Body language and rich texture blend in Dayron Vera’s dramatic portraits

Dayron Vera is a Cuban fine art photographer based in Barcelona. He is also a professional ballet dancer, having worked as Principal Dancer in the National Ballet of Cuba and moved to Spain to join Angel Corella’s dance company. In fact, he started as a photographer by taking pictures of his dance colleagues backstage, where he became fascinated by the idea of capturing their movement and body language in an artistic way.

When I stopped working as a dancer around 5 years ago, I wanted to find another way to express myself. Photography came to me by chance and I clung to it as my new medium to create art and build a passion.

One of the elements I brought from my dancing career into photography is the driver for making art: anything I create needs to come from somewhere inside of me. No matter if a project is personal or commissioned, it has to feel real, it has to feel human.

“The Queen” editorial for Lucy’s Magazine inspired by Queen Elizabeth I, created in collaboration with stylist Sylvia Bonet, with makeup by Estrella Elorduy. Shot on Phase One XF IQ3 100MP Trichromatic Camera System
Most of my photography features humans and raw emotions. When I first started, I was shooting ballet dancers during practice, so I developed my aesthetic by striving to capture and show the humanity in those dancers, their feelings that were my feelings too as a dancer.

“The Endless Story about Love”

The story behind this project is one about a boy who sacrifices everything to be with his one true love. His lover is a strange creature of the forest, so to be near he becomes a creature of the forest himself.

A motif in my photography is the use of fabrics and textures for emotional effect, a legacy of living most of my life in and around theaters. Those big theatre curtains in particular inspired my use of canvas backdrops in a lot of my shoots. In “The Endlees Story about Love”, the styling is actually by my wife Carmen Corella, a former ballet dancer as well (previously a soloist dancer in The American Ballet Theatre).

“The Makers”

Little Creative Factory is a fashion brand from Barcelona that creates unique clothing for “children between 0 and 99”. For the concept of this commissioned shot I looked for inspiration right at the source, in their name and story. “The Makers” became the characters in a fictionalized and romantic version of the Little Creative Factory, a universe within which they are seized by their passion to create masterpieces from the garments they make. As a metaphor for the sometimes obsessive dedication to one’s craft, one of the characters even gives their life for it.

At the end of the day, what I want from each of my photographs is for them to be an expression of my inner self, of my vision. No matter the intended audience, if an image makes me and the person in front of the camera proud, then I am ready to share it with the rest of the world.