I have told this story many times but it is true. I was in Nashville on March 15, 2003 for a photo shoot, sitting talking to a stranger on a couch at a friend’s house just before a dinner party. The door opens and Stephanie Cook appears. Sporting a fun shirt covered with pastel flowers, a beer, and a guy she had been dating. For no logical reason I said to the stranger sitting next to me on the sofa, “I am in trouble.” And I was. I asked a friend to run interference when we went out after dinner so I could talk to Stephie. The next day I went out to her home in the country, and took lots of pictures. That all seems so crazy now, but I was being pulled in ways that were totally out of my control.
7 weeks later, Stephie was landing at Laguardia for her first trip to New York. I hired a car to ride out to Laguardia Airport, pick Stephie up and have the car leave us at the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked over into Manhattan, took a picture of our feet walking into NY together, then walked up to Balthazar for breakfast.
And so it began.