We had the good fortune of connecting with Patricia Barreto and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Patricia, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
I’ve been a photographer for over 15 years. It was an interesting process because how i landed in photography was pure fear and the reason why i joined Miami AD School was because i had a back up.

Im originally from Brazil, and when i decided to join the photo program in 2004, the crucial point was that if i didn’t adapt, i could run back to Sao Paulo and finish the course i started in Miami. And that was the turning point for me.

I ended up loving the school, found out about the amazing lifestyle and freedom i had in Miami, finished the 2 year associate degree in Miami and the youngest student in 2006, and the best of all – i found out about the beautiful world of Photography.

After that, i decided i would be an artist – even though i was always creative and had my head in the clouds – but it was something that sparkled in me and changed who i was then and made me who i am today.

Ive always struggled to communicate, approach people, had my insecurity moments.

Year after year, ive started to create a persona, someone that i could put up as a shield to talk to people, achieve my projects and communicate. Still, it was a struggle to get out of my shell. I would call myself at that time, an introvert.

I had some amazing life decisions that reflected a lot in my career, helping me develop the security and be proud of my work and be confident of what i delivered to clients.

5 Years ago, i was recovering from an ankle surgery, practicing martial arts but working in a completely different market. MY job as a photographer was not valued. For the eyes of Brazilians, i was a rich spoiled girl that pursued a hobby and wanted to make money. it was very frustrating to face a prospect client, after you had the courage to present your portfolio, and then be offered a collab work and get hit on as a bonus.

But then, 3 years ago, my life had a shift in a personal level that made me say ‘fuck it. Let’s restart.” I quit my job, sold my apartment, moved to Miami, and decided to pursue my passion as a photographer.

From that moment on, i started to change. I became more rational, feet on the ground, stuck to what i believed and the most important thing – put myself first.

That last act, has been making me stronger everyday. As a person, as a friend, daughter and especially as a professional.

Ive recently noticed how i still would describe myself as the girl from 2004, that was shy, insecure and introvert.

All the changes and thankfully a reflection of being open and believing that the outside wont ever change me, or that the outside doens’t define me. I don’t have to be tough and stiff scared that ill be influenced, because nothing will change who i really am.

So today, i describe myself as a communicative person, a good leader, funny, secure, respectful and successful photographer and person, and constantly learning everyday – about myself and anything else that comes my way.

It’s important to hit rock bottom to make you realize who you are and what you have to do to achieve your success. It’s ok to restart whenever you feel its right. Fall 7 times, get up 8. We learn and do things differently every time, and these are the moments we realize how strong we are and what we truly fight for.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Nothing comes easy. Nothing.

Someone once said to me: If you are born with talent, it’s easy to rely on that and take it for granted. Some people are born with the passion, and they work hard everyday to achieve greatness. Those are the people we look up to and are a good representation of hard work.

I used to believe that because i had a good eye, i could rely on it that clients would knock on my door.

Past 3 years of my life have shown me how difficult it is to pursue and prospect someone. I would say 80%-85% of my time is in front of the computer, reaching out, connecting, communicating, to show trust, affinity, opportunity and uniqueness. the other 20-15% are the fun part of photographing.

My food photography tis something that depends on the dish and whoever created it.

But my portrait half, that requires a bigger dedication to it.

Portraits and maternity you are talking about emotion, connection and especially seeing the person in front of the lens and showing it to the world how i see them.

I have to create an emotional connection with that person and give them trust, so they can open up and show me who they are at that instant and moment. Its all about connection.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being in Miami for a week, i would go from Wynwood walls to the Versalle Museum, Frost Science and Perez Museum. Walks in South beach and watching crazy life to drinks in the afternoon in Coconut Grove – Provably grape and Vine or Peacock Garden.

The Grove has so many amazing places to eat that it would be difficult. MY favorite pick would still be Burgers at Lokal with Shakes from Vickys – by far the best milkshake.

But my friend would definitely enjoy going into morning walks by Brickell and stopping by some coffee at Rosetta or Sagrado Cafe.

As a night hang out, there would be the rooftops with the great Miami Skyline – Astra, Quinta la Huella and the newset Terras rooftop bar at Life House Hotel.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that contributed to my career and personal growth. First and mostly, my family that always accepted the first day i became a photographer even when i sucked at it.

I had teachers that i looked up to and they looked at me back like my work was crap, gave me the weird look because i was too young.

But i had amazing people that took me in during my Alabama period (2010-2011) that were phenomenal and an asset to lead me to food photography world.
Currently, shoutout to my mentor Libby Volgyes as a shot of adrenaline in my life. She trusts me and believes in me and my work as no one.

As my sidekicks and personal mentors, all my dear friends that took me in at Brickell Women and especially Nichole Ann Walz – Founder of Brickell Women – For being a stimulus of happiness everyday and opening eyes fro so many great connections in Miami and Brickell area.

I believe in a balanced life of friends and work can go a long way, and i believe i finally have that here thanks to my work and personal mentors.

Website: www.patriciabarreto.com

Instagram: patibarreto.photo | patibarreto.stories

Image Credits
Artist Portrait: Tiba Vieira @ tiba.lism

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