SCORE

PhotoUno Photography School and Patricia Burmicky Photography Leverage SCORE to See the Bigger Picture

Read and watch how one entrepreneur converted her passion into a full-time career and successful business, and hear (in her own words) the role SCORE played in achieving her dreams. The interview follows, and the video is below!

What do you do: 

I am both a professional photographer and a photography teacher. I’m the founder of PhotoUno Photography School, where we have designed photography courses to help people learn more about their digital cameras, to master them, and do something that they love. We focus on hobbyist photographers, but also offer more advanced courses for those who wish to deepen their knowledge in photography.

As a photographer, I focus on portraits and events with a goal to capture genuine expressions from my clients. I normally work with families, adults, and kids that wish to capture a moment in time. From maternity, to newborn sessions, to family gatherings, or even with companies who wish to rebrand their image by offering a more modern approach when photographing them.

What inspired you to start your business?: 

Mostly driven by my passion for teaching and photography, I moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a career in photography after having worked in the corporate world. I was ready to make the leap. After completing my studies at the International Center of Photography, I realized I wanted to share my passion for photography, so I started to teach privately. Eventually, business started to grow referral after referral. This big change happened by making sure our clients and students had the best possible experience, which begins from the moment they register, take classes, and follow up. However, the most important key to our success is that you need to have a plan, a goal. It is also important to be aware that more than likely that same plan may have to change along the way in order to meet your ultimate goal.

What's special about your business?: 

PhotoUno’s courses are easy, flexible, and fun. We are known for the quality of our digital photography classes and a well-structured curriculum. Our instructors are passionate about photography and will do their best to make sure that every student that steps into the classroom has a great time.

As a brand, we take pride in the quality of our classes and instructors. We are easy, flexible, and fun, and we will always make sure you have a great experience. What sets me apart as a photographer is the way in which I make my customers feel at ease in front of the camera. This helps me to capture their most genuine and candid expression. This is only possible after lots of preparation before the session and also throughout the course of the session. I work hard to make sure my clients get the images they want while welcoming their recommendations as a deliberate effort to exceed said expectations.

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner?: 

One thing that has been a high point for me is finding myself surrounded by passionate, trustworthy, and talented people. This has also helped me with my business by having confidants who are able to help me look at the ever-changing market and make sure that we are constantly adapting while staying aligned with our values. 

As a business owner, you have to make sure that you know your numbers. Mistakes will be made along the way, and that is fine, but the most important thing is to learn from them. Also, it is key to make sure that you have your company values clear and use them as a guide when interviewing prospective employees. You have to make sure you surround yourself with people who are talented but also are aligned with your company values and passionate about what they do.

Throughout the process of offering a service, you start learning more about people, and then you realize that when someone is not happy the best plan of action is to listen and to understand their point of view. Sometimes mutual agreements will happen and sometimes they will not. However, this is not because you were wrong or flawed, but because everyone is different and perhaps you were not the right fit to begin with.

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner?: 

As a business owner, you have to make sure that you know your numbers. Mistakes will be made along the way, and that is fine, but the most important thing is to learn from them. Also, it is key to make sure that you have your company values clear and use them as a guide when interviewing prospective employees. You have to make sure you surround yourself with people who are talented but also are aligned with your company values and passionate about what they do.

What is your relationship with SCORE?: 

SCORE client

What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?: 

SCORE success stories have always been an inspiration to read and keep on going. Additionally, SCORE has many free available resources that I found to be extremely useful on their website. I look forward to getting some mentoring as soon as I have completed my marketing plan. 

How SCORE Helped: 

I have used multiple SCORE eGuides and articles to help gain a better understanding of what is needed to have a healthy Profit & Loss Statement, as well as establish a clear vision of what I need to reach my 2020 goals. I have also used (or actually I am using) the eGuide on how to build a marketing strategy. This has been very useful for my photography business as I am currently redefining myself as a photographer. By utilizing this guide I am gaining a better understanding of what is needed to reposition my brand and what the enablers are to help achieve my goals. Also, I had fun practicing for a perfect pitch (so challenging)!

What advice whould you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?: 

Create a business plan to help envision where you want to go, know your numbers, surround yourself with people who are talented and aligned to your values, and make sure to learn from the experiences you face along the way.

Watch the Video:

In Her Own Words: How SCORE Helped Convert My Passion Into a Full-Time Job