Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Into The Wild–and the Fashion Magazine “Io Donna”

"Into the Wild," take one

"Into the Wild," take one

┬ęBert Gildart: Translated, the expression “IO Donna” means “I Woman,” and it is the name of a high-end fashion magazine directed mostly to a female audience who can read the Italian language. American magazines that are similar might include Cosmopolitan or Vogue.

As well, its readers include those who might travel widely, and when they do, they might flirt with adventures that take them to the fringe–but probably not quite into–hard-core wilderness areas. What they’d be looking for then is a high-end RV, one that has class and can slice through the winds they’d encounter in a region that would range from the west side of Glacier National Park to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation on the park’s east side.


Appropriately, they might say they’re going “Into the Wild,” and with the above-mentioned caveats, the most appropriate way to get into the type of wild that they might have in mind would be with an Airstream Travel Trailer. But not everyone in this region has one, and so when the art director began looking around, she asked several photographers if they knew who might have this most classic of all RVs-and that’s how IO Donna got our name.

We have an Airstream, and it is often a base for those times that we do in fact go “into the wild.” Yesterday, however, it served for IO Donna still-model photographs, and we were delighted we could help.

Janie and I rendezvoused with the film group in a vast, isolated swath of prairie land on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The crew consisted of eight men and one woman and further broke down to included three male models, a make up artist, an assistant makeup artist, a photographer, a photographer assistant, a location director, and a support RV with a most talented driver who alternates as a tailor for many famous actors, such as Robert Redford.

Cultural affairs officer Jim Rivera

Cultural affairs officer Jim Rivera

The group also included the presence of Jim Rivera, a representative of the Blackfeet Indian Nation present to insure that the group did not impinge on items of cultural value-such as the many teepee rings in the area. He was also there to make sure we were accepted by other tribal members who might be passing by.


Most interesting to Janie and me were the male models. All were 22 years of age. They were tall and thin, and very athletic in appearance. One wore an ear ring, but nothing unusual for this day and age. All had girl friends but did seem to live “on the edge,” waiting for the next assignment to crop up. In the past few years they have worked all over the world.

Rory, an international model

Rory, an international model

Andrea Gandini was the photographer and all you need to do is look at his online portfolio and you’ll recognize that his work tops the genre. Though his images are decidedly different from the outdoor work that I’ve created these past few decades, I felt fortunate fate had given me the day to follow him around.


Several of the photographs I’ve posted here were based on setups he’d created, but, later, when we looked at his images on the computer, I could tell that there were subtle variations in his prints and that they were all important. His had that Je ne sais quoi, that mysterious nothingness that tends to mesmerize you.

Andrea, fashion photographer

Andrea, fashion photographer

Andrea was creating a 19-page spread for the magazine that would eventually include about 40 images from the hundreds he was taking. Our Airstream would be a part, but the ultimate spread would include much more. In an artful manner–a high-fashion manner–he’d photograph the young men in an assortment of garb. For one shoot, they wore high-derby black hats offset with purple boots. Several wore wrap-around scarves.

The three models were all practiced and could assume a variety of poses on demand. Sometimes that would include a shift of the body to the left–to the right; the tilt of the head, the cocking of a boot.

At times, most photographers try and capture such nuances but I must say that Andrea seemed to draw from the models the precise body language needed for the moment.

"Into the Wild," take two

"Into the Wild," take two

And now, I am looking forward to seeing the issue that will carry “Into the Wild.” Certainly I’ll look forward to seeing our Airstream, but I’ll also look forward to seeing the art of photography taken to an exceeding high form of expression.

2 Responses to “Into The Wild–and the Fashion Magazine “Io Donna””

  1. Kimmy Says:

    How cool is that! Your airstream will be forever etched in a foreign magazine and you got to experience a very unique photo session through the eyes of another photographer.

  2. charles spiher Says:

    Good stuff. Certain that R. Luhr will want excerpts and photos from Io Donna, and your insight, after the issue is published.

    We’re in awe of your photography, then you imply that Sr. Gandini makes you feel like a neophyte ? Not so; take a bow.