So here we were with the impossible task of selecting these images. How does one choose the best, and by what standard? And how could we leave images out that still told a story but maybe were not perfect from a technical standpoint, either because of the circumstances, the light, the lack of makeup, the circles under the eyes, the less flattering side? Perhaps these photos were even more valuable than the usual "expected" perfection.
I thought of those images that my father took, that barely hid the exhaustion of years of grueling personal and professional schedules or, sometimes, even her melancholy. But it was my brother Luca, a wonderful graphic artist, who made that quarter-of-an-inch adjustment to our route that sent us miles off course from our original destination -- to a much happier one!
Luca took the pressure off the beauty and perfection aspect of the selection and refocused it on the story. Each image would tell a story and together they would tell yet another. Their beauty would lie in the emotions that they conveyed rather than in their technical perfection. And why not? Why should photos be treated any other way than a good book, a film, or a work of art?
Sometimes little independent films touch our hearts more so than those blockbusters brimming with stars, just as a man picks up a pen and writes his first book --his only book -- and captures the imagination of our global consciousness. One man's mess is another man's masterpiece.
I am starting to repeat myself; this is what I said when I wrote the preface to The Audrey Hepburn Treasures. But it is, yet again, a case of what will emerge between the lines -- and in the case of that book what emerged between the documents. In this case, what will emerge between the images?
I remember when I was a boy one of my teachers explained why literature would never be replaced by films or television. He believed that what made books the ultimate and irreplaceable form of communication and entertainment was the fact that, we the readers, created the visuals, the images -- the film -- in our own minds, just the way we wanted it. In this case, you will write the story, putting together what you already know about Audrey Hepburn with the emotions, the feelings, and the smiles.
So we present to you 100 graphic words, 100 emotions, 100 feelings, 100 little pieces of time. Uncluttered by too many explanations -- clear and digestible -- ready for you to assimilate directly into your soul. Once you have felt your way through it -- a few times -- slowly a new image will begin to emerge: a work of art dedicated to her life, her joys, her sorrows, her mischievousness, her laughter. But it will never be final. As you change, it will change with you -- and stay with you. It is our hope that this book will embrace you and allow you to maintain a connection to this most lovely person -- Audrey. Audrey 100 is only a title -- just words. With this collection we want to thank you -- she wants to thank you -- and say to you everything that just words cannot express.
-- Sean Hepburn Ferrer