For 40 years, Lucy Hilmer has photographed herself on her birthday wearing nothing but her white lolly pop underpants, shoes and socks. She made her first Birthday Suit self-portrait in Death Valley, CA in 1974. Without fail, she has faced her camera every year since then, on April 22nd, to create a coded history of one woman’s journey through time.
As a girl-child of the 1950s, Hilmer came of age before women’s lib, and wanted to buck the stereotypes of a culture that branded her a pretty girl, thin enough to be a fashion model and not much more. Armed with her camera and tripod, she found a way to define herself on her own terms in the most open, vulnerable way she could.
Birthday Suits: A Woman, Her Camera & Time is a long-term project
that will continue for as long as Hilmer lives. In 2015, she turns 70.
A book & film about her series are currently under production.