Five Friends Keep 30-Year Photo Tradition!

14

In the summer of 1982, five buddies traveled to Copco Lake, California on vacation. They took a group photo while sitting on a fence, smugly showing off their pet cockroach in a glass jar. It was the beginning of a long-lasting habit of photography and friendship—going on the same trip with the same people and taking the same photo—which they've kept up for a solid 30 years! See their "bro-mantic" evolution in photos here.

Talk about developing friendships!

Photo via Five Year Photos

In 1982 five friends, all graduates of Santa Barbara High School Class of 1981, took a seemingly insignificant photo that became a longstanding tradition about true freindship. The group vowed to take the same photo every five years… Forever. The photo features, from left to right, John “Wedge” Wardlaw, Mark “Kram” Rumer, Dallas “Sallad” Burney, John “Belvedere, Belvy, Belves” Molony and John “JD” Dickson.

This all happened by chance when Wardlaw went to his family’s Copco Lake cabin in July 1982 with four of his high school buddies. They were chilling at the deck when Dickinson decided to set his 35mm camera on self-timer for a quick snap.

1982. Photo via Five Year Photos

“For some reason, we all chose to have dark and mysterious expressions on our faces,” said Wardlaw. “I’m sure we all thought we were being really cool.”

1987 and 1992. Photos via Five Year Photos

“Once we took it and saw the photo, we said, ‘We should come back and take it in five years. We have to vow to do it every five years,’” added Wardlaw, now a photographer, filmmaker, and web designer based in Santa Barbara. “We all thought, ‘In 20 years, what if we all don’t know each other?’ By vowing to take a photo every five years, it would be a way to stay in touch.”

1997 and 2002. Photos via Five Year Photos

Fast forward years, marriages, and divorces later, Mark, Dallas and the three Johns are still at this “bro-mantic” tradition. This year, they celebrated their 30th anniversary and took their 7th photo. On their website, they say:

“Watch us lose hair and gain forehead, gain and lose and gain and lose weight. There are reasons we all decided it was better to take the photo with our shirts on.”

2007 and 2012. Photos via Five Year Photos

All their photos were shot on 35mm film until they switched to digital in 2007. “It took 30 seconds to take the original,” said Wardlaw. “Now it takes a half hour to take a photo because it has to be perfect.”

The seven pictures to date are framed and hang on the wall of the cabin. The men still listen to the same ‘80s music they were listening to when they were 19 years old. "I’m not in the same place I thought I’d be, but I’m in the right place," said Dickson. “Without this photo, there’s no way we’d be together.”

What a cool group of guys and what a cool project! Have you and friends done something similar? :-) Share your time-capsuled photos in comments below!

Visit Five Year Photos and Copco Lake for more info. Sourced from CNN.

written by denisesanjose on 2012-08-01 in #news #mark-rumer #dallas-burney #analogue-photography #john-dickson #friends #john-molony #fiveyearphotos #california #summer #john-wardlaw #copco-lake #instantfun #vintage #instantfriends

14 Comments

  1. dkersbergen
    dkersbergen ·

    Very beautiful tradition!

  2. kneehigh85
    kneehigh85 ·

    This might be the loveliest thing I ever read!

  3. walasiteodito
    walasiteodito ·

    Wow!

  4. abbsterocity
    abbsterocity ·

    Whoa! Thats awesome

  5. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    I think The Beatles is the first group who did this tradition (their album photo please-please me in 1962 (their photo from above the apartment and look down to the camera) & then they did the same pose at the same place in 1969 (1970?) for aaarrrrgggh I forget the album

  6. philippa
    philippa ·

    this is great!!

  7. webo29
    webo29 ·

    @denisesanjose I don't think the passing of time has done them any favours :P

  8. denisesanjose
    denisesanjose ·

    @webo29 A lot of press? Haha

  9. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    time is the enemy

  10. eskimofriend
    eskimofriend ·

    so cool :)

  11. wongeugenie
    wongeugenie ·

    Really an everlasting friendship !

  12. nohm
    nohm ·

    Very nice idea! :)

  13. poppyprongs
    poppyprongs ·

    such a lovely way to maintain friendship :'0

  14. naths__
    naths__ ·

    That's cool, I loved :D

More Interesting Articles

  • Fresh from the LomoLab: My Summer at a Campsite

    written by sirio174 on 2014-09-23 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from the LomoLab: My Summer at a Campsite

    I prefer being outdoors whenever I go on a vacation at the seaside. For this reason, I always choose to stay at a campsite instead of a hotel. This year, I stayed at a beautiful one in the south of Italy. Here is a series of photos which I received a few days ago from the excellent LomoLab service, taken with my Sprocket Rocket. Have a look after the jump!

    2
  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-06 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    Last week, I received the strangest thing through my letterbox. It was a postcard with this photograph on 1 side. The photo is of me sitting by the sea whilst I was on vacation last year. But I have literally no idea who took this shot – That’s why I came here, to ask for your help on my search for my mysterious photographer and to try and get to bottom of the riddle they wrote me. Please help me if you can!

    10
  • Our Surprise LC-A 120 Photo Discovery – Dopic’s Fantastic Japan Snapshots

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-16 in #news
    Our Surprise LC-A 120 Photo Discovery – Dopic’s Fantastic Japan Snapshots

    Recently, we’ve been digging through all our LC-A 120 negatives from when we first started testing the new camera. During this search, we had our very own finding Vivian Maier moment when we unearthed a bunch of photos shot by the super-talented dopic whilst he was on vacation in Japan last year. We totally love these shots and couldn’t resist sharing them with you!

    3
  • Shop News

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • Shooting the Petzval Lens with Ian Taylor

    written by givesmehell on 2015-04-29 in #people #lomoamigos
    Shooting the Petzval Lens with Ian Taylor

    Canadian-born Ian Taylor is a full-time photographer specializing in kids and development work. It all started when his five siblings started having children at the same time he was into photography. This passion then spiraled into something amazing, and now Ian works primarily with kids, shooting them when they are in their purest form. Based in Asia, Ian has agreed to share this amazing series of photos he shot with his Petzval Art Lens in Cambodia and Thailand. He also shared with us some of his insights and views on photography.

  • Photo Stories: Savanna (Burkina #14) by wil6ka

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-12 in #world #locations
    Photo Stories: Savanna (Burkina #14) by wil6ka

    Well-traveled lomographer wil6ka went on a safari tour in Benin last year, but instead of taking the expected photos of animals, he took portraits of their guide as well as fellow visitors. Find out why in this installment of Photo Stories.

  • Travel Stories: Trekking Mount Papandayan by shufi

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-08-04 in #people
    Travel Stories: Trekking Mount Papandayan by shufi

    There are about 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia, one of the most popular ones being Mount Papandayan, located 2,665 meters above sea level in Garut, West Java. My boyfriend and I usually go hiking together so we decided to spend our long weekend holiday (three days/two nights) at Mount Papandayan.

    7
  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Aton is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-04 in #world #news
    Aton is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to aton for winning Home of the Day!

    2
  • Vintage Gallery: European Actresses in their Early Roles

    written by kenaz on 2015-08-04 in #world #lifestyle
    Vintage Gallery: European Actresses in their Early Roles

    Young Helen Mirren playing a corset-clad model. Juliette Binoche and Julie Delpy in early training with Jean-Luc Godard. Lena Olin and Helena Bonham Carter in literary adaptations. Before crossover projects, these actresses had to pay their dues—in bit parts and breakout roles.

  • Restaging the Tarot: Photographer Alice Smeets in Haiti

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-08-04 in #world #lifestyle
    Restaging the Tarot: Photographer Alice Smeets in Haiti

    A tableu project enlivens Haitian streets with prescient symbols and participative art.

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • A Compilation of Lomo'Instant Stories

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-08-04 in #gear #news
    A Compilation of Lomo'Instant Stories

    There are many possible reasons for taking pictures. It could be to document an event, to capture breathtaking scenery, to preserve a fond memory, or simply, to have a snapshot of someone close to your heart. Whatever the reason, there's almost always a story behind a picture, no matter how significant or trivial it may be. And for lomographers, nothing beats the feeling of having that story unfold in your hand, in the form of a print. If you want a quick keepsake from that treasured moment or a snapshot of that special someone though, you can have it instantly, through Lomo'Instant Stories!

    1
  • Photographing the Back

    written by kenaz on 2015-08-04 in #world #lifestyle
    Photographing the Back

    An ongoing exhibition at Pace/MacGill Gallery focuses on portraits taken from behind a subject.

  • Awesome Albums: Wetplate Collodion by seanyeo

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-08-04 in #world #lifestyle
    Awesome Albums: Wetplate Collodion by seanyeo

    One lomographer makes use of an early photographic technique in creating a stunning series of images.