Roni Ziemba is a photographic artist and adventurer who specializes in extreme situations and behind-the-scenes photography. Her lens is often found beyond the yellow caution tape of public safety, wearing scrubs in surgical operating rooms or rappelling off the side of a 17-story building telling the stories few ever get to experience or witness.
No stranger to adventure she has walked solo across the state of South Dakota, been lost at sea on a sailboat and used her survivals skills in a freak wilderness snowstorm. She was briefly held hostage in Iraq just prior to the first Gulf War and was shot at in Belfast during a day of political uprising. She has worked closely with many greats, such as Robert Redford and Cesar Chavez, in her roles in the film industry and as an activist. She spent 15 years working with Amnesty International, the United Nations and various other international organizations producing fundraisers and volunteering in the trenches before becoming a professional photographer.
During the summer she rides horses in Montana, follows the rodeo circuit and spends time on ranches photographing the cowboy lifestyle. She is “She is often granted access to front line situations”
a cowgirl at heart in love with the American West. In her work with hospitals, she spends days in operating rooms capturing surgeons as they brilliantly repair damaged and broken bodies. Inspired by the work seen there she herself became a living liver donor in 2014.
“She is often granted access to front line situations”
Her unusual professional niche is working closely with firefighters and law enforcement officers in the line of duty as they risk their lives protecting our American communities. Ziemba was afforded rare access in January 2015 to the University of Phoenix Stadium to photograph the Glendale Police Department protecting the players and guests at Super Bowl XLIX. Because of the trust she has built with public safety departments and agencies she is often granted unprecedented access to front line situations where wearing her own ballistic vest or fire helmet is essential equipment. Whether responding to a page for Tucson Fire Department or chasing fugitives with the US Marshals Service, the job of navigating a fast paced situation and avoiding danger are all part of getting the impactful images that tell a unique story. Never one to be a burden on the men and women performing their high-risk duties, Roni recently became qualified as a wildland firefighter so that she would be trained to work the fire line if ever needed or called upon to do so.
As an artist her western work has been featured at the Tucson Museum of Art, The Museum of the Rockies and various galleries throughout the western U.S.
Currently over 650 pieces of her medical and public safety modern pieces are permanently installed in hospitals, fire stations, training centers and police stations nationwide.