Karen Petty Lewis, the woman pictured on these pages, also appeared on the cover of our September 1997 issue. When Gordon Baer first sent us that photograph, we weren’t aware that it was part of a series. The longer work has two parts. The first documents a day in Lewis’s life in Salem, Missouri, when she was a carefree seventeen-year-old who often skipped school and tried on the wedding dress she kept packed away in her hope chest. The second part was made a year later, after Lewis was married and pregnant. The year was 1969.

— Andrew Snee

The photographs from this selection are available as a PDF only. Click here to download.