Interview with a professional! International photographer Tonya Ekimova, winner of the 3rd prize jury vote of Ballet Magazine Romania’s ballet photo project

Tonya Ekimova has been one of the most voted participant in the “Professional Ballet Photography, 2021” ballet photography contest by Ballet Magazine, being the winner of the 3rd prize of the jury vote

by Mihaela Ivan
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With 10 years of clasical dance studies, Tonya Ekimova is one of the most famous international ballet photographer. From 2019, when she turned totally to ballet, she had shootings with some of the greatest names of the russian and international ballerinas.

Tonya has been one of the most voted participant in the “Professional Ballet Photography, 2021” project by Ballet Magazine, being the winner of the 3rd prize of the jury vote, for hers great photo with Sara Barbieri, ballet dancer of the Mikhailovsky Theatre, as model.

Also read:
Ballet Magazine 2021 Professional Ballet Photography contest! Winners & special prizes are now official! Please find the winners: Nikita Alba, Lorenzo Gatto & Tonya Ekimova 

Interview with a professional! International dance photographer Nikita Alba, 1st prize winner of Ballet Magazine Romania’s “Photographer of the Year” title


Tonya Ekimova won the 3rd prize of the jury vote in Ballet Magazine contest, with Sara Barbieri, ballet dancer of the Mikhailovsky Theatre, as model

Following this successfully experience, she kindly agreed to share some of his thoughts of being a international renewed professional ballet photographers, with Ballet Magazine community, that you can find below. Also we are gladly invite you to find her very professional work at

Who is Tonya Ekimova? Please, introduce yourself in a few words.

I am a photographer from St. Petersburg. I have a ballet education – during my school years, I studied classical ballet for 10 years.

Why ballet photography? Was it your first choice?

I started my professional activity in the field of photography in 2013 with family and wedding shootings. I have been shooting in the genre of ballet photography since 2019, and now this is one of the main directions of my activity. In the frame, I try to convey the aesthetics of the ballet lines and the elegance of the dancer.

What is, in your opinion, the most important thing in dance photography, generally speaking, and in ballet photography, in particular? The model, the context, the movement?

In my opinion, there should be meaning in any photo, whether it’s ballet, dance, or just portrait. Before shooting, a photographer should ask himself the question of what and why he is shooting, what he wants to express with his photo. Photography is a pictorial language. Ballet photography has its own peculiarities, it is a separate sphere with its own rules. And you need to know them! In order not to spoil the already wonderful world of ballet, but to show the beauty of this art with your works.

Also read: 

15 Top Ballet Magazines Printed Publications! From Australia to Europe, get to know them and subscribe to right now!

“BALLERINAS IN RED, 2022 EDITION” photo contest! Ballet Magazine Romania opens the third edition of the project celebrating Europe Day

What would be your advice for a young ballerina who needs a portfolio? There is a secret to success?

Probably, the main secret of success is watching enough. The sight forms the taste, and he, in turn, will help with the choice of a photographer.

How important are contests for you? Do you think that the ”Professional Ballet Photography Contest”, organized by Ballet Magazin and which is at its second edition, helps to the popularity of that form of art?

I am very pleased that competition in the field of ballet photography has finally appeared. It should definitely contribute to the development of ballet photography and, in general, the development of interest in ballet art! Many thanks to your magazine for organizing such a necessary contest.

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