Extract from 'I am your Mirror' photography project by Loredana Denicola.
And then I met Roberto. I call him the Brazilian model.
A female friend introduced him to me. They were working together in a restaurant. He needed a photographer to make a video. He wanted to take part in a competition and have the chance to be chosen as a model. The prize was a catwalk in London.
Roberto is Brazilian, and his mother is Italian. He lived in Italy when he was a child, until his teenage years. He speaks Italian fluently but he does not know a word in English, even though he has been living in London for a few years.
That's why my friend contacted me. Because he speaks Italian, it was easy for him to explain to me what he wanted. This was also the main reason why he could not find much work as a model in London and worked more for Italian and Brazilian photographers or TV.
When I saw him, I was fascinated by his beauty.
Without a doubt, he is a handsome young man, tall, with dark hair, big black eyes, and a fit body.He does many sports like karate, kickboxing, tai chi.... He wants to become a personal trainer, also he has a very fascinating smile.
Roberto is 28 years old, and he is a fashion model. I've always wondered how he can interact with photographers when posing for them and people who work with him. I helped him in making the video, and it was a success. We remain in contact.
Then, one day, I asked him if he wanted to take part in my photography project ' I am your mirror' as a model. He is the second subject that I have chosen.I asked him if he had any obsession. He said that his obsession has always been to be a model and that he lives the life of his dreams.
He just gives himself completely to the photographers, and he likes to be photographed. He is very sexy. Even the way he was talking with his Italian/Brazilian accent made him more interesting.
I remember, at that time, he told me, he was living with a female model, Jenny. She is English. He met her during a fashion photoshoot for a British magazine a few days before meeting me, and he lives with her temporarily.
He came back home only in the evenings. They sleep together but they don’t talk much because he doesn't speak English.
He told me that they were having sex, and that the situation was perfectly ideal for him. He could sleep somewhere without paying the rent, and he was having lot of fun. Then, he showed me some pictures of them together.
He told me he was in love with his life and his modelling work because he had the chance to meet beautiful models with whom to spend the night and time together. So, life in London was generous despite all the financial difficulties and the lack of work. He was determined to break into the fashion industry.
Roberto decides to help me with my project and accepted my proposal.
We decided to meet at my place as we couldn’t find another location.
I have always liked to go and photograph people where they live.
Their place reveals their personality and make the documentation more intimate and interesting. During this project only three encounters gave me the chance to photograph them in their place or flat.
The rest refused or preferred to meet me somewhere else or preferred not to take part at all. I had few refusals, 7 or 8 strangers let me down at last minute after meeting me. I mostly used two locations throughout the year.
One was Epping Forest, and the other was my small flat or my communal garden. I wasn’t well-organised and I wasn’t very happy, but I had to be positive and try to be as creative as I could with what I had, which wasn’t easy.I didn’t have much, but I had determination and perseverance, and that was enough.
Roberto told me that he was obsessed with sex, in that period of time, and with his work. Despite being beautiful to look at, he had a little shyness that is not normal or unusual to find in a male confident model. I liked that side of his character, this sweet vulnerability. I found that he was respectful and a good listener. I was captivated by his beauty and smile.
It’s hard to work with handsome men. I found myself in situations like this a few times. I was imagining him with white balloons on his head. I thoughts that the balloons could represent his hidden sexual thoughts, or maybe my hidden thoughts, who knows.
We arranged to meet in my flat.
... 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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