100 Years of the Same Strange Photograph // Rob & Lauren

A few months ago I got a call from a good friend of mine asking if I could shoot some unusual photos for them to continue a family tradition of theirs almost 100 years in the making. Once I got the details I quickly said yes and got to work trying to figure out how I would make everything work perfectly.  

For some unknown reason, almost 100 years ago (93 to be exact) my friend Rob's great-grandparents hired a photographer to take the following photograph of them reading the Sunday Comics from their local newspaper. You can see the date in the bottom right corner of the photo - 1920. 


Then, at some unknown later date, probably the late 1940's or early 1950's, Rob's grandparents hired a photographer to take a similar photograph, probably just as much as a joke as to start a funny tradition.  


Then, sometime in the 1980's, as you might expect, Rob's parents had no choice but to carry on the tradition themselves.  


Rob is the only child of these two wonderful people and therefore it was up to him and him alone to carry on this odd photo tradition. So when Rob called me I was super excited and honored to have the responsibility of making this happen. Obviously, the lighting and posing decisions had already been made, but I had the unique task of matching the color tones and overall timeless feel of the images. 

Rob and Lauren came to my studio with the most recent Sunday funny pages and we got to work matching everything just right. The first photo from 1920 and the most recent photo from the 80's match almost perfectly, but the grandparents shot in the middle has a different, wider angle, so we decided to do both in the end.

After the shoot I dragged all the images into photoshop and spent a long time tweaking the tones, vignette, and softness of the images. I ended up adding some film grain and noise to try to give it that old film look. Once I had it dialed in just right, I made some slight changes to the originals to even out the look throughout the entire series. 

Here's the shots of Rob and Lauren, taken almost 100 years after the original.  


Obviously, these aren't the most creative or innovative photos I've ever taken but they are definitely some of my favorites. I hope I'm still around when Rob and Lauren's son Hays gets married and starts looking for a photographer to keep this great little family tradition alive.  

What other cool photo traditions have you seen out there on the intrnet? I'd love to see them! Hit me up in the comments with a link!