Ora Buerkli

My first camera was a Yashica I received from my father when he returned from one of his many trips abroad. I must have been around 12 years old. He taught me how to use it and I still remember fondly those special father and daughter moments. One of my biggest regrets is not having kept this camera. Despite this early introduction, I never went beyond random clicking of family occasions and during travel.

About 8 year ago I received a gift certificate for a photography workshop in Biarritz with the wonderfully talented Jonathan Critchley . Nothing has been the same since. The old flame has rekindled, and photography became my thing.

During the first years, I found landscape photography a safe place to practice and learn. Photographing people needed courage and self-confidence I didn’t have. Over time I discovered the delight of connecting to people and especially learned to appreciate long-term projects. Gaining people’s trust, building up a relationship and getting a glimpse into different worlds have been the rewards. Thus, the camera has become a key to doors that would have otherwise stayed closed.

And then there is travel photography. A different way of seeing the world, exploring cultures and landscapes. In my travel photography I am especially fascinated by rituals and traditions. Christmas in Ethiopia, Easter in Romania, Winter festivals in Bulgaria. Captivating places, deep seated beliefs and traditions, hospitable and patient people. I have always believed that there is no better way to spend money than travel. Doing so with a purposeful camera at hand has elevated that experience for me. I see more, remember more, learn more.

Photography has enriched my life in so many ways. I learned to see, not just look, with or without the camera at hand. I learned to love cloudy days and angry skies. I learned to enjoy engaging with strangers, but never learned to like getting up early for sunrise photography. And finally, I met delightful fellow photographers from all corners of the world,

I'm an eclectic photographer who enjoys travel, documentary photography and long-term projects. 


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