Sunrise Photographer, Bugsy Sailor

On January 1, 2019, I began an ambitious resolution, to watch and photograph every sunrise of the year.

I sought the sun, but what I found was so much more. So much, in fact, that I haven’t stopped. I have now taken daily sunrise photos for 1,995 consecutive mornings, and doing so in one of America’s harshest winter climates.

Beginning in 2013, I started a New Year’s Day tradition of watching the first sunrise of the year, along with a mini road trip somewhere along the Great Lakes.

As another year approached, I realized I hadn’t watched many (or any?) sunrises from one January 1st to the next. During my 2019 New Year’s road trip to Whitefish Point, I made a simple resolution, to watch and photograph every sunrise of 2019.

As Year of the Sunrise began, I quickly noted that most sunrises we experience in life are by happenstance, something we see from the kitchen window, during our morning commute, or from the comforts of our bed. Rarely is sunrise the destination. I sought to be deliberate in seeking nature, stepping outside each morning with the intention of putting myself in the way of beauty.

As 2019 came to a close, I had fallen in love with the new lifestyle I built. My takeaway for those who enjoyed the project was to encourage people to watch more sunrises this year than they had the previous. As I drove to sunrise on January 1, 2020, I realized it was a leap year. I laughed to myself, knowing exactly what I had to do, because how could I profess that others watch more sunrises than the previous year, if I wasn’t willing to do it myself? The only way I could achieve this, was a leap year. I followed through with my commitment, watching the next 366 sunrises.

Through freezing rains, downpours, -30º windchills, a global pandemic, sleepless nights, I’m still there at sunrise, 1,995 mornings later.

Take your time to look around, find your birthday, your anniversary, or simply your favorite sunrise.

Most importantly, remember no matter how cloudy the day, or the adversity you face, the sun still rises.

Stay well, stay awesome, and watch more sunrises.

— Bugsy Sailor

Learn more about my world at or follow along at @BugsySailor on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

For just 28¢ per sunrise we can put a whole lot more sunny (and cloudy) content into the world. Think of it as Bugsy+ or BugsyPrime, or my personal Patreon. This membership model offsets the growing financial cost of sunrise travel, server costs, and helps justify about 30-40 hours/week on this project.

You can subscribe Monthly ($10 USD), Yearly ($100 USD), or Lifetime ($1,000 USD) if you really want to shock me. New membership perks are coming!