Women in Photography

by Photo Life

Jill Greenberg recently gave a Ted Talk on a subject we’ve been thinking about a lot over here, particularly over these last couple of years—women in photography. We’re excited about her initiative Alreadymade, which showcases a group of extremely experienced, talented female photographers working in entertainment and advertising. Check out the video above to learn more about why she started Alreadymade.

Alreadymade brings to mind another great endeavour, spearheaded by Daniella Zalcman: the website WomenPhotograph. This database with more than 700 independent women documentary photographers in 91 countries makes it easy to discover talented female photojournalists from around the world. If you’ve been reading Photo Life for the last few years, you’ll probably recognize quite a few names in the Canadian section: collaborator Laurence Butet-Roch, The World We Live In VI winner Stephanie Foden, Annie Sakkab (interview in the October/November 2016 issue), Marta Iwanek (interview in our August/September 2017 issue), Melissa Renwick (interview in the August/September 2017), and even more we’ve included in our news coverage (Hannah Yoon, Anica James, Michelle Siu, Galit Rodan, Chloë Ellingson, Cristina Mittermeier, and Amber Bracken).

This past winter, Amber Bracken’s opinion article on Maclean’s website (“Canadian Photojournalism Must Do Better on Gender Equity,” January 25, 2018) addressed the same problem within photojournalism. In it, she pointed out about how women make up the majority of students in photography education programs and remain the minority in the newsrooms. She wrote, “A diverse media matters because we cannot serve the public—or do justice to the complex issues that affect us all—if all we offer is a singular perspective. For the record, I really respect the men in this industry and value their abilities as storytellers. It’s just that Canada is not made up of entirely men, and it certainly isn’t entirely white men. Our media should reflect that, too.” She said, “It will take men and women to address the problem and make concrete plans to change the demographics of this industry. We need people to frankly assess their current hiring practices, to set targets for change, to serve as mentors, and to offer paid internships. We need people who reach out and make a point of including photojournalists of diverse genders, cultures, races and backgrounds. It’s clear that things won’t change overnight, but that can’t be an excuse for lack of action.

Bravo to Jill Greenberg, Liz Miller-Gershfeld, Judith Puckett-Rinella, Carla Serrano, Dawn Baillie, Jackson George, Meg Handler, Daniella Zalcman, Eslah Attar, Sara Ickow, Mallory Benedict, Amber Bracken, Laurence Butet-Roch, and the many other people working tirelessly on all levels to make the photography industry more diverse and representative of us all.

(Subscribers may check out the above-mentioned interviews and any past issue in our digital archives for free.)

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