I recently ran across the incredibly talented Jeff Stella on Instagram. I remembered these images in a fog that we did back in the Chicago days, and pulled out the old portfolio to find them. There was a third. Alas, that one was stolen leaving Milano in 1989 at Centrale Railway Station by a band of very clever gypsies. My carry-on was just next to me on the ground while securing tickets to Malpensa on the way home. One second looking up, and the next back down. Poof. Gone. In that bag also my passport, along with the original copy of my portfolio or “book”. In the day that was a major disaster… One made copies of your original book to send to agencies worldwide. What a nightmare. (How much easier all of this must be in the digital age!) Back to the agency I went a crying mess, then consulate, rebooking air tickets, and an extended stay in Milano while I sorted out my credentials. It was a beautiful Christmas in Milano! The lights strung across the Naviglio and piazzas, light dustings of snow, the Duomo, clementines, of course gelato… One other note about my stolen bag—I was in the habit of traveling with my flute in tow. I had fallen off in playing while on these jaunts (unfortunately or fortunately!!) and if I had taken the instrument on this trip, it would have also been long, long gone.
But back to these images… I remember Jeff’s studio very well—an old warehouse district in Chicago, huge old windows with those classic small panes. Beautiful natural light. The camera was an oversized Polaroid camera. These images are Polaroid 8×10 format.
One click and done. Beautiful. If they could talk. Thanks Jeff!