Early on, I decided that my doll adventure would rely very little on words. What entranced me were the the story and the images, and everything that pulled me away from that felt like a distraction.
The problem with that strategy is that it threatens to make my images a little pedantic – pictures in support of a plot detail simply aren’t going to be the best possible images. I really felt that in the difference between Rosie’s doll adventure (last week’s adventure) and Daisy and the mysterious photos (this week’s adventure). Photographing the first felt like an act of creation, of bringing things to life. Photographing the second felt more like solving a puzzle, of putting together little pieces to communicate specific details.
On the contents of the torn photo:
I knew from the start of creating the adventure that it would circle around a photograph. Daisy is a photographer, and the adventure is ultimately from her perspective. I also knew that the photo had to be complete enough that it was clear what Daisy was looking for (someone who could help her find her family), but not so complete that she’d know how to begin the search. And the second half of the photo (the second shoe) had to provide that completion and give her enough info that she could figure out where to go.
The contents of the photo, though, were in flux almost up to the moment I created it. At one point, I had young Rosie in the photo. At another, I added a gift her mom had given her. One version had the numbers from a street address. The final photo, though, had just two recognizable elements – a woman and the word “secret” in Italian. On the back is written the word Nonna (or Grandmother, again in Italian).
On the characters in the photos:
Young Daisy (in the first photo and the newspaper article) is played by a mini Rapunzel doll with a curly wig.
For those who know my mom, you may recognize her as they mysterious woman in the torn photo. The full photo is a picture of my mom with her brother and sister and their spouses after her high school graduation. That’s my mom in the front, her brother Vincent and his wife Peggy on the left, and her sister Claudia and her husband Frank on the right.
This is the last big event photo where Claudia appears – she dies young of a stomach infection before my mom finishes college. My mom’s other brother, Mario, dies before she’s born – drowned at 16 while boating on a lake. My mother, Marian, is named after him.
Of the 5 Miletti children, only two (my mom and Vincent) make it to old age, and only my mom has children. So all that’s left of the original family is myself and my siblings, some pottery from my Grandpa, and a pile of old photos.