The Brown Sisters do it, who else?


Admit it. This is something you really wish you could have done. As a photographer, I forever kick myself for not doing this ever since my family has become more than just the two of us.

Not to mention how great it would have been to have a photograph of the siblings taken together each year. Time and distance was probably the biggest hurdle that contributed to that piece not happening, but as for the immediate family, there is no excuse.

*note: image is not from the Nicholas Nixon series and is used CC BY-SA 2.0

*note: image is not from the Nicholas Nixon series and is used CC BY-SA 2.0

This should on everyone’ s list… join the Brown sisters and do it, make it happen. This article on The New York Times celebrates the Brown sisters doing it:

“Nicholas Nixon was visiting his wife’s family when, “on a whim,” he said, he asked her and her three sisters if he could take their picture. It was summer 1975, and a black-and-white photograph of four young women — elbows casually attenuated, in summer shorts and pants, standing pale and luminous against a velvety background of trees and lawn — was the result. A year later, at the graduation of one of the sisters, while readying a shot of them, he suggested they line up in the same order. After he saw the image, he asked them if they might do it every year. “They seemed O.K. with it,” he said; thus began a project that has spanned almost his whole career.”



“Truely priceless” is my take on it.

In the age of digital photography, expect to see more of this (we already are in those multiple series where a person ages 15 years in 15 seconds). You’ll find it on Facebook and Youtube, but for this special series, click on through to “Forty Portraits in Forty Years”, our share from The New York Times by Susan Minot. The black and white photography of Nicholas Nixon captures the sisters well across the years.

“Throughout this series, we watch these women age, undergoing life’s most humbling experience. While many of us can, when pressed, name things we are grateful to Time for bestowing upon us, the lines bracketing our mouths and the loosening of our skin are not among them. So while a part of the spirit sinks at the slow appearance of these women’s jowls, another part is lifted…”

As we come to the last pictures, we feel the final inevitability that, as Nixon says, “Everyone won’t be here forever”.”

All the more reason to do it…



source: Susan Minot on the New York Times with photography by Nicholas Nixon

special note: image shown is not from the Nicholas Nixon series and is separate of the shared article.

image source: ruurmo on Flickr, adapted for use by News to Share by license: (CC BY-SA 2.0)