Calvin Weston Dykes is in pictures. A lot of them.
Brian and Barbra Dykes didn't tell their family and friends that Barbra was pregnant-they sent a photo of the positive test instead. Then they sent photos of the ultrasounds. And since the now-5-month-old Cal was born, Brian, a professional photographer in Glen Ellyn, has taken a photo of him every day of his life.
Frequently, he takes more than one. As of March, Brian has snapped 8,295 photos and hasn't missed a day. "Sometimes I'm taking pictures at 11:30 at night, hoping I can keep the streak alive," Brian says.
A select several hundred of those photos are collected at calvinweston.net as "A Photographic Diary of the First Year of Calvin Weston's Life." Visitors can check out the boy's growth, send messages that Cal one day will read and peruse diary comments that Brian describes as "what I think he thinks-or what he's thinking about what I'm thinking about what he's thinking about."
Photo-a-day slideshows have become a popular staple on YouTube and even parodied on "The Simpsons," but Brian's inspiration came from another source: his own toddlerhood, of which he has little recollection and fewer artifacts. "We have maybe four, five pictures of myself when I was that young," he says. "So I really want Cal to know what he was like and what we were like for the first year of his life."
And when Cal is old enough to read all his e-mails? "He may think we were nuts," Brian admits. "(But) when he gets older and starts to realize how important the bond between a father and mother and a child is, he may think it's pretty cool."