Having one sister is a special experience but having three sisters creates a tight bond that is not easily broken. Sisters may fight and squabble when they are younger, but as they age the closeness increases and these four sisters decided to celebrate that special relationship with photographs.
The Summer of 1975
In the summer of 1975, Nicholas Nixon went on a family visit with his wife. He wanted to commemorate the visit with a photo. The sisters, Heather, Mimi, Laurie, and BeBe lined up for the photo and have been lining up the same way every year for forty years. The pictures show the changes in the sisters as they age, but the bond between them remains.
Hartford, Connecticut 1976
A year later the sisters appear in dresses for their photo. They seem more relaxed with even small hints of smiles on two faces. They are casual and relaxed in the summer sunshine and heat.
Maybe the political upheaval and world issues have made an impact on the sisters in the 1977 picture because they do not look as relaxed as a year ago. There is a decidedly aggressive feel to this picture from the hardened looks to the crossed arms. The hairstyles have also changed during the year.
Harwich Port, Massachusetts 1978
Although not as aggressive as the 1977 picture, the sisters still do not look relaxed or happy in the 1978 picture. It is a tighter shot with more emphasis on their faces. While not as stony and ready to take on the world, their expressions are still pensive as if they are contemplating their future and the future of the world.
Marblehead Massachusetts 1979
The fashion statements in this 1979 picture are varied. While three of the sisters appear to have chosen pants, one has chosen a more feminine skirt and white blouse. The sibling on the end seems closed off from the others because she has her arms wrapped tightly around her waist as if avoiding contact with the others. The expressions have softened from the previous two years though.
East Greenwich Rhode Island 1980
The crossed arms and aggressive facial expressions are long gone in this year’s photo. It is a closer shot and two of the sisters have their arms around each other. They seem much happier and willing to give the camera at least partial shy smiles. This is probably the most relaxed and affectionate picture they have taken in the last five years. Something in their relationship seems to have shifted slightly.
This year the sisters chose to be photographed sitting down while showing off their tan legs. They are tan and healthy but their expressions again this year are guarded and shuttered. Not as aggressively posed with no folded arms, but definitely standoffish. They are daring the camera to come any closer.
Ipswich Massachusetts 1982
In a complete opposite of last year’s picture, the 1982 photo shows the sisters all bundled up against the chill. The wind is whipping through their hair and their expressions seem softer with some small smiles playing on their lips. There has to be a reason they do not smile much, but they are not willing to reveal it.
Allston, Massachusetts 1983
Back to a more summertime wardrobe for this year’s photo, the sisters appear to have their arms wrapped around each other for a united look. The expressions are not quite smiling, but not aggressive and softer than some years. Again, the wind is playing in their hair which gives the overall feel of a more relaxed and engaged group of women.
Truro Massachusetts 1984
Posed at the tip of Cape Cod the sisters seem much more mature and seem to be aging just a bit. The sister in the back is actually smiling yet the others still seem pensive at best and downright angry at worst. They still aren’t willing to tell the viewers what’s behind those expressions though.
Allston, Massachusetts 1985
Pictured is loose flowy tops this year the sisters seem to be more united in the photo. Still no smiles, but they do seem more open and not as combative toward the camera.
Cambridge, Massachusetts 1986
They are a decade into the project at this point and this picture is much closer than the others. Their faces are revealed in more detail and the looks are not aggressive but not exactly welcoming either.
Chatham, Massachusetts 1987
The sisters have definitely aged in the last decade as this close-up shows. They still are not smiling yet give off a sense of determination and maybe even defiance to the world while they are obviously close to each other.
Wellesley, Massachusetts 1988
Another close-up shot this year yet the smiles seem to be almost full-fledged this time. Possibly they had a good year or just a good day enjoying each other’s company.
Cambridge, Massachusetts 1989
The sister on the left has moved slightly behind her sibling and has her arm around her. Maybe she’s had a rough year and needs the support. The smiles are gone this year and the sister on the right is back to an aggressive expression.
Woodstock, Vermont 1990
This year seems the duo of sisters on the right is in need of physical contact. The group is again bundled against the chill but their expressions are somewhat softer than last year.
Watertown, Massachusetts 1991
No traces of smile this year and there seems to the physical and emotional distance between them in this picture. Maybe over time, they have lost some of the bonds due to the stress and business of everyday life.
Concord, Massachusetts 1992
deluxetoday.comNot everyone is looking at the camera this year, however, they do appear more relaxed and in tune with one another than in previous years.
Unknown Place 1993
Almost twenty years into the photos and this group of sisters is still not smiling. They have bundled up again this year against the chilly weather of the unknown place where the photo was taken.
Grantham, New Hampshire 1994
This year’s photo is a close-up and there are hints of smiles on their lips. The sisters took this one on their own as their photographer was not present this year for reasons unknown.
Marblehead, Massachusetts 1995
They are all holding each other closely this year. Perhaps it had been a stressful year and sisterly support was more needed than ever. They are all at least partially smiling this year which is different than the past twenty years.
Lexington, Massachusetts 1996
Obviously one of the middle sisters is happier than the other judging from the different expressions on their faces. However, they have kept this tradition alive for over two decades now.
Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts 1997
The sisters are aging and it shows in this photo. They are also still close as shown in the arms wrapped around one another this year.
Falmouth, Massachusetts, 1998
Clearly a windy day in Falmouth, but the joy of a nice summer breeze is not reflected in the closed expressions on three of the four faces. Only one sister seems to have something to smile about.
Unknown Place 1999
One sister, in particular, seems to be showing signs of age this year. The others rally around her in a show of solidarity even though most are still not smiling for some unknown reason.
Unknown Place 2000
There is more emotion in this picture as the sisters cling to one another on a breezy day. As time passes they seem to realize the importance of their bond and are holding onto it tightly as they hold one another.
Unknown Place 2001
The viewer notices the picture this year is again a full body show. The sisters are not hugging one another and the standoffish expressions are back.
Marblehead Massachusetts, 2002
The sister in the middle who is possibly the oldest of the bunch is being surrounded by love in this picture. There are still no smiles really but the bond is obvious.
Unknown Place 2003
This photo reveals nothing about their lives, yet their expressions seem closed and guarded. Raises questions and interest in what has happened to them over the years.
Cataumet Massachusetts, 2004
The sister on the right seems to be lost in another memory and not really present for the photo. Makes the viewer wonder what happened to her during the past year. Why is she not turning to her sisters, but away?
Cataumet, Massachusetts, 2005
The sister who turned away last year has her head turned toward her siblings this year, yet she still doesn’t seem to be looking at them. More like she is looking past them toward something unknown.
Wellesley, Massachusetts 2006
Still looking toward yet past her sisters this year while the others face the camera head-on. There even seem to be traces of smiles this year.
Unknown Place 2007
Signs of aging show clearly in this close-up of the sisters as they all face the camera. We can only imagine that they have families with possibly grandchildren by now.
Dallas, Texas 2008
Although they seem lost in thought the sense of unity is back in this picture from Texas.
Unknown Place 2009
Clearly learning on what we assume is the oldest sister for support the siblings seem more vulnerable somehow in this picture.
Unknown Place 2010
Clearly needing sisterly support and love this poignant picture shows the power of their bond even after all this time.
Truro, Massachusetts, 2011
Obviously showing their age in their changed appearances, the facial expressions have remained largely the same. These sisters are obviously dedicated to each other and are beautiful no matter the haircut or expression on the face.