Valentina vs Erik Te Nijenhuis

Valentina is an Irish model and Erik is a Dutch photographer.
All the rest is explained below…

Short intro by Charles K., CEO and publisher of WASEmag

As Valentina explains in her text below, she and Erik have kindly put together for WASEmag this gallery. It’s a tiny fragment of the work they have been doing together in 10 sessions for over 4 years up to the moment we are publishing this in 2018.
It is our intention that, by sharing such longtime collaborations, we may inspire other photographers and models to work together for as long as they can. Time, proximity and knowledge of each other – with the necessary spaces for differences to surface – seem to me as a necessary condition for truly creative processes.
We certainly hope you enjoy! — Charles K., WASEmag HQs, 14th november 2018

The visual story of two humans [by Valentina]

About a month ago, WASEmag contacted me about doing a feature on my work. Charles, the editor, had found out that myself and photographer Erik Te Nijenhuis had done the guts of 10 shoots together through the years, so he thought it would be interesting to have only pictures of me shot by Erik in the feature. I thought it was a nice idea and agreed.

Erik liked it too, and proceeded to send me a huge zip file with his selection of our work together of the past four years to look through and choose from.

I was excited at the thought of reviewing all those images, but as I started scanning through them, sitting at my kitchen table, something different from excitement began to surface…

I found myself scrolling through the images, suddenly remembering moments, songs feelings, places, smells even, while tears ran warm down my cheeks. Every image, every pose, every location, brought back the memory of a time of my life, beautiful or desperate, proud or ugly.

I suddenly realized how much my friendship with Erik means to me, how much it has influenced the past 4 years of my life. How much our trust has grown, from a first shy shoot in an Eindhoven hotel, to our 11th shoot last week. Through all those times, he was there, listening to my stories, weaving his stories into mine, silently documenting the changes in my body and in my life. Picturing the real me, every single time, with a careful eye, without ever a judgement.

I felt so grateful for his presence, for his friendship and for being able to capture all those moments, the silly, the beautiful and the ugly ones too.

So I guess this feature isn’t just about me. It’s about us. It’s about the magical creative and human connection between two specs of dust in this vast Universe.

Thank you my friend.




    I’m a Dutch photographer, already living my entire life in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

    “Mythological forest creature with hair like the roots of ancient trees”

    I’ve been modelling since I can remember. My father used to bring me to the park in Florence on Sunday mornings and take portraits of me with his very heavy 1980s film Canon. Days later he’d let me into the home dark room and, like magic, made the pictures appear on paper. It was love at first sight for me.


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