There is something incredibly unique about a relationship between a parent and a child. Parents take many photos of their kids as they are growing up, in hopes of memorializing moments that shaped who the kids grow up to be and happy events that are fun to look back on. For this father and son duo, one photo from when the son was a baby launched a yearly tradition that would not be broken for 30 years.
The original photo was taken in 1986 when the son was little more than an infant and dad was looking young and innocent. As any new father knows, he was going to be dealing with a lot of sleepless nights and diaper changes. 1986 does not sound like a long time ago, but a lot has changed since then, including what these two look like today!
These two did not have to worry about hair loss, that’s for sure! Father and son recreated their photo from one year before, with the son looking very different since little ones grow so quickly when they are young.
Dad seems to be more comfortable with his role and son looks happy to be in dad’s arms. The resemblance these two have is undeniable. Wait until you see how they look when they are older!
Little guy is only three in this photo but you can already see his personality shining through. There were many photos of these two with a straight face, but this smiling one was the winner for 1988.
Three-year-old son is showing a goofy side of him and dad is not able to keep a serious face this time around. The little one was just starting to have full conversations and being super affectionate with people around him.
This year a serious face was the one for the photo. Son is just beginning his schooling here and probably had no idea just how much was changing in the world around him.
1989 was the year the Berlin Wall was demolished, the year the World Wide Web was launched, and the last year of that decade. There was going to be a lot more change for him, but for this year father and son are continuing their tradition.
1990’s photo brought more smiles with it. The son seems very relaxed in dad’s arms as he reaches his five-year mark. Perhaps he knew that the 90s were going to be a decade to remember.
To throw it back for you, the 90s brought us Seinfeld, Britney Spears, The Simpsons, and many more iconic shows, movies, musicians, and styles.
Six years old and as happy as a clam. Dad is his usual calm and collected self, not showing too much emotion one way or another, leaving his son to give us the range from year to year. Son is giving us all of the happy feels.
1991 brought us many international changes, such as the end of the USSR and the Cold War, and Phil Collins’ music topping the charts for all of our listening pleasure.
Finally, a photo outside! Father and son were enjoying a beautiful beach day when they decided to make their 1992 yearly photo. They both look relaxed and happy in this one, even dad. This was a day to remember.
1992 was not a remarkable year for the world of entertainment, as it saw the last airing of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, as well as the infamous riots in Los Angeles.
And now back to the regularly scheduled photo with no smiles and a white wall as a background. While the beach photo from the year before was nice, this background shows us just how much the son has grown.
Dad usually picks up his son for the photos. Soon enough he will be too big for him to lift so the photos will naturally have to change composition just a little bit.
Now that the boy is older, he is wearing pants in the photos! Dad and son are looking more and more alike every year as the son grows. The serious look at the camera is beginning to be their signature.
1994 was a year that had a lot of ups and downs. It was the year that the O.J. Simpson trial took place, and Forrest Gump was released into theaters along with The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction.
What a growth spurt! The kid can’t even close his pants since he outgrew them so fast. However, neither son nor father seem to care about the pants and look pleased to be together as the son turns nine years old and looking stronger than ever.
Now that we are half way through the decade, we have seen O.J. Simpson get a not-guilty verdict in his trial, pop music getting its day in the sun, and unrest in Oklahoma due to Timothy McVeigh.
Son is 10 years old and dad can barely pick him up! The serious face to the camera is showing itself again and the son seems to be more inclined to do the same. The son is growing fast now that he is inching closer to puberty.
1996 was the true beginning of the internet revolution. While the son was only three when the original browser was introduced to the world, but this year over 45 million people were using the internet – and that was just the beginning.
11 years in and the yearly photos are still going strong. The changes from year to year are wondrous as the son is growing so fast. Dad is starting to show signs of his own aging, which makes sense as raising a kid is no easy feat.
So what happened in 1997? That was the year Good Will Hunting and Titanic graced our presence. It was also the year that J.K. Rowling published her first Harry Potter book.
12 years old and starting to look like a man. Now that the son is too big to be picked up (otherwise hurting dad’s back!), they needed to find a new position to stand in. This pose probably took a little while to find but it works!
In terms of what happened in 1998, that was the year of the television shows! Seinfeld officially ended, and ER kept the attention of audiences everywhere with its medical drama.
Son is officially as tall as dad (minus some hair). Now that he is 13 years old, he is officially entering the most dramatic years of his life and is going to show some major growth.
The pose they started the year before is holding strong, too. They are entering the last year of the millennium cool, calm and collected.
New millennium, new dog and a smiling dad! There is so much new that is going on in this year’s photo. The son has grown up significantly while keeping a stern look on his face, dad is smiling for a change, and they got an adorable pup.
They clearly made it through Y2K and the rumored end to the world that would come in the year 2000. Half way through their 30-year photo opportunity!
Switching sides on us to keep it interesting. The son is no longer a boy and has come into his own as a young man. 15 years old and is level with his dad. The son is looking confident and comfortable in his skin, ready to take on high school.
Dad looks a little tired, probably from raising kids, but is smiling and positive and probably hoping that his teen son doesn’t give him too much grief.
Son is now leaning to keep in height with his father. The teenager is growing faster than his body can keep up so he is getting taller and thinner, whereas dad is growing just a little bit wider.
Son is looking just like his dad did in the first photo of his when he was born. It is amazing how full circle this is becoming. However, there is one more photo, the 30th one, that will truly make you stop.
The young man is not only much taller than his dad, he is also filling out and going from a teen to a fully grown adult. The son is looking much like his dad’s younger version.
As the years go on and the son gets taller and leaner, dad gets older and is showing signs of his own change into the dad body we all know and love.
It seems as thought the son is not stopping his growth spurt. He is continuing to top dad in height and is looking thin yet strong which shows his athletic inclinations. These two are peas in a pod and are continuing their yearly photo opportunity despite the son being a teen.
We say this because we all know how temperamental teens can be, they may not always be okay with the activity they were cool with doing as a kid.
The darker of all of the photos and not the most focused of them all either. This shows that the photo was done quickly and not as planned as the others in the past. The son is 19 years old in this photo, so he was probably busy with his own schooling and work life.
Son was growing out his hair here, looking older and more mature than ever before. Dad is happy as long as they get their yearly photo in. 19 years into this tradition is an incredible moment to celebrate.
The son is officially in his 20s and is looking more and more like Bruce Lee than ever before. The young man added a necklace to his style and is giving us major surfer dude vibes.
Dad is starting to age, which makes total sense since he has a 20-year-old son. Dad is not as chiseled as he used to be but is maintaining a nice full head of hair, which is something a lot of men could not say.
Dad is in full acceptance of his dad body, not putting on a shirt for his yearly photo with his son so as to not disrupt their yearly repetitive aesthetic. The son is proudly standing beside his dad and growing into his own.
2007 was a pretty dramatic year in the United States. There was a the housing crisis that saw the first economic recession in many years, as well as President Bush’s decision to make government eavesdropping on phone conversations legal. Woof.
2008 was a big year in the United States as it came with a lot of changes. It was the year Barack Obama was elected to be the first African-American president in the country’s history. It was also the year that we saw many Hollywood stars pass too soon, including Heath Ledger.
However, this father and son are not phased by these changes and remain the same close knit duo as ever. They are posing here in a matching jeans and belt look, as they typically do.
This grainy photo, much like the other one we saw earlier seems to have been taken in a rush. However, it was taken and that is all that matters! The background is different and dark, a big change from their usual white wall.
We see the son slowly becoming more and more like his dad, which is endearing! This time around, the son is the one wrapping his arms around his dad rather than the other way around.
It is getting harder and harder to tell the dad and son apart as the son grows up. He now looks exactly like his dad did when he was born! The nose and mouth are very similar, and the rounding body shape is making them that much more similar.
2010 was a rough one for many people as they were trying to recover from the 2007/2008 recession that hit the States. Hopefully these two were not affected by it too much.
Dad does not seem as much on board with the photos as he used to be, perhaps it is due to his age, but the son is wrapped around his dad again and is supportive in this continued tradition.
The son is nearly 25 years old here, we are almost at the end of their 30-year tradition. The last year they did this was a heartbreaking one, but worth the photograph for sure!
It took the dad 26 years but he finally developed the infamous beer belly that dads are known for! The son is a dead ringer for his dad as he inches closer and closer to his own 30th year.
This tradition of taking a photo together every year is something they adopted to also make sure that they see each other and remember that family is number one. The son would show us that more than ever…
Finally trying to be funny! The dad is getting a piggy back ride from his son as if he is the young child in the photo. This shift in attitude is a sweet one, with the dad smiling like a kid as well.
This father and son duo are closer than ever in this photo and are keeping the tradition alive no matter what. However, there was one huge change that was about to make this photo a different one…
Two years in between the last photo and this one, and the son is now a father himself! Dad is now a grandfather and a third generation of this tradition is born. Grandpa and dad are proud to show the new member of the family how the men keep tradition no matter what.
Thirty years and a new generation later, this beautiful tradition has shown a whole childhood, adolescence, and the entering into adulthood. Now we get to see if they will continue with this little one.