Time and Lucy

On Lens Culture you can see a small set of self-portraits by Lucy Hilmer from a continuing 40 year series of annual portraits, Birthday Suits, made every April 22nd with her “wearing nothing but her white Lollipop underpants, shoes and socks” started on her 29th birthday in 1974.

It isn’t her only long-term project – on her web site you can find out about her series ‘The Wedding House‘, where she and husband Bob Elfstrom return every anniversary to make a self-portrait every anniversary since the first in 1985, and a series of Valentine postcard portraits of her daughter Annie sent out to “just about everyone her family ever knew” every year from 1987-2010.

Her web site doesn’t as yet have many pictures on it, though rather more is apparently “Coming Soon…” and there are PDFs of her work in magazines and a link to the Photobook Review blog worth exploring.

Hilmer is of course not the only photographer to make some kind of annual record of their life as time passes. Perhaps the best-known example is The Brown Sisters by Nicholas Nixon, which he began in 1975, a year after Hilmer. You can see all from 1975-2011 on Imgur, and the 2012 image is among the selected images at the Fraenkel Gallery, which are well worth looking at on full-screen.


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