- 10 Inspirational Female Photographers to Follow
The theme for International Women's Day this year is #BreakTheBias, so we are celebrating the inspirational women making waves throughout the creative industry. Globally, 70-80% of photography students are women, yet they account for only 13-15% of professional photographers. Below we've asked 10 female identifying photographers to share their experiences, challenges and learnings from their time so far within the industry.
With a mantra to 'teach people to love what they have been given', photographer Rebecca Dimovski's work revolves around empowering women and banishing stigmas. Through her experimental style she enjoys pushing the rules in photography to create her beautifully evocative images. Rebecca shares her journey below.
"I distinctly remember snatching cameras out of my parents’ hands when I was kid at any chance I got - However turning this hobby into a career began when I purchased my first DSLR in 2009. I just knew being behind a camera made me so happy and I wanted to make others feel that too; just in front of the camera instead.
2014 was the year I found myself producing work and conducting photoshoots that solidified who I am and what I photograph today. Being able to photograph women and teaching them to love what they were born with is just a beautiful process. Fast forward to 2022 - I am capturing events and products, private and collaboratively shooting with this beside me and it just feels so good to be spreading good vibes throughout my work and campaigns I am a part of."
Throughout her childhood, Sheridan had a deep passion for photography and surfing, but it wasn't until one significant moment in 2018 which propelled her to completely dive into her passions.
"One day in 2018 I sat on the beach of Alexandra Headlands and captured a beautiful photo of a woman’s silhouette surfing. The image sparked my childhood passion and I instantly knew that morning, that being a photographer was what I was desired to be. I set out every morning after that, to many different breaks on the Sunshine Coast, capturing the surf culture in every light I could manage. Two years later, I quit my job and dove head first into the world of photography. My parents, my partner and my closest of friends were my back bone through out it all. I have a lot more growing to do as a small business, but I can easily say that I have found a job that does not define me, but who I am as a person, defines what I do for a job and for that, I'm super proud."
Below Sheridan shares how other women have inspired her throughout her career.
"I have many inspirational women in my life that I love so dearly, but funnily enough, the women that inspire me the most are the women photographers who photograph other women to encourage and capture self love and motherhood. There is something so beautiful and so gentle about raw and real imagery of women being vulnerable, proud, and honest. I see these images and it shows me that us women are so powerful and we are so strong – nothing can stop us in our tracks and you can quite capably achieve what ever it is your heart desires. That inspires me."
Photography has always been a part of street and lifestyle photographer Laura Reid's life after she picked up her first camera at the age of 10. Later down the track in 2014, Laura made the decision to pursue photography as her career and hasn't looked back since. So far she's had some incredible achievements like being a finalist in the 2021 National Photography Portrait prize at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra and has also had her work featured in the annual Women's Street Photographers exhibition in New York twice!
Throughout her career, Laura has found empowerment through connecting with other female photographers, "There are some wonderful collectives of women photographers such as Women Street Photographers and Unexposed Collective which are doing great work to promote female photographers. These groups have empowered a lot of photographers, including myself."
Laura's ability to create interest in everyday sights through her incredible imagery showcases her unique way of seeing the world. Below she explains the story behind her featured photo.
"The photo I have chosen was taken at Newcastle Ocean Baths and is called “Sun worship”. Ocean pools are a re-occurring theme in my photography. I love the strong graphic lines, the colours, people relaxing and enjoying themselves. In my other life as a town planning consultant I look at architectural plans every day and that translates into my photography. I also love to have people in my photos and to document the lifestyle of the ocean pools."
Ebony started out in the industry shooting commercial interiors, events, product photography and some photojournalism too, but eventually found her passion in land and seascapes. As a chaser of natural phenomenons and beautiful sceneries, she's used to early rises and late nights to capture her stunning imagery however, balancing her work and family responsibilities doesn't come without its challenges.
"Juggling family responsibilities as a mum and pursuing a career in photography is deﬁnitely a challenge. If I see the KP index is peeking and it's 11:30pm, I can’t just run out door with my camera and pull my child out of bed to chase the aurora. Same goes with sunsets and rises. There are plenty of places I would love to photograph but due to being a parent I can’t go at the drop of a hat. I also think that in landscape photography a lot of females are not comfortable going out by themselves to the middle of the night where there might be no reception, or potentially dangerous locations with large rogue waves or unstable cliﬀs. Some times I have to revisit a place several times for all the elements to aline such as clouds, tide, wind and colours. Getting up at 3am and driving to a sunrise location can take a lot of time and dedication which isn’t easy when you have a family."
Despite the constant challenge of balancing family and work life, Ebony has achieved some incredible milestones in her career so far, like having her image displayed in the Canon Experience Store and entering her first art show where she sold her first image. She encourages all women to "get out there and have a crack, pursue what makes you happy and do it for yourself. Just keep shooting!"
Hannah found herself falling into photography as a hobby after losing her job due to the impacts of Covid-19. Her passion quickly grew into a full-time job and has opened doors to exciting opportunities like assisting on a Vogue shoot and having her work featured on a billboard. Despite her short time within the industry, Hannah has developed a warm, distinct and candid style of photography which captures the intimate moments and expressions of her subjects. We asked her to share what steps the creative industry and fellow photographers could take to break the gender bias in photography.
"The gender bias in photography is industry-wide and deep-rooted. As a female photographer, I can tell you as a matter of fact that the issue is not a lack of female photographers who are qualified and capable. Instead, it's pushback and a real choice made by organisations and companies in who they hire and promote. Those within the industry have a choice to actively seek out, hire and promote female creatives without prejudice or the expectation that they are less capable, talented and qualified for the job. It can feel both overwhelming and daunting when trying to tackle the powerfully evident gender bias as a whole, so to keep it simple: Hire women, and pay them too."
With a few years of full-time photography work under her belt, Hannah also shares her top piece of advice below!
"Contracts are important ALWAYS! It doesn’t matter how big, or small a job is. It doesn’t matter if you’re working for a big commercial client or a family friend - contracts are a non-negotiable."
When it comes to commercial product and food photography, there's no one who does it quite like Marcie with her unrestricted use of colours and prominent still life techniques. Starting out at the age of 15 photographing key family moments, Marcie's career thus far has been shaped by the works of other inspirational women in the industry like, Jenny Van Sommers and Jess Bonham. Below she shares the story behind her featured photo.
"This image is my personal work from some time ago. Usually for work I already have a plan in my head for a photo I am going to take. For personal work, I allow myself to just choose a few elements to photograph and then play with composition and lighting for as long as it takes me to get the photo I am happy with."
With a distinct eye for capturing beautiful landscapes, Amber's passion for photography started from a young age and led her to pursue it throughout her schooling and beyond.
"My photography journey began at the age of 14. My family and I were on holiday in Port Macquarie and I saw a girl taking photos with this cool-looking camera with a big lens and decided I wanted one too." Amber continued on to study photography through her schooling and completed her Diploma of Photo Imaging in 2018.
We asked Amber her opinion on what the industry and fellow photographers could do to break the gender bias in photography. "From my own experience, when starting out social media played a major role in finding photographers and inspiration. It would be a positive influence to see more women as ambassadors within larger companies to look up to."
Wedding and portrait photographer, Emma Comrie's work can be identified through her warm and intimate captures. Starting her business in 2020, Emma has found inspiration through fellow photographers within the BlakLens Collective, which she is also a part of.
"My photography style is purpose and soul. My Indigenous culture is where I draw my inspiration from. The land, the air, the sea, the animals."
Looking through Bree's images, you can certainly feel her deep love of the ocean, which can be seen as a constant motif throughout her work.
"I have always had a strong connection with nature and the ocean, and when I began to really investigate how humans connect with the sea, I felt a strong urge to capture, explore and document this idea. I invested in my first camera and water housing around 9 years ago, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited than the first time I swam out with my setup."
Just as the ocean inspires much of her work, Bree also shared with us how the inspirational women in her life influences her photography.
"I’m lucky enough to have so many amazing women in my life who support and inspire me. Some of these are my family and my beautiful girlfriends, and some are women who have just come into my life at the right time. Some of these women have been through really tough things and still have a positive and beautiful outlook on life. Their resilience is inspiring and makes me put things in to perspective. These women inspire me because they are not afraid to express themselves and have an innate ability to stay calm in any situation. They refuse to follow the path well travelled, inspire me to be my best and most creative self, and encourage me to grow and think bigger."
For Debbie, photography plays an important role in preserving the precious moments she shares while on adventures with her son,
"I’ve always had an interest in photography but my passion grew after I had my son five years ago. From the age of 6 months he would be on my back in a carrier and we loved to go hiking and exploring new places. I wanted to capture the beauty of the places we would see so we could look back on them together later on in life."
Since embarking on her journey as a photographer, Debbje has had her images featured in the very first In Focus Women's photo-book which showcases and supports female landscape photographer, and has had her photos published in Australian Magazine. She shares her advice to other women in the industry, "My advice would be don’t give up, love what you do and let your passion grow. Stay true to your creative self and don’t be put down or discouraged by any negativity. Your photography is a representation of your personal journey, be proud."
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