How to best address this recurring issue: from the photographer’s POV, when we are excited to see a women’s empowerment cover–excited to read all about the amazing advances or insights that hard work and persistence by women has finally resulted in– and then we read the byline and BAM. It was photographed by a guy.
From the perspective of many of the photographers in Alreadymade, we are very aware of the stats and hiring practices in our industry, so when we see a cover about women’s issues, our issues, we truly hope that one of our female peers was hired. -“that would have been the one job they HAD to hire a woman for, right?”
It is a missed opportunity and, really, in 2018, just plain wrong to hire men to photograph a specifically feminist piece of content.
And It is a thing- that female photo editors prefer to hire guys. especially tall charming guys.
So what is a gal to do?
The path, post photo degree is glaringly different for a woman and man who want to make it in the world of photo. Firstly, women rarely get hired as photo assistants- so the knowledge and community that the little band of photo assistants- those boys in black jeans, are afforded is gendered already.
The vast majority of photo buyers are women, and they lean toward hiring men- for editorial, for ads- all of it. it is culturally unculcated that we all think women are less competent. its the unconscious bias we all learn. then guys are often shooting scantily clad women for their portfolios so it creates a mental wall from the comaraderie that they might otherwise find with other women photographers starting out.
Men build their portfolios quickly and more smoothly than women who are just as driven, just as talented but who are missing these peer networks, and the support of the gatekeepers who are unconsciously, or even consciously hiring mostly men who are refining their skills, tweaking their lighting ideas, sharing gear and tech ideas.
Since with photo, just like in most fields, the more you do it, the better you get, men have that advantage.so where does that leave the women photographers?
Please chime in with your experiences of starting out in photo, please confirm or add your perspective. thanks!