Updated: Sep 14
Extract from 'I am your Mirror' photography book by Loredana Denicola
Then, one day I met Rina. I called her the violinist. She is my tenth stranger.
This experience, meeting her, was a learning process for me.
I didn't feel very comfortable, despite being very open.
Energy wasn't flowing gracefully between us. She is a very reserved person.
She was looking just for pictures, not for a sharing human experience, and relationships are made by two people. Energy is a spiral force that must flow between all people involved; otherwise, it stops circulating. Meeting her was a very positive experience, and I learnt a few lessons.
Rina is a beautiful and very elegant young woman. She is 25 years old.
'Rina, the violinist - I am your mirror' photography project @2014
One evening I opened her email. She said:
'Hi there, I've done many photo projects before. Can you give me your email address so I could send you some pictures of mine? Many thanks,
At that time, I was more interested in finding a woman for my project. I gave her my personal email, and the same evening she sent me some pictures.
I saw her pictures with curiosity, she was posing like a model. Maybe she is a model, I thought, and I wrote her an email back.
Dear Rina, just one question, how do you fit my project? What's your story?Do you have fears, obsessions, passions .... something beautiful? Are you happy? How do you see yourself portrayed? What's the real You? I am looking for something real and not posed. Let me know. Regards,'
'I'm a violinist', she said, 'the violin is my obsession since I was a child, and I can do the shoot with my violin if you are interested. I live in Earls Court area by myself. I'm quite busy tomorrow, but if you could come to my area around 1pm, that would be really appreciated.
Shall we meet near Gloucester Road station? '
Before replaying, I thought if she was the right person for my photography project. For the first time, I had doubts and that was not good.
She was my tenth stranger, and after meeting really peculiar subjects, I felt a bit indecisive, about letting her be part of the 'I am your mirror' project. My project was based on energy, human connection and trust.
I didn't feel very captivated by our conversation through emails.
I thought our conversation was a bit cold. But maybe that was only my perception. I didn't listen to myself...
We all are different individuals, I thought, and maybe meeting her, would have given a touch of what ' an ordinary person' is like. Including her in the project was the right thing to do, as I had already photographed people with strong obsessions. So, photographing her could have given a bit of breathing space to the overall project. She is the second woman that I was photographing.
'I am your mirror project' comprehends 12 strangers plus me. Ten of them are men and two are women , plus me. So, I actually wanted to know her.
I went to Gloucester Road station, with my camera.
She said she didn't have much time; she is always busy playing or teaching music. She comes from Asia, the Philippines, and she is taking a degree in music here in London. Other than that, she teaches music privately to young children.
I arrived at the station 15 minutes before and I waited for her outside the station. I had sent her a picture of me an hour before so she could recognise me. Women are much more cautious than men, some of them. That is not my case, of course! So, she approached me and she introduced herself.
'Are you Loredana?' she said.
'Yes I Am' I answered. 'Hello Rina, nice to meet you'.
'The pleasure is mine.Thank you for coming here. I know you live on the other side of London', she said.
'That's ok! Would you like a coffee?' I said.
'No, no I am in a hurry. I prefer to go home and take pictures. In a couple of hours I need to be somewhere else.'
'That's fine for me'. I replied.
'So, would you come with me? I live just round the corner. it takes maybe 15 minutes to walk there.' She said.
'Yes of course', I replied.
So we walked. There was silence.
She looks like those posh young women, studying in expensive schools, those lucky ones that have rich parents who can pay for an expensive education. But that was my feeling at that moment.
Was I judging? She looked like a lucky one.
I asked her a few questions, like where she was coming from, if she likes her teaching job, and how she wanted to be represented in my pictures. We arrived where she lives. She opened the door, and we got in.
She opened the wardrobe and showed me her white dress, which I said was great and her violin. She said that her violin is the most precious thing she has.
It costs £ 20,000. I was in a awe. I had never seen a violin worth £ 20,000. It was my first time.
... to be continued ...
by Loredana Denicola
"Behind the Lens: A Photographic Journey with Strangers"
Short stories from the photography project: "I am your mirror" by Loredana Denicola © 2017/2018, All rights reserved.
I'd love to create a book! If interested email me to loredana denicola