SUSPIRIA by Daniel Bocai

SUSPIRIA by Daniel Bocai
My name is Daniel Bocai, but most people call me Dane. I’m 20 and I’m from Cluj-Napoca, Romania. I am studying Cognitive Sciences and Artificial Intelligence in the Netherlands, although I’m not sure I’ll keep this path in the future as photography is actually the thing I’m passionate about.

I enjoy traveling, discovering new places and absorbing inspiration from everywhere I can, and of course, shooting pictures whenever I find the chance.

As a kid, I was always drawn to photography and always wanted to be more dedicated to it, so when a friend suggested I should buy a film camera, I took her up on that. Then I started shooting pictures of my friends around the city, but I was still finding my place. A little after I did the “Hometown tourist” shooting (will be published soon at

Now I’m really focused on editorial shootings on film. My favorite film is Kodak Ektar 100. A second alternate for me is the Portra 400, which also does a great job.

My instagram is @danepefilm and as of now I’m working on a website to publish my works and allow people to view even more of me than on my instagram feed.

SUSPIRIA: A story in 3 acts with Vasiana Salajan

This shooting is the first where I wanted to experiment a darker concept. I love movies, especially horror movies, so for this shooting that’s what I used as inspiration, more specifically Black Swan (2010) and Suspiria (2018).

With this shooting I wanted to touch on the “Obsessed artist” trope, following a ballerina’s descent into madness as she goes through a metamorphosis from the white, pure, sensitive ballerina, to the obsessed, perverted and corrupted version of herself. For these pictures I also wanted to tell the story through colors.

So, ACT 1 is the beginning, her dancing around and showing her purity as the “Queen of swans”. Then in ACT 2, she begins her metamorphosis, the white from before is now closer to a yellow, showing that she is beginning to spiral towards her last form. For this specific act I also, for the first time, used Photoshop for more than just colors, as I wanted to capture the fight within herself by making it appear as her ACT 1 self was still outside, but her true form is stuck in the mirror, waiting to come out.

In ACT 3, her darker version finally gets out, everything goes to a dark, bloody red, and as she lets her pure side go, she starts dancing chaotically, becoming the “Queen of tears”. The model, Vasiana, was a joy to work with as she knew exactly what my vision was, and of course, being an actual ballerina, she could truly feel the journey of the girl in my story.