contemporary connection | vanesa petrac

Vanesa is an artist with a wide spectrum of activities like creating masks (by now she has a house full of it), creating music and singing in her band BF x GF (“cura i decko”), together with her boyfriend. 

As with most artists, bills needs to be paid and therefore Vanesa works at the ZPC (Zagrebacki Plesni Centar, Zagreb Dance Center) at the front desk, a great side job as she works with artists all the time.

The first time I saw Vanesa, she greeted me with an enthusiasm and joyfulness that made my day. I had a short meeting at the ZPC regarding space/location and Vanesa was the ruling desk officer. The second time I met her, I came for a shoot (this one), and she greeted me in the same style, which was so nice.

The third time I had her in front of my camera as she agreed to have a photo session and while planning this shoot I was really looking forward to it and curious how it would go.

The photos below are a perfect reflection of the session we did: on one side it shows the great fun we had and at the other hand the seriousness, the effort we put it.

Contemporary Connection: Vanesa Petrac, Martina Marin, Martina Nevistic

About connections

contemporary connection | martina marin

Meet Martina, no background in dance, but working in a dance center; no background in economics, but working in marketing. Sometimes the path we take is different from the path we originally thought to choose. Life does that to us.

Not that it is bad though. At the contrary, it can be big fun. Martina told me that now she goes to almost every performance and really enjoys watching dance, contemporary dance.

After finishing her master in art history and comparative literature, Martina worked two years in public relations and marketing. Now she is the PR and marketing director of ZPC (Zagrebacki Plesni Centar, Zagreb Dance Center).

The session I had with Martina was short but fun. I always enjoy the talk during a shoot and get different emotions during the session. To me, the image below is the best, as it shows the nice hour we had, I love the twinkle in the eyes :). Thank you Martina.

portrait of goran

Goran got promoted so he dropped by for a regular headshot for his announcement. Ofcourse I’m always willing to do this, but in exchange you must sit still for a while so I can make a long exposure portrait as well.

Three seconds, windowlight and my reflector.

PS: congrats to the new job ;)

dance connection | portrait of guilherme alves

Since finishing the dance conservatory of dance, Guilherme lives abroad. First Zurich, then Helsinki and now Zagreb, where he is the first dancer of the HNK since 2011. The list of performances is long, diverse and impressive. He told me he misses his family

It was Helsinki which changed his life, as there he met his wife, a ballerina, and they are in a very special position as she is a first ballerina at the HNK as well and he explained me they are in a very lucky situation, both being able to chase their dreams in the same city.

Guilherme was nominated by Simon Yoshida because they are good friends and spend quite some time together.

We chatted nicely during the session, sometimes talk just flows, and I really enjoyed it. So much, that in the end I forgot to take a picture with his sunglasses, something I wanted as soon as he arrived with them. I packed half of my gear already when Guilherme asked me, “what about the sunglasses?”

We quickly did some shots, and they just came out perfect. It must be, as he has them since his wedding …

Dance Connection:

3. Guilherme Alves

2. Simon Yoshida

1. Miruna Miciu

About connections

contemporary connection | martina nevistic

Dance started as a hobby, but then quickly became a dream and the school for contemporary dance from Ana Maletic as well as the dance academy on SEAD- Salzburg (experimental academy of dance) was followed and finished.

However, as with so many children, her parents strongly advised her to do a ‘real’ studies as well, so on top, a degree in economics has been collected as well as some time abroad to gain experience.

Meet Martina Nevistic, a person who combines the artist side with the business side, artistic studies with practical studies, and running the program of ZPC (Zagrebacki Plesni Centar, Zagreb Dance Center).

The first meeting I had with Martina was short and formal, and it left me slightly wondering how things would look like. The second meeting we did the photo session. Styling I left to her, and the photos above perfectly fit with the image I had of Martina after the first meeting. Formal and slightly distant.

But when the session eloped, we had more discussions, more fun, and a much more open style of communicating. By this, and by loosening her hair, a total different style of photos were created…

Contemporary Connection:

1. Martina Nevistic

About connections


As said before, it is time for a new project. A new series. Though it will be an additional project as the previous one (”seconds”) will be never ending.

I’ve been thinking recently a lot of it, as I want it to be special, at least to me, and it should last (again) quite long. Finally, the last month it got some shape, it got a name, it got a subject and I’m slowly ready to start.

The project will be called ”connections” as it will be all about the connections we have, but even more, who is our dearest connection? 

The idea is simple: I will photograph one person. This person will tell me which is her/his dearest connection (s)he’d like to have a portrait of. Than, I’ll photograph that person, and that person will tell me which is her/his dearest connection… and so on, and so on. (however, there will be limits to the connection, their should be a common link: f.e., with the Dance Connection, the connections should have all to do with dance).

The first series within the project will be The Dance Connection, and I sincerely hope that with this project I’ll be able to make a rather complete portrait of the Croatian Dance Scene. Opening portrait of the series will be with one of HNK’s finest first ballerina’s, Miruna Miciu. The latest portrait is from Guilherme Alves.

The second series within the project will be The Contemporary Connection, a serie about the ZPC. Opening portrait of the series will be with the program director, Martina Nevistic. The latest portrait is from Vanesa Petrac.

Though other series are still getting shaped, following I have in mind: the Bikers Connection and the Running Connection, but all these are for late spring …

dance connection | portrait of simon yoshida

Since 2016 Simon performs in Zagreb. Before he danced in Paris, Poland and of course Japan, the country where he grew up. For HNK he danced around ten roles, some together with Miruna.

When we met first time, Simon was not able to work/dance due to an injury, which led to an interesting conversation about the Croatian health system and the worry dancers (especially foreigners) can have due to a bad injury. Life as an artist certainly is not easy.

Happily he told me during the photo session that he started to work/dance again and his first performance will be in mid April (Peter Pan under choreography of Giorgio Madia) which is great news and I hope he will do great.

Simon was nominated by Miruna Miciu. When I asked her what she likes about him, she answered without hesitation “his beauty, not only physical but also his inner beauty”.

On top I noticed his calmness, not only from the outside, but also from inside, and I think both reflect quite well in the images. Because of this, the opening image is my favorite, on purpose soft to accent the calmness.

Dance Connection:

2. Simon Yoshida

1. Miruna Miciu

About connections

Using Format