Photographer Lucy Hilmer has come up with dramatic topless self portraits for her birthday every year on April 22 since 1974 wearing nothing but her signature white lolly pop drawers and a pair of sock and shoes. Her dramatic snapshots have created a beautiful timeline of a woman's journey through life.
Aptly named "Birthday Suits", the photo series features her in various poses in various stunning backdrops often freezing many beautiful moments like a child feeding from her breasts. She has strived to create a kaleidoscope her own life with moments of vulnerability, mystery, pride and revelation through this series, which has come a long way since it started off as a single self portrait
"I had just started studying photography in San Francisco, and went to Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, CA on a lark, and as a kind of homage to [Michelangelo] Antonioni and his film about the counter culture," Hilmer explained to HuffPost.
"I set out to make a picture of myself in my 'birthday suit' because in those days the saying was you couldn't trust anyone over 30. In 1974, when I turned 29, I figured I'd immortalize myself on the last good year I had left."
"As a girl-child of the 1950s, I came of age before women's lib, and wanted to buck the stereotypes of a culture that branded me a pretty girl, thin enough to be a fashion model and not much more. Armed with my camera and tripod, I found a way to define myself on my own terms in the most open, vulnerable way I could."
This amazing photo series was not just a plain document that highlighted the different roles and phases of her life or the passage of time. Instead, it was more of a medium of communication through images understood only by herself and her loved ones, many of whom featured in the portraits. Most of the images, like the photographer posing nude against a dead tree branch or along a highway might not necessarily ring a bell for an ordinary viewer. However the underlying message of that a confident woman taking every milestone in life in her stride is hard to miss in any snap. As she turns 70 in April 22 next year, she is working on a book and a film on her birthday suits and plans to continue this project all her life!