Dad And Son Take The Same Photo Together For 30 Years And The Final Photo Is Heartbreaking

For a family, there is nothing more precious than looking back at photos from childhood and seeing how everyone has grown. A picture truly can say 1000 words, and that’s why people cherish them so much.

This father and son decided they didn’t want to forget a moment or memory, so they took a photo every year together for nearly thirty years. These photos aren’t just a snapshot of time, but a way to track the beautiful transformation of a young family. You’ll never believe how different they look in the end.

1986

We’ll kick it off in 1986. Dad here looks young and impressionable. Just like every new father, he’s probably going through the motions of learning how to change diapers and getting no sleep.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

For context, 1986 was the year that The Oprah Winfrey Show hit national television networks, Phil Collins had the album of the year, and the Challenger Space Shuttle had just exploded to the shock of the American popular.

1987

Wow, we can’t help but notice the mountain of hair on this little boy! I’d be willing to bet he grows up to have an incredible head of hair over the years. Of course, that will be easy to find out since we know what he grows up to look like.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

Dad looks a lot more comfortable as a father and you can really see the bond developing between these two.

1988

Many of the photos these two have taken over three decades show them looking pretty straight-laced and serious. This photo, when the son is only three, shows a much goofier side to the father-son duo. It’s clear just how much fun they have with each other as the son grows older.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

By now he’s three years old and is probably coming close to carrying on conversations and showing some real affection.

1989

It’s 1989 and these two have returned to looking as serious as ever. The little boy likely just started school and has no idea just how much the world is changing around him.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

The Berlin Wall, that stood dividing East and West Germany, came down in 1989. Meanwhile, scientists just launched the first World Wide Web browser, and Bobby McFerrin was telling us “Don’t Worry Be Happy.”

1990

The son here is feeling calm, cool, and collected now that he’s reached the five-year milestone in his life. It’s probably because he knows deep down that the ’90s are going to be a wild decade of change and excitement.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

To refresh your memories, the 1990s were kicked off with the premiere of Seinfeld and The Simpsons (although we doubt dad let his son watch either show), and Milli Vanilli got caught for lip-syncing.

1991

Six years old and not a care in the world. The little boy here seems happy and carefree in his father’s arms. Dad, on the other hand, looks just as stoic as usual, possibly even worried.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

Maybe that’s because of all the dramatic things happening in 1991 like the dissolution of the Soviet Union, end of the Cold War, and even Pee Wee Herman’s arrest for indecency. On the bright side, at least Phil Collins was topping the music charts again.

1992

This carefree beach photo is a nice switch from the usual ultra-serious vibe these two have going on. Finally, once again, they both look happy and carefree.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

They must be spending lots of much-needed beach time to escape the even more dramatic events of 1992. Everything from the Rodney King riots to the final appearance of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show made 1992 a pretty grim year. At least the son has a sparkle of hope in his eyes.

1993

We’ve moved back to basic with this photo, a.k.a. they’ve returned to the plain white wall. Although the change of scenery was nice, the plain background shows just how much the boy has grown. Soon enough he will be too big for his dad to even pick up!

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

Although these two look happy and content, 1993 was a year of loss in the entertainment world. The public lost Audrey Hepburn, Frank Zappa, and Anthony Burgess.

1994

Finally, the boy has grown up enough to start wearing pants. You can really start to see the resemblance between father and son now as the son begins to pose just like dad.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

In general, 1994 was a wild year. If you put aside the bad things like Kurt Cobain dying and O.J. Simpson’s trial, you also get the release of incredible films like Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, and The Shawshank Redemption.

1995

It looks like the son here had quite the growth spurt! He can’t even button up his pants now. Neither seem to mind though and look happy and content after spending nine years seeing the world together.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

Halfway through the 1990s and it seems like things aren’t exactly looking up. The not-guilty verdict arrived for O.J. Simpson which led to public outcry, Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building, the Rwandan genocide is in full swing.

1996

Ten years old and this son has achieved another major milestone. These two might seem serious but they must be reveling in the incredible changes they saw every day around them.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

The biggest is the beginning of the internet age. The son was only three years old when the first web browser was launched. Seven years later and more than 45 million people in North America use the Internet. We thank the internet now or we’d never get to see this incredible transformation.

1997

Seriously, this son has grown so much since he was born in 1986 there’s no way his father can pick him up for that much longer! Dad seems to be slowly growing older too. I guess that’s what happens when you’re busy raising a child.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

1997 was quite the year for monumental moments. Titanic and Good Will Hunting were both released in theaters that year. Oh, and an author name J.K. Rowling released a book about a boy wizard. Ever heard of it?

1998

Twelve years old and it looks like the little boy from before isn’t so little anymore. These two probably spent hours thinking of the perfect pose now that dad can’t just easily pick him up.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

As for the happenings of 1998, it was all entertainment all the time. Television was overtaking everyone’s lives. An estimated 76 million people tuned into the Seinfeld series finale, while ER managed to make $13 million an episode from NBC.

1999

Talk about a growth spurt! The son is almost taller than the father. If we hadn’t seen that the father always had long hair, we’d argue he was growing it out so he could still be taller.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

Thirteen years old and heading into the new millennium, a lot of change was on the horizon. Aside from the constant fears of Y2K, a new controversial president and a shift in world dynamics would come in 2000.

2000

How is this boy holding a new puppy and managing to keep a straight face? We’d be smiling uncontrollably from ear to ear. The father can’t contain himself like his son around their new furry family member. We’re totally fine with this new addition to the family.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

We’re also glad the family managed to survive the rumors of apocalypse and doomsday that surrounded the new millennium. The next 15 years would show incredible changes in both of them.

2001

It looks like we can stop calling him a boy because he’s grow into quite the young man. Fifteen years old and he’s right on par with his father. You can see the confidence he’s gained now that he’s in high school and ready to take on the world.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

On the flip side, dad is honestly looking a little weathered. If he thought raising a child was hard, he never expected what the teen years would bring.

2002

The son has officially surpassed his father in height and dashing looks. You can tell he is still just a teenager though and hasn’t grown into his lanky body. Still, he is practically a carbon copy of his father when he was young.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

The two look pretty carefree considering the world is under mass hysteria since the 9/11 World Trade Centre bombings from the year before and the 2002 anthrax scare.

2003

Not so surprisingly, this young man is clearly starting to mature and find himself as a teenager. Clearly, his body is starting to fill out more, and he’s quickly surpassed his father’s height.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

As his son starts to grow older and his metabolism is clearly starting to take over his body, you can see that the same isn’t really the case for his father. While his dad was once as thin as the son is now, his dad bod is definitely coming into shape.

2004

His son continues to round into shape, and it looks like he’s becoming quite the athlete considering his thin, muscular frame. It almost looks like his father is trying to hold him back as he’s packing on the muscle.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

If the son was trying to get into the entertainment business then he had some tough competition. In 2004, sequels were all the range with Shrek 2 and Spider-Man 2 dominating the box office.

2005

This is the grainiest photo of them all, which leads me to believe it may have been taken on a whim and not planned out like the others. The son would have just turned 19 and is probably out on his own in the world now, whether it means at school or in the workforce.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

Anyone who moves out knows that the first year is a period of hyper-independence where you might not see your parents as much.

2006

We’ve entered the son’s 20s and he’s over the Bruce Lee look and has totally embraced the 2000s surfer dude vibe. He looks young and happy, but you can see the father starting to age.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

Dad has officially adopted the dad bod, and you can see his face starting to fill out with age. On the bright side, he’s still got a full head of hair which means the son will probably inherit those good genes.

2007

Uh oh, it seems like dad has fully accepted the aging process here. Everything from the pleated oversized pants in comparison to the son’s well-fitting jeans shows their age difference.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

2007 saw the world stage rocked with influential global events. The biggest of which was President George W. Bush’s choice to legalize government eavesdropping into telephone conversations. We know that comes back to bite him later.

2008

2008 was the year of change in America when they made history and elected the first African-American president, Barack Obama. We also saw a change in Hollywood with the death of Heath Ledger, Bernie Mac, and George Carlin.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

As for these two, they didn’t seem to change at all. In fact, the dad may or may not be wearing the exact same pair of pants and belt. I’d recognize those pleats anywhere.

2009

Finally, we see these two change things up. Is that a plaid pair of pajama pants I see? A bold change and I like it. The son is growing older and you can see him slowly turning into his father more and more.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

Rather than the dad wrap his arms around the son, it’s gone the other way. The son has also started filling out in his face to look more like dad.

2010

If you added some long shaggy hair to the son in this photo, he’d be a dead ringer for his father when he was born. You can really see their resemblance in the nose, eyes, and mouth now that they’ve developed into the same body and face shape.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

As for the rest of the world, they’re still suffering two years later thanks to the 2008 recession. We hope the money problem didn’t hit these two that hard.

2011

These two have truly come full circle. Once again the son has chosen to cradle his father rather than the other way around. I guess any parent would like to hope that if they spend 18+ years raising a child that they’ll return the favor one day.

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Davko/Imgur

The son is almost 25 and looks like he won’t have to worry about a receding hairline anytime soon. Dad still has a full head of hair.

2012

I’m honestly impressed that it took until 2012 for the father to fully develop a beer belly. Most other dads would have had it the moment their kids moved out and they no longer had to worry about being a role model for peak health and fitness.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

2012 was another monumental year for Americans when they reelected President Obama, and saw the loss of celebrities like Whitney Houston, Andy Griffith, and Dick Clark.

2013

We absolutely adore the complete change of pace. Although these two cracked a smile every once in a while throughout the years, they rarely showed off their fun side. To have such a close bond for so many years, they must have had a similar sense of humor.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

Seeing the two completely reverse roles and have the son carry the father must mean a big change is right around the corner.

2015

The final photo took place two years later and now we can see why! It looks like the son must have been busy raising a child. This addition to the family photo makes it so much more meaningful. You can see just how proud both of them are to see their family grow.

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Davko/Imgur
Davko/Imgur

We can only hope they continue the tradition on for another thirty years and we get to watch the family grow even more.

1975, The Sisters Begin Their Heartwarming Journey

Photographer Nicholas Nixon, the husband to Bebe Brown, took a photo of his wife and her three sisters Heather, Mimi, and Laurie, in 1975. Instead of just stopping there, the sisters and Nixon decided to turn the family photo into a project and meet up every year for 40 years to take the same photo. A theme in Nixon’s project that stays consistent is that he offers no caption for the photo other than the date and location.

1975
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

This allows the audience to speculate about who the sisters grow up to be and where their lives take them. Here, from left to right is Heather, Mimi, Bebe, and Laurie. The sisters were (in no particular order) twenty-five, twenty-three, fifteen, and twenty-one.

1976, Saw Some Matching Happening

Whether the sisters are aware of it or not, they often match for these photos. They often choose to wear clothes with similar cuts, prints, and styles. However, Laurie and Bebe look like they’re wearing the exact same dress.

1976
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

They could’ve done this as a joke—which shows an unexpectedly playful side of the sisters in these serious portraits. This goes in line with the comical nature of the year since, in ’76, BBC convinced listeners that a planetary alignment would decrease gravity on earth shortly. Many called in saying they felt it.

1977, Do You Think The Sisters Were Star Wars Fans?

In 1977, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, was released to box office acclaim and many Americans were caught up in the fandom fever. “May the force be with you” was one of the most popular quotes of the year.

1977
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

I can’t see any Star Wars merchandise on the sisters, nor any Princess Leia hair buns, but they could’ve very well been fans of the series. Reportedly, the future director of Titanic, James Cameron, quit his job as a truck driver after seeing the movie.

1978, The Sisters Probably Saw Grease

In 1978, the memorable John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John movie Grease came out and took America by storm. So did National Lampoon’s Animal House—much to the chagrin of many parents.

1978
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

I can’t see if the sisters are wearing leather pants, but they very well could be there. Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac were also immensely popular during this time, so the sisters could’ve very well been into the more bohemian scene than the Grease one.

1979, On The Brink Of A New Decade

The sisters were gearing up to ring in the new decade by taking another commemorative photo. The top song of the year in ’79 was My Sharona by The Knack, so they could’ve very well been listening to it as they posed.

1979
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

It’s so interesting to see that, even 40 years later, the outfits the women are wearing are still fashions you could see someone wearing today. It just goes to show that neither style nor sisterly love has changed all that much.

1980, The Brown Sisters Looked Joyful Here

Instead of photographing the women in the serious way that he had been doing, Nixon seems to have caught the women in a moment they were enjoying each other’s company.

1980
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

I wonder if they were celebrating a happy event and that’s the reason for the switch up? Maybe there was a wedding or a graduation happening in a sister’s life. We’ll never know, but it’s nice to see them happy.

1981, These Women Were Probably Thinking About Working As Adults

It’ll blow your mind, but the minimum wage back in 1981 was $3.10/hour. Today, for comparison, it’s $7.25. The Brown sisters, all in their 20s, except for Bebe, could’ve all been working minimum wage jobs at the time of the photo.

1981
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

For comparison, a bag of Lays chips was $1.98 back then and today they’re $2.98. So minimum wage more than doubled and Lays chips went up 50%. It’s good to see our wages are increasing as the costs of living are too.

1982, It Looked Like A Cold Day For The Browns

A fun fact about 1982 is that Sony Walkmans were about $130. This is crazy if you think about it, since today, Sony’s MP3 Walkman players range anywhere from $100-$4000.

1982
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

We can clearly see that the Brown sisters are all bundled up in winter gear here, so it’s interesting that Nixon chose to shoot them outside on a cold day. Maybe they were vacationing this time and he wanted to capture the moment and thought the chilly photo was fitting for his collection.

1983, Jenga Was Introduced—Do You Think They Were Playing It?

In 1983, Jenga, that iconic toppling stacking block game, was introduced at the London Toy Fair. I wonder if the Brown sisters heard about the new toy and wanted to get their hands on it. I’m also curious who’d be the best at Jenga.

1983
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

I really enjoy what Nixon has the sister’s doing here—having Heather and Laurie closer to the camera in a semi-circle gives the effect like the viewer is a part of the women’s conversation. It’s a unique way to communicate how personal these photos are.

1984, We Can Almost See Nixon

Today it looks like we’ve interrupted the sisters during a day at the beach—see the sand and water behind them? This is one of the only photographs where we can almost see what Nixon looks like. I wonder why he chose to include a shadowy version of himself in this sunny photo?

1984
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

An interesting fact about 1984 is that Baby on Board stickers in cars had just begun to gain popularity since they help emergency workers identify babies in emergency situations.

1985, It’s Been An Entire Decade Of Photos!

It’s crazy to think, but the Brown sisters and Nixon have been at this project for an entire decade! The sisters are now (in no particular order) thirty-five, thirty-three, twenty-five, and thirty-one. How time flies!

1985
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

Another crazy piece of history from that year was that this was the year that “New Coke” was introduced by Coca Cola. It lasted until 2002—thankfully, they haven’t discontinued my favorite yet, Cherry Coke.

1986, Up Close And Personal

Instead of showing us a full picture of the sister’s 80s fashion, Nixon takes the viewer up close and personal with the sisters. They all look pretty happy too—I wonder if something good happened that they can’t wait to tell the viewer about.

1986
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

The top song this year was the hit, That’s what friends are for by Dionne Warwick. It’s an awesome song, but photos like these make me wonder if they should release a sister-themed version…

1987, Mimi And Bebe Take Center Stage

I’m curious what Nixon’s motive was here for placing his wife Bebe (right) and Mimi the closest to the camera in this shot. Maybe it was a big year for the two of them—if only we knew what, and if, they were celebrating.

1987
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

This fun fact about ’87 will make you happy—a can of Campbell’s soup was priced at 99 cents. Luckily, inflation didn’t work its magic totally and we can often still find these for this price today.

1988, ’80s Prints Coming In Strong

Look at Laurie! she’s rocking the cheetah print! This is the only hint of the signature ’80s bold patterns and prints that we’ve seen the sisters participate in. I’m glad she wore this shirt—though, I’d like to know what color the cheetah print is. I’m hoping for neon pink.

1988
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

This year the movie Rain Man was released—I wonder if any of the women went to see it. They might not have seen Scooby-Doo though since the animated movies went on a brief hiatus due to bad audience reception.

1989, Heather Was Hiding

Heather’s hiding in the background, almost completely hidden by Mimi in the foreground. I wonder if she could’ve been pregnant in the photo and Nixon didn’t want to show that. If that’s the case, maybe his reasoning was keep the viewers from drawing assumptions about their lives outside of the photos.

1989
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

The Sony Walkman also decreased in price this year—shooting down from $130 in 1982 to $79 in 1989. Personally, I wish they would’ve stayed that cheap.

1990, It Was A Cold Day At The Beginning Of The Decade

Not only is it the start to the greatest and “grungiest” decade yet, but it also saw the sisters embracing each other on a cold winter day. I like how, despite all of them being individuals, they sometimes wear similar things that subtly show their sisterly bond. Today, it’s Mimi and Bebe in denim and Heather and Laurie in fleece.

1990
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

1990 was the year that the first crash between two cars with airbags occurred. Both drivers walked away with minor injuries in a crash that would’ve been fatal without airbags.

1991, You Can Really Tell They’re Sisters Here

Sometimes, when people are younger, it can be harder to see family resemblances. But now that the Brown sisters have been taking these photos for over 15 years, you can really start to see how similar they look. I’m having trouble telling Mimi, Heather, and Laurie apart.

1991
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

The hit 1991 Nirvana song (do you think the Brown women liked Nirvana?) Smells Like Teen Spirit was named after an actual deodorant. Apparently, Kurt Cobain’s girlfriend wore “Teen Spirit.”

1992, Could Mimi Be Pregnant?

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that Nixon seems very specific with the way that he wants the Brown women posed. It seems like he wants to give the audience clues about what the sister’s lives are like without being obvious about it.

1992
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

The way that Heather is holding and looking at Mimi’s stomach makes me think that she might be pregnant. Laurie also seems to be looking at Mimi too, which makes me think Nixon is dropping clues Mimi is the one in focus here. We’ll never know though…

1993, Looks Like The Browns Stayed Up Late For This Shot

While most of the pictures of the women look like they were taken in the middle of the day, this one looks like it was taken at night with a flash. The women look like they’re in light summer sweaters to stay warm as the sun sets.

1993
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

Hopefully, this was a creative choice and not one that happened because Nixon couldn’t get a shot all day that he liked. I’m sure that’s not the case — after almost twenty years of photos, the sisters are definitely practiced models.

1994, The Women Cozied Up To The Cameras

The sisters have taken a similar photo to this one! Back in 1986, eight years ago, Nixon posed the sisters in a close-up indoor shot like this one. I wonder if similar events happened those years or if they were visiting the same place.

1994
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

A big event that happened in 1994 was that at Woodstock, Green Day was performing and they started a massive mud fight. The band and the stage was so covered in mud that guitarist Mike Dirnt was mistaken for a fan, thrown off-stage, and lost teeth after being punched by a security guard. Maybe the Browns attended.

1995, Big Hugs All Around

Something I’ve noticed about Nixon is that he’s careful not to show the sisters with a lot of jewelry on—specifically wedding rings. Even though he’s married to Bebe, we haven’t seen her wearing her ring in many years, if at all. Maybe she lost it?

1995
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

A not-so-fun fact about the year is that 37 Americans were killed by vending machines falling over onto them. Maybe this number would be reduced if machines would finally accept bills that are slightly wrinkled.

1996 Featured Some Dramatic Lighting

Back in 1984, the Browns took a similar photo where Nixon’s shadow appeared on them. 12 years later, that’s the case again! I’m curious why Nixon chose this year to present himself again, and what the meaning behind his shadow almost covering his wife Bebe’s face is.

1996
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

To many parent’s chagrin, in 1996, “Tickle Me Elmo” was introduced into the market. I’m sure I don’t have to remind many parents, that day is already engraved in their minds.

1997, The Year Princess Diana Passed

This photo looks like the sisters are a folk band or pop stars with windswept hair. Though, I’m sure nobody actually hauled a wind machine to wherever they took this photo.

1997
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

This is the same year that Princess Diana tragically died in a car crash in Paris. I wonder if the reason why the sisters are dressed in black and monochrome colors is that they’re fans of the royals and had recently heard the sad news.

1998, Bebe Is Featured Front And Center

I think it’s beautiful how the three sisters look like they’re rallying around Bebe and supporting her as she stands front and center. They all look happy, except for Mimi. Maybe Nixon has just said something she’s objecting too.

1998
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

It’s crazy to think, but this year was the first year that US female life expectancy had reached 79.5! Before, for a few decades, female life expectancy had been hovering around 78. Male life expectancy in 1998 was at 73.8.

1999, It Was A Windy Morning

The Brown sisters are back at the beach! They’ve returned once again to the beach they first visited in the photos back in 1984—except this time it’s a little chillier. I wonder if this is a popular family vacation spot for the Browns.

1999
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

Speaking of vacation, the popular fisherman’s trip memorabilia “Big Mouth Billy Bass” the singing fish was introduced. Hopefully, the sisters weren’t subjected to its repetitive and monotone singing at their vacation cottage.

2000, Happy New Century!

To celebrate the new century, Nixon takes us back to another shot of the sisters on the beach. This is the farthest away he’s taken a photo in years. Maybe the distance is to symbolize how far the project has come—25 years!

2000
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

The world population finally hit 6 billion this year! It had been creeping up to the number for decades but hadn’t quite crossed the boundary. It’s only fitting that the new number would come with a new century.

2001, Where Were The Sisters During 9/11?

9/11 was the biggest and saddest world-changing event that happened on American soil that year. Nixon’s photographs show us that though we may never forget, life still goes on.

2001
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

It looks like the sisters were caught on a beach vacation with both Heather and Laurie wearing Hawaiian-esque shirts. I think the happiness of these vacationing sisters and the way they’re embracing each other here is a beautiful reminder, especially in 2001, that we should cherish each other while we can.

2002, Polo Was Apparently The “It-Shirt”

Maybe a Ralph Lauren store had just opened up in the Brown sister’s town, or maybe they all wanted to dress similarly to show their bond. Whatever the reason, they all rocked a polo this year, with the exception of Heather.

2002
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

Remember me talking about “New Coke” that was introduced back in 1986? Well, in 2002, after 16 years, it was discontinued and Coke brought back “Coca Cola Classic.” I wonder if the Browns liked it.

2003, Spot Heather’s Techy New Cell Phone And Mimi’s New Hair!

I think it’s great that not only do we get a snapshot into the Brown sister’s respective lives with these photos, but we also get a little picture of how far technology has come. Check out Heather’s flip phone! Today that thing would be considered a fossil.

2003
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

An interesting technological fact is that the original Dunkin donut came with a handle for dipping into coffee. It was discontinued in 2002 because it had to be made by hand (and not machines).

2004, Shoreline Staredown

I wonder what Laurie is looking over at Heather for? I think this is the first time these two have been so front and center in a photograph together. Maybe it was a big year for the two women—career, family, or hobby-wise.

2004
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

You’re going to love this news—remember when I said that Campbell’s soup cost 99 cents in 1987? Well, in 2002 the price dropped down to 79 cents. That’s one heck of a cheap meal.

2005, Laurie’s Looking Away Again

Laurie’s really been keeping an eye out these past few years for her sisters. Honestly, that’s really sweet of her to do and a great way for Nixon to show how protective over her sisters Laurie is. At least, that’s what I’m assuming the photo communicates.

2005
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

Maybe she’s keeping an eye out for people wearing colanders on their heads since in 2005, the religion “Pastafarianism, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” was founded and its members wear colanders.

2006, It’s A Sunny Day Wherever The Browns Are

Seeing these loving sisters seriously brightens my day, and it looks like I’m not the only one! Even the sunshine takes a liking to these awesome women since it’s shining down so brightly on them in this close-up.

2006
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

Do you remember when Blu Rays replaced DVDs? Well, that happened in 2006. You can thank Blu Rays for the high-quality streaming you’re watching since they can store five times more information than DVDs.

2007, Mimi Hides While Heather and Bebe Stand Proud

The sisters have shuffled again. This time it’s Bebe and Heather in the front while Mimi and Laurie hang out in the background. I’m loving how confident Bebe looks with her assertive stance (and pretty bracelet).

2007
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

It’s crazy to think that so much of this article has been comparing the price of the Sony Walkman—because a new player has arrived. In 2006, the first iPhone was introduced and sold for $599. They’re much more expensive today.

2008, We Got A Sister Snuggle And Nixon’s Fingertips

I love how intimate and sweet this photo of the four of them looks in this. You can really see how time hasn’t broken down their bond and I love how Nixon has captured that here. Also, he probably inadvertently captured his own fingertips.

2008
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

Also, funnily enough, after years of public education on the subject, the NOAA recommends walking to safety in the event of a lightning storm instead of crouching.

2009, The Sisters Look Peaceful Together

I think it’s really precious how Laurie’s head is resting on Bebe. Hers and all the other sister’s close body language just show how close they are with one another.

2009
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

While the sisters are relaxing in each other’s presence, the song Teach Me How To Dougie by musician Cali Swag District topped music charts and is still one of the most popular dance songs in the entire world.

2010, The Sisters Gazed Off, All Except Bebe

I’d love to know what Heather, Mimi, and Laurie are looking at and why Bebe Doesn’t feel like taking a glance. When you remember that her husband is behind the camera, I think it’s sweet that she’s the one still looking on lovingly.

2010
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

Strangely enough, Moriusaq, Greenland, a settlement on the island country had a population of three until 2010. That’s when a self-defense case dropped the population down to two. There’s nobody living there now and Greenland considers the settlement “closed.”

2011, Heather Seems To Like Holding Mimi’s Arm Up

Sisters are always finding ways to grab and nitpick at each other—and this photo just proves that! A funny little trend in the photos maybe Nixon hasn’t noticed is that Heather seems to like putting her hand in Mimi’s armpit. It definitely makes for an entertaining photo.

2011
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

While the Brown sisters were being funny, the abbreviations “OMG” and “LOL” were added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011 as official words. So if anyone ever corrects you on using them, you can proudly say it’s proper English.

2012, The World Didn’t End, Thankfully

Despite the rumors and the pop culture hype about the world ending in 2012 because of a Nostradamus prediction, the world kept on going, which wasn’t very surprising to many. I’m glad the sisters didn’t buy into the Doomsday rumors and still took their annual photo.

2012
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

An interesting foodie fact is that before 2012, kale wasn’t the trendy salad food we know it as now. In fact, in the US the biggest kale buyer was Pizza Hut, which they used as a garnish on their salad bars. But not in the actual salads.

2013, The Sisters Take A Little Break

It’s never explained why, in accordance with Nixon’s photo style, but after 2013 the sisters took a break from taking photos for the next four years. There must have been a good reason for the break, especially since this would be their 39th photo.

2013
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube
Photo Credit: Paulo Moura / YouTube

This year was also the year of a different kind of resignation—Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2013 and became the first Pope to step down in almost 600 years.

2017, The Last Photo The Sisters Had Taken Together

After not taking a photo for quite a few years, the sisters reunited in 2017 to snap what would be their 40th and last photo for the project. One of the sisters reportedly passed away and the others opted not to continue the series.

2017
Photo Credit: @mittsnitt / Twitter
Photo Credit: @mittsnitt / Twitter

Nicholas Nixon’s photos of the Brown sisters continue to inspire and touch the hearts of people who see them—even 40 years after they started. Their project is a testament to sisterhood, love, and the trials we all face in life. I’m thankful I was able to witness their beauty.