portraits.by.olaf

dance connection | portrait of miruna miciu

After finishing the National Ballet School in Bucharest, Miruna had performances in Romania, Bergamo, London, Paris and now, since 2010 in Zagreb as first ballerina. 

In Zagreb (HNK) she had numerous roles (more than 25), with - according to me - highlights as Juliet and Odette. Throughout the years Miruna won several awards for her dancing capacities. 

The first time I met Miruna, she was on stage. She was Odette, a role she played so greatly and with so much grace that it touched me and I decided that she should be the opening of my new project, Connections.

The second time we met, it was in a bar, to discuss the project, the concept, the idea and the execution, and happily she accepted my invitation for a portrait. Several weeks later, we met for the third time to do our photo session.

To me, the two opening images shows me how I see Miruna: strong and elegant, with piercing eyes, yet able to close them and still be present, to fill the room.

The serie below was taken at the end of the session, where we all were relaxed and we had some fun. To me, those photos are very dear as they will remind me on a great afternoon where we were able to fully enjoy creating a portrait.



Dance Connection:

1. Miruna Miciu

About connections



portrait of dominik

Dominik came around two years ago in our firm. Young, smart and ambitious. As part of his training, the first half year he spend with me and at that time I didn’t make a portrait of him. Should had though…

This month he returned to my department. Still young, smart and ambitious, and most probably quite some experiences richer. Perfect moment for a portrait :)


Both images with window light and my reflector. Being still isn’t one of Dominik strength’s: he managed only one second.


portrait of vjeko

Vjeko and I go back long time. He was in the firm when I came and after many years, we’re both still in. He changed several departments and once was part of mine as well. I remember once being together on a business trip, we were sitting in the bar, next to the gate waiting for our flight to go. I’m still not sure what and how it happened, but we managed to miss the flight ;-).

One year ago I took a portrait of him, just after shaving, so, if you want to see that one, take a look.

Window light, my reflector and 4 seconds exposure.


portrait of a new generation

They call their selves a dream team. And probably they are. Within the finance department in our firm, we have a team of (ex-)students chasing their dreams. They are young, very positive and full of humor. I really enjoy their attitude when I enter their office.

Making their portraits was fun as they were a bit shy. But they managed :), meet Ivana, Ines, Matea, Tea, Petar, Samantha and Tea.

Windowlight, my reflector and 2 to 4 seconds exposure.


150 portraits

My project ‘seconds’ started around three years ago and this week I published my 150th long exposure portrait. Though I created some more, not all were for public eyes, some people didn’t wanted their photo to be published.

I must say I still enjoy the process of creating a long exposure portrait but it is getting a bit monotonous and therefore reason for me to add a normal portrait as well during the session. 

It is that hard, just switch camera’s (I use a special camera for most of the long exposure portraits), though in the some portraits I did this week, for the sitter it is a bit harder: they need to change their mindset and some were not able and they remained still for several seconds while I did the normal portrait.

But more important, I am working on a new project, a new portrait series, and I must admit I am eager to start. It is still boiling in my head though next week I have the first session already. I am so looking forward to this, as it will be so different from ‘seconds’, with a different lightning setup, all about emotions and about the sitter.

That said, every session can be used for a long exposure portrait as well, so this story, this project continues …



portrait of matea

Matea is relatively new in the firm. She’s always smiling, always positive and always greeting people with their names. This is something I admire as I most of the times forget about names. Silly me, should not even say this out loud, but what can I do. No matter what I try, I simply forget. Not Matea, she remembers. Good thing.

That said, being still isn’t her strength :), we managed only a two second exposure; window light + reflector.


portrait of mirela

Imagine you’re a student and you just got a student job in a big firm; some administrative job, in a office within sales so rather hectic and noisy. Imagine yourself in your first week, trying to remember all what is said and all what you need to do. Your head is probably overflowing with new information.

Imagine a strange guy comes in your office, fluffy long hair, strange accent, asking you for a portrait… “wtf?” Can you refuse? Of course you can’t…

Meet Mirela, her first week in our office :), three seconds exposure, window light and my reflector. Below a normal portrait.


doors ‘n windows V

The light was low. Winter light. Long shadows reflected by the snow. Melting, heated by the sun. Spring is slowly coming. In a village on the hills of Zagreb I captured the image below.

In order to give it a place on my blog, I should at least show some image of the door and window. Love the horseshoe…


portrait of ivan

Also Ivan I’ve photographed before. It is hard to get him in front of the camera. We see each other every working day, yet he’s never fully prepared to get shot. Finally, this week he gave in, and as I’m in a colorful mood, his portrait is in color as well.

Recently people are having problems being still for six seconds, at the moment, most is done at two seconds. May be due to spring? Never mind, window light, my reflector and that’s it.

As for the image below, it’s done with the xf23 (35mm equivalent) as I wanted to have lots of white space around. The lens performs great, but I am not sure if it is too wide…


Using Format