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13. I met Loredana, the photographer. Extract from 'I am your mirror photography project

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Extract from 'I am your mirror' photography project di Loredana Denicola.

Then, I met Loredana, the photographer. It was an extraordinary experience meeting myself as a woman, as an object and subject, as a photographer, as an observer and observed through all the creative process behind ' I am your mirror' photography project.

A naked woman in front of a mirror
The Photographer | I am your Mirror photography project | Loredana Denicola

I never thought I could be capable of facing this challenge with myself, exploring the ‘unknown’ and creating something so profound: a photography project with strangers, called “ I am your mirror’.

Four years passed, and only now do I know why I did this project. Photography has a healing power; it is an endless process of discovering our own darkness and our own light. In 2013, I wasn’t well, I realised through meditation that I was obsessed with ‘negative thinking’.This obsession had always accompanied me; it had always been with me, throughout my life, since I was a child.

I began to become aware of my thoughts; they were creating my ‘unreal reality’, which was affecting all my surroundings, my life, my financial situation, and also my relationships with the closest people around me.

I wasn't truly happy, even though I thought I was happy in my mind, because I wasn't aware of what was happening inside my mind and my body. I wasn't observing my mind and my emotions. I was surviving without being conscious of my own self, forgetting about the most important person I have: me. There was darkness inside and out, but I wasn't capable to seeing it. I wasn’t aware. I was blind.

In all that confusion, my survival instinct led me somewhere.Unconsciously, I found an escape. I didn't know what I was doing when I began the 'I am your mirror' project. It was unplanned; it was a necessity, an urge to get out of myself, and to discover that self.

One day, I decided to look for strangers and I wrote an advert on the Internet. I was seeking for people who were like me, who had obsessions, fears, problems, but also people who were happy and found satisfaction in living their lives. These had to be encounters. I referred to them as strangers because I didn’t want any sort of emotional attachment, the kind that can develop in established relationships where people fall into habits and roles, often unsure if those roles are true or masks imposed by society.

I went to meet these strangers with immense curiosity. Those willing to show their weaknesses, wherever they wanted to meet, cooperating with me in the amazing process of getting to know each other as we truly were, without masks, but only with love and connection.

With strangers, it is often much easier to open up (perhaps this is my case) because they don’t know you, and you don’t know them. So, if there is a genuine connection, there's a good chance that love can be present, even if only for a moment. I consider myself quite lucky.

They allowed me to enter their secret worlds, their quirks, or simply be themselves, which mirrored my own self precisely, like a mirror.I went to meet them with an open mind, without judgment, accepting what was presented in front of me as it was, indirectly recognising indirectly my own self in theirs. I was accepting myself and wanting to change for the better.

I have always loved the symbolic meaning of the mirror.

.... 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


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