In 2003 I found a box of photographs strewn across the pavement in an alleyway in Evanston, IL. The box looked as if it had dropped out of a nearby dumpster, so I figured I could look through the photos, see what was interesting, and then place the rest back in the garbage where they’d evidently been put.
But I became intrigued with a series of portraits of a young woman. Always posed in some new dress in various locations – out about town, in the bedroom, outside in the sunshine – she seemed full of life and hope. I found it troubling that these images of her youth were apparently no longer important to anyone. So I kept them.
Though they are banal and nearly 43 years old, I find them poignant and sweet, a lost record of a person’s experience of their life and time.
I have no idea who the woman was. Since she looks to be in her early 20s here, I expect she’s still living. Here’s hoping she’s had a good life… and continued to model her dresses with pride.