On Feb. 23, 1987, Karl Baden set his 35mm camera on a tripod, stood in front of it with a neutral expression, and snapped a selfie. He's done the same thing every day since except one—he blames "a dumb moment of forgetfulness" on Oct. 15, 1991—resulting in nearly 11,000 photos. Over the years, the Boston College photography professor has used the same camera and lighting and has avoided growing a beard or mustache as a way to keep his photos constant, yet they show the remarkable progression of a 34-year-old into a 64-year-old man. Baden's face has become more lined and his hair more grey since beginning the "Every Day" project. But the most dramatic transformation occurs in photos from 2001, reports the AP.
In these photos, Baden is thinner, a result of chemotherapy treatment for prostate cancer. Baden has regained weight with his cancer in remission, but his sparse eyebrows are a lasting sign; Baden says they never quite grew back after treatment. The owner of an art gallery where Baden’s photos have been displayed says they show the need to immortalize oneself. But they're also so relatable "because we're all in same boat. We're all going to die." Until death knocks on his door, though, Baden will keep taking selfies, he told Boston Magazine in 2014. And while there's no chance his will become "duck-faced portraits," per Metro, the man dubbed the "father of the selfie" does credit the "selfie craze" with lifting his project from obscurity. (Selfies might be good for you.)