When I found a pressed butterfly mid-flutter beneath a thin layer of glass, something told me to crack open the glue of the display case and lift the creature out. The specimen was immaculately preserved, even to the fuzz covering its head and abdomen, and I admittedly felt guilty to disrupt her resting place. But something this pearlescent had to be photographed, and I promised I would only use her for half an hour. I lifted the butterfly up and brought her to a bed of wildflowers, white and yellow blooms densely clustered a foot above the ground.
I thought back to all the times I would momentarily see butterflies floating on the wind, always unable to follow their path because my eyes were too slow and their wings too fast. But here I was holding this magnificent beauty, perching her on my mouth, her thousands of beady eyes just below my two. She wasn’t as much a prop as a companion while we shot, her iridescent wingspan taking center stage.
Mid-morning on this quiet island, the labyrinth of Finikia, I brought this butterfly back to life.
Location: Finikia, Santorini, Greece | Model: Ankur Maniar | Assistance: Sarah Yue