Bożena Pazgan. “Butterfly” Photo Session

Bozena Pazgan about her “Butterfly” photo session with Tereska Żurowska:

I went for a weekend to the seaside with my friends.

As always I wanted to take some ballet photos and I knew that one of ballet dancers I met in Warsaw, very talented Tereska Żurowska has been living in Gdańsk for some time. So we (me, Tereska and Justyna Murias who is a make up artist) agreed to make a ballet photo session on the beach in Gdańsk early in the morning when, as every photographer knows, the light for photos is the best.



Gdańsk is a very famous place in Poland. It is a place where Polish “Solidarność” movement started.  The place that most Polish associate with its shipyard. If you visit Gdańsk the first thing you notice are the huge shipbuilding cranes – the symbols of this city.

Tereska is just a great ballet dancer and a great ballet photo model. She is so involved in everything she does. She said that ballet is her love and I could see it in her every move and gesture. She got up at 6 am to have this session with me and catch the best light. And, believe me, not every model would agree to do this. She did not complain or linger. She just did her work. She jumped into the sky with the whistling gusts of wind. She jumped through the waves and it looked like she were fighting  with the sea. It was wonderful to look at her and admire her moves. Yes, this is one of the reasons why I love to take ballet photos. I admire to look at these people who are talented and full of passion.


My friend Justyna who is a make up artist also helped us. I like to work with her because the final result of the photos with make up is much better.

I knew that the weather at the seaside is not too good so I thought that the color of the sea would be dark green or even brown. I imagined that very colourful delicate clothes would look great on this kind of background. It would hide from it and they would look in contrast. Delicate clothes flow in the wind to create a great impression of movement. You may imagine everything: a sail, a bird or even a butterfly made of it. And on my favorite photo from this session we created a butterfly on the sand and in the air.


Pink is one of my favorite colours. I also like to add something unsaid and not necessarily obvious during my photo sessions. I love to use materials that are normally used for something else. Foil is one of these materials I love to use as a clothe for a dancer’s dress. It moves gently on the wind and always looks differently. This time I bought pink packaging film and made a dress for Tereska just a night before our photo session. I think it looks extraordinary on our photos.

What I like to show on photos are contrasts. E.g. clash of industrial Gdańsk shipyards with a gentle ballet dancer holding delicate clothes. Filigree ballet dancer who fights with huge sea waves. And what else ? As Ruth Bernhard, a great photographer, said “If you are not willing to see more than is visible, you won’t see anything”. So the interpretation of these photos depends only on your imagination.




Bożena Pazgan exclusively for Anna Pavlova Network 2017. All rights reserved