We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Patricia Burmicky. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Patricia below.
Patricia , looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. What’s been the most meaningful project you’ve worked on?
In 2020, I launched “The Woman I Will Become,” a project dedicated to inspire young girls through the stories and careers of other women who were once just like them: full of dreams and aspirations.
Centered on the notion that a picture is worth a thousand words, I was inspired to depict successful women in various fields, careers, personal and professional interests, and their struggles to reach their goals.
As a young girl, I was inspired by the stories of other women who used their education to achieve their wildest dreams.
However, growing up in my native country of Venezuela, I knew that not every girl had the same opportunities, especially girls who hold marginalized identities.
Working as a photographer in New York City has allowed me to meet incredible women filled with powerful stories and I have contacted them to share their stories and photographed them. This is how “The Woman I Will Become” project started.
As part of this project, in early 2022, I launched a photography contest for female photographers, with the help of the civil society news website www.Alternos.LA in Venezuela.
The photography contest “La mujer en la que me convertiré” (“The Woman I Will Become”) was created to shine a light on those women who continue to struggle in my native Venezuela and at the same time launch the career of up-and-coming female photographers.
The idea is to continue to inspire girls and young women, not only by telling compelling stories through photography but also any young woman who feels a passion for photography.
Over 40 Venezuelan women applied for the contest with a quality and subject matter that surpassed our expectations.
Participants applied to 4 different categories and the winners were announced on March 6th 2022, to celebrate International Women’s Month.
The images were judged from a photographic point of view by myself, German photographer Claudia Sohrens, Venezuelan photographer Cristina Matos-Albers and Maan Palmiery, American/Filipino photographer.
The photographs that I took as part of the project and the images of the contest winners were exhibited at the Blue Gallery in New York City from March 23rd to March 25th, 2022.
The project is still in progress and each image tells the stories of exemplary women for new generations.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela to a Venezuelan-Slovenian family. In 2008, I moved to NYC to study photography and graduated from the International Center of Photography in 2010.
In 2011, I founded PhotoUno Photography School in Manhattan, where I teach photography enthusiasts and coach their way to become professional photographers. In my years of teaching, not only have I seen people enjoying and learning about the art of photography, but also, I have seen students launching their photography career. At PhotoUno, we want to make the process of learning photography simple and fun, through a step by step curriculum and teachers that are passionate about photography and teaching.
As a photographer, I specialize in portrait and event photography.
I have been commissioned by world renowned organizations such as the New York City Ballet and fashion brands like Max Mara, L Brands, and Kenneth Cole. I also photographed international events for Argentina and Canada.
My approach is focused on making people feel comfortable through the collaboration between the photographer and the subject. I truly believe that my responsibility as a photographer, is to learn about the person I am photographing, understand their brand, what they need, what they like about themselves, and coach them to get a genuine expression of them, as well as photographs that will make them feel happy, proud, and remember their unique experience in a photo session with me.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
In January 2020, I decided to work on a personal project to give back. I have been very thankful of my journey as a photographer and educator and wanted to inspire girls and young women through photographs. That was how the project “The Woman I Will Become” was born.
As soon as I just finished photographing my first woman, a week later, COVID hit us all. I could not believe what was happening and despite all the fear, uncertainty, stress, and frustration, I decided to find a solution and lean on a great team that was there to figure things out.
At the school, we decided to quickly pivot and take our classes online. It was a lot of work, since our curriculum had been designed specifically for in-person classes with both, indoor and outdoor practices. Using Zoom was fantastic, and quickly we were able to teach our community of students, reconnect with students who left town and make a difference for a lot of students who were stuck at home and find creative ways to photograph during isolation. This curve ball allowed us to be able to have an in-person and online curriculum that we keep until today.
Then, while this important matter was solved, I was able to continue to contact women that were interested to participate in the project “The Woman I Will Become”. Despite not knowing when we could resume taking their photographs, their enthusiasm and belief in the project, motivated me to keep working on it. In early June 2020, taking safety precautions, photographing in a safe studio environment, I was able to continue the project. By the end of 2020, I photographed 10 women and myself, and started to knock on doors and see how I could take the project further.
2021, was more about sharing the project, its intention, and trying to find sponsors to be able to exhibit the project and be able to launch the project in Venezuela.
The road was not easy, but after a lot of trying, networking, online meetings, I was finally able to get the support of Alternos.LA, a digital magazine with a focus on civil society, human rights and NGO’s, to launch the contest in Venezuela, Victims of Communism, a not for profit to exhibit the project in New York, and also, the UK Embassy in Venezuela to sponsor and exhibit the photos and contest in a cultural center in Caracas, Venezuela.
All these experiences and hardships, have made me realize our ability to adapt, to face the unknown and work to the best of our ability in uncertain times. To understand that we cannot control everything. That we can definitely control the commitment we have to do things. To surround ourselves and help each other as a community.
It is very rewarding to see how these circumstances have triggered a change of mindset, causing us to reinvent ourselves and apply our creativity in new ways.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
One of the aspects of being a photographer and educator, is that every day I learn something new. I have been blessed to work in a career that I love: photography and also to follow my vocation: education.
Each day is different, I meet different people from all over the world, different backgrounds, interests, and I learn so much from them.
In each class, I will get questions that will always make me think, that will always challenge me. That keeps me current, that helps me to keep learning and get inspired.
In every photo session I will meet a new person, with a different story, different needs, in a new location, and again, I will learn from them, see new things. It is a constant change, and I love it!
As a photographer and educator, every day is different. Some days are tough, with a lot of challenges, but for me, once the experience has happened, I will fill my head with new ideas and experiences, that will help me to troubleshoot and learn for future opportunities.
- Website: www.thewomaniwillbecome.com
- Instagram: @patriciaburmicky
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/patricia-burmicky
- Other: www.photouno.com www.patriciaburmicky.com
Photo of Patricia Burmicky by Synthia Steiman. All other images are by Patricia Burmicky for the project “The Woman I Will Become”