Amazing How These 4 Sisters Took The Same Photo For 40 Years
The Summer of 1975
Sisters share a very special bond. Being a sister means being part of a wonderful experience. These four sisters decided to document their experiences in a special series of insightful photographs. Join the four woman as they document their personal lives in a series of incredibly insightful photographs taken over four decades. It all began in the summer of 1975 when Nicholas Nixon visited his wife’s family. He wondered if the sisters would agree to pose for pictures. Heather, Mimi, Laurie and BeBe lined up in same order back then. They have done so for him ever since.
Here, the sisters wear dresses and offer a relaxed pose for the camera. The young women look to the future with great hope. Each stands casually, relaxed and incredibly confident in the summer sunshine.
Cambridge Massachusetts 1977
A year later, the sisters look into the camera more pensively. No longer wearing dresses, they still give off an aura of confidence but they clearly have more on their minds than they all did just a short year ago.
Harwich Port, Massachusetts 1978
The sisters seem even less happy in this photograph. This shot, unlike the previous shot, brings the viewer a little closer to their faces. We can see the young women here already perhaps thinking closely about the challenges they face as they head into the world of adulthood and start to shoulder the burdens of growing apart. All the sisters frown and we’re not sure why just yet.
Marblehead Massachusetts 1979
Each sister has started to establish her own dress style. One sister chooses a more formal dress while another chooses to opt for pants. One sister holds her arms close to her body while another brings a more relaxed and calmer pose. The viewer wonders what they are thinking.
East Greenwich Rhode Island 1980
Sisterly love is on display in this thoughtful photograph. The four young women embrace each other, perhaps wanting to show the world they are still close even as they grow older. The solemn faces of previous years have given way to shy smiles and a sense that the world is waiting for them.
It’s summer again and the sisters show off their healthy bodies and lean legs. Caught in the light, the sisters look confident, knowing they present a pretty picture to the world. Yet there’s still a wariness to their look as they lean just a bit back from the camera, almost daring the viewer to follow.
Ipswich Massachusetts 1982
Moving to colder climates, the sisters still show off a certain sense of self-confidence. Here they are all bundled up, letting the wind sweep through their hair and they let the world watch them pose yet another year for yet another picture. It’s no secret that getting them to all smile is a challenge but you’ll understand why at the end.
Allston, Massachusetts 1983
Coordinating their look, the sisters present a united front to the world. They seem to cling to each other more tightly in the middle of field, letting the sun hit their faces and the wind whip around their hair. Each sister shows a hint of something that clearly gets reflected on all of their faces.
Truro Massachusetts 1984
At the tip of Cape Cod, each sister offers a more grown-up look. No longer the coltish young ladies, the camera does not tell us what has become of their lives in the past year, allowing us to look at each woman and imagine it for ourselves. You can tell there is more behind the picture…
Allston, Massachusetts 1985
Once again the sisters leave us staring at their faces noting the similar clothing choices they make and the way each one seems to bring something totally different to the front of the camera, making each picture different and yet like a new idea. Although no smiles, you can tell their bond is strong.
Cambridge Massachusetts 1986
It’s over a decade into the project and the sisters remain as familiar and mysterious as ever. The viewer gets a sense that each sister may have talked about their plans for this year’s picture to their sisters before they decided to pose. The mystery unfolds as the years move on.
Chatham Massachusetts 1987
Time is clearly taking a toll on the sisters and yet it’s obvious the fierce determination is still there. Each sister looks into the camera with grave determination and a sense of defiance, making us think about the thoughts behind their mild visages.
Wellesley Massachusetts 1988
All four sisters have a subtle smile on their faces. All four sisters give the camera a look that shows a slow smile unfolding in front of us. We leave thinking something good happened or perhaps it’s simply a nice day and they want to enjoy it. You’ll never guess what’s behind these subtle smiles.
Cambridge Massachusetts 1989
One sister appears to change her pose slightly, heading behind another and forcing us to look for her in the picture. The mild smiles were put to rest this year. We can almost surely assume it has been a challenging year for these sisters.
Woodstock Vermont 1990
Two of the sisters appear to have a close bond while another seems slightly withdrawn, pulling herself slightly out the reach of the others. We see her and perhaps think that she has chosen to consider a different life for herself, possibly moving away to another town or even another state.
Watertown Massachusetts 1991
The sisters keep some distance from each other in this revealing photograph. If you’re asking yourself why is it so difficult for these sisters to all smile, you’re not alone. Do sisters inevitably find their bonds fading through time and then falling apart as age and distance catches up with them?
Concord Massachusetts 1992
All of the sisters assume different poses this year. These sisters show that no matter what goes on in any family, it’s still important to get together for a photo, at least once a year
Unknown Place 1993
Nixon does not tell us where this photograph was taken, leading us to guess it’s probably somewhere in New England. Are smiles to appear soon as they years fly by? Something just has to give for these supportive sisters.
Grantham NH 1994
Unlike the other photographs, this one was taken by the sisters themselves. Here they are closer to the camera than ever before more visible than they’ve been. It’s unclear if Nixon and his wife were going through a rough patch at the time or if he was just not able to be around for this year’s photo.
Marblehead Massachusetts 1995
The sisters lean into the camera right now, holding each other tighter than ever before, perhaps determined to spend more time together and determined to make the most of the time they have with each other when not immediately together. This appears to be the most happiest the sisters have been, but wait until you see them in 2010.
Lexington Massachusetts 1996
All of the sisters have different expressions on their faces as they look into the camera. One seems to be happy while another is clearly not as pleased. No matter what is going on in their lives they are still dedicated to this annual tradition.
Wellesley Hills Massachusetts 1997
Aging is clearly etched on each sister’s face as they appear to have life’s challenges right in front of them. Three of the four make it clear there is more behind to the story than what the photos show.
Falmouth Massachusetts 1998
Wearing dark colors of gray and black are a sure sign of mystery. What has put these sisters in a gloomy mood has been a mystery since 1975. As they get older it all makes sense.
Unknown Place 1999
The sisters gather together slightly towards the camera so we can get a closer look. It’s clear that 1999 was one of the toughest for these warrior sisters. But no matter how tough of a year they stay determined and dedicated to keeping their sisterhood strong with yet another annual photo.
Unknown Place 2000
Now, more than ever, the sisters cling closely to each other, obviously united against the world and happy to continue to uphold the bonds that sisterhood places on them. They want us to think they are part of this project but also to remember that each one of them leads separate lives the rest of the year.
Unknown Place 2001
The sisters do not tell us where they are in this photo but their poses allow us to believe it’s a happier place where they might be allowed some relaxation time. Even in an environment of relaxation, getting them to all smile is still a challenge.
Marblehead Massachusetts 2002
Notice that they all surround the same sister in many of the photos? It’s clear she has their love and has earned their respect.
Unknown Place 2003
All four sisters appear to be immersed in thought and fear. We are left to think about how their lives must have unfolded since their youth and yet not given more than a photograph as a clue. This is one of the joys of the project for the viewer. We are let in their lives without the need to get to know them.
Cataumet Massachusetts 2004
Technology has crept up on the sisters. One even carries a cell phone. Two others stand to the side wearing very casual clothing and making it clear to the viewer they are less concerned about appearances than ever before. Each sister allows herself to avoid looks that are the same, deciding on her own path for this picture and letting us see them as entirely different people.
Cataumet Massachusetts 2005
One sister proudly stands in front of the glare of the camera. Another looks away and doesn’t give us a chance to see her full profile. We wonder why each of them poses as they did and why two sisters can be so different than the rest.
Wellesley Massachusetts 2006
Confident Bebe lets her hair down while the others offer us a more manicured look. Once again, one sister looks off to the side while the others show off shy smiles. This is one family that is determined to remain close no matter where they are or what they’re going through.
Unknown Place 2007
Wrinkles clearly visible on all four sisters’ faces, they still invite the viewer and the camera into their lives. We assume they were grandmothers at this point.
Dallas, Texas 2008
Each sister seems lost in thought as they show us another side of their personality. One almost hides while another comes forward into nearly the center of the picture. We are left to imagine their differing personalities even as they are still sisters in blood and love.
Unknown Place 2009
Bebe is Nixon’s wife and clearly the driving force behind the project. She wants the viewer to participate in her world and the world she fully shares with her sisters as they gather together at her request every single year. Her and Nixon appear to have a long standing, strong marriage as they have been coordinating these photos for decades.
Unknown Place 2010
Perhaps happy that the project has continued with every sister still participating, one sister closes her eyes as if she feels her job has been done. The other sisters lean into the camera as if more determined to make sure they will be part of this now world-famous series.
Truro Massachusetts 2011
All four sisters have visibly aged and yet the camera still looks at them with love. Their craggy faces are more beautiful than ever before, working perfectly to illustrate the glory of all women, even in this black and white photo. The bond they share flows out of the image every time we see them.