Sometimes the tale is so graphic that it needs no visual aids. Other times, pictures speak a thousand words. And sometimes, the picture is stunning and the story behind the picture is what takes it a step further.
Ormond Gigli’s Girls in the Windows is an example of this.
He says this of his image:
“In 1960, while a construction crew dismantled a row of brownstones right across from my own brownstone studio on East 58th Street, I was inspired to, somehow immortalize those buildings. I had the vision of 43 women in formal dress adorning the windows of the skeletal facade.
We had to work quickly to secure City permissions, arrange for models which included celebrities, the demolition supervisior’s wife (third floor, third from left), my own wife (second floor, far right), and also secure the Rolls Royce to be parked on the sidewalk. Careful planning was a necessity as the photography had to be accomplished during the workers’ lunch time!
The photography came off as planned. What had seemed to some as too dangerous or difficult to accomplish, became my fantasy fulfilled, and my most memorable self – assigned photograph. It has been an international award winner ever since.
Most professional photographers dream of having one signature picture they are known for. GIRLS IN THE WINDOWS is mine.”
Of course, when I think of an image with a story behind it, my mind immediately goes to the Afghan Girl.
Steve McCurry’s image haunted the universal psyche for seventeen years, from the time he took a picture of this girl during the period of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. “I didn’t think the photograph of the girl would be different from anything else I shot that day,” he recalls of that morning in 1984 spent documenting the ordeal of Afghanistan’s refugees. but different, it was, because for the next seventeen years, the world searched for the elusive Afghan girl with eyes that pierced like a beam; but no one even knew her name.
In 2002, a Nat Geo team brought McCurry to Pakistan to seek her out, and seek her out they did. Her name is Sharbat Gula and this
is her story.
All images have a back story. Do you too love finding out what these stories are and telling them like tales? Which one, then, would be your favorite? I would love to know.
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