This is an oldie but a goodie. After the death of famed photographer Mary Ellen Mark last year, NPR did some digging to see where the subject of one of her most famous photographs -- a portrait of a 9-year-old girl smoking titled Amanda and her cousin Amy -- was today.
That girl's full name is Amanda Marie Ellison (and the girl behind her is Amy Minton Velasquez). She lives in Lenoir, N.C. and remembers Mary Ellen Mark very well. Amanda was chosen at the time as one of the subjects in a series done through Life magazine about project children in North Carolina. As you can probably guess, Amanda grew up in a troubled home with bad influences at every angle. That was all captured in this famous photograph that encapsulates Mary Ellen Mark's ability to tell stories through images and capture horror, beauty, and surprise through the lens.