many of them are sharing their own stories under his photos to this day

March 30, 1990