10.Rina, the Violinist. 'I am your Mirror' PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

Extract from 'I am your Mirror' photography book ...

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 much comfortable, despite I was very open.

Energy wasn't flowing gracefully. 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 . But meeting her was a very positive experience. I learnt 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. 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.

I said:

Dear Rina,

'Just one question, how do you fit my project? What's your story?? Have you got 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, if let her be part of ' I am your mirror' project, as 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...

Thinking about my written proposal of ' I am your mirror 'project, I decided to not choose my subjects, and to take what life was offering me, at that moment, so I let those doubts go and choose to go and visit her.

We all are different individuals

I thought , that, maybe meeting her, would have given a touch of what ' an ordinary person' is and including her in the project was the right thing to do, as I had already 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, 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 saw someone approaching me. I 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 meeting you'.

'The pleasure is mine.Thank you for coming here. I know you live from 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 replayed.

'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 replayed.

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 few questions, like where she was coming from, if she likes her teaching job, and how she wanted to be re-presented in my pictures.

She said that when she plays with the orchestra, she wears a very elegant dress, a white one and she said if she could wear that one in my pictures.

The Gloucester area is a rich area.

The buildings were all white, in that street, where she lived. The area was clean, tidy, everything was in order. I did not notice off licences or black people around.

There were people of a certain economic level. It looked like a rich, florid and calm area.

I live in Stoke Newington, which is North East London.

The atmosphere that surrounds my area and the air you breathe is completely different.

You breath creativity, imagination, chaos, multi-cultural, poverty, art.

It is a completely different feeling.

London is a wonderful city, just because it's so different.

We arrived where she lives. She opened the door, and we got in.

She lives in a room with high ceiling. The room is almost empty, there are no many furnitures; one small table next to the window with a vase of fake flowers, a double sized bed, some pictures of her on the wall and she has a little white cat, who was laying down on a yellow carpet.

'Rina, the violinist - I am your mirror' photography project @2014

She opened the wardrobe and she showed me her white dress, which I said it was great and her violin.

She said that her violin is the most precious thing she had.

It costs £ 20,000. I was in a awe. I never seen, a violin of £ 20,000. It was my first time. She said that her parents paying for her studies, here in London, that they are rich and that she is doing all the best to make them happy, because they are providing the best for her.

While she was talking to me, I thought about how much our lives, mine and hers, were different.

My life, was full of adventures but lived with difficulty, always on the brink of fatigue in supporting myself, despite everything, and her wealth, maintained by parents.

We both were following our dreams but with a different serenity.

I envied her a little bit.

I wanted to live a more serene life.

I don't know if ' being lucky' is the right term to use.

I was curious to understand why a wealthy woman wanted to be part in my photographic project.

She was taking advantage of the situation to get some pictures taken. I felt a little used.

But I couldn't complain, because I did choose to be there. She was looking for pictures of herself to use and promote her image.

And in fact she said that to me already, so I knew.

'When the pictures will be ready?' she asked me ...

A layout of the book is ready (256 pgg, text & black and white pictures). Hopefully the book will soon be available. Limited Edition. I am looking for funding.

'How I met my strangers', I am your Mirror' photography project.

©Loredana Denicola 2017/2018, All right reserved.


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 Social Documentary Photographer | Fine Art | London & Italy

© All rights reserved Loredana Denicola    


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