When I wrote Women and Photography: Why you Should Give a Damn, I didn’t expect it to gain so much traction. I’m sure part of that was right time, right place, but I think a large part of the unprecedented response I’ve had to the article is that it seems to articulate the feelings of many other female photographers.
I want to keep this introduction short, so just a couple of thank yous before we get to the feature.
Firstly, to Women You Should Know who took the time to read my blog and then asked to republish it on their website which undoubtedly gave the campaign momentum and as such, introduced me to a lot of amazing female photographers.
Secondly, thank you to popular photographic companies, Wex Photo Video and SRB Photographic, who both got in touch about the article and want to do more to promote women in photography and discourage sexism.
Lastly, a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to send me a message, email or tweet. It was a pretty crazy week, but I think I managed to reply to you all in the end.
Enjoy the feature and make good use of the social media links to follow and support each other and to just see some cracking landscape photography!
Women Who Shoot Landscapes
Lucy Bentham – West Sussex (UK)
Throughout most of the time I have been making photographs, I have had a keen interest in place-making and personal relationships with place. For my MA in Photography and the book, I expanded this practice to experiment with a deeply personal desire to escape trying to fit into a domestic lifestyle and an ever-increasing inclination to summit mountains; to escape and to reconnect with wilderness, to be on the edge of potential dangers, to experience being crushed by the weight of universal infinities, and to question the role of the female artist juggling realities and desires. I photograph landscapes for a number of reasons, some touched on above, but it is primarily because of how it makes me feel to escape, to wander, to adventure without fear of anything but my imagination. I hope that how I experience the landscape is reflected in my image making and that it will inspire others, especially women, to make the efforts to share in these experiences outside of normality.
Stacey – New Zealand
Your article was of particular interest to me as I wrote something similar back in 2013 prompted by a comment I had seen written by a guy. I shoot nature and landscapes but also been dabbling in Still Life, and Fine Art – you can find me online at the below places.
Sophie Carr – London (UK)
I’ve always loved escaping, and my passion for landscape photography came from a couple of long round-the-world trips, trying to capture the beauty I saw along the way. The main focus of my passion is Iceland. I’m obsessed with the harsh, eerie and stark scenery there. I feel at home out in the windy, remote Icelandic landscape, escaping from my normal life (I work in a bank as an accountant). I love the other-worldliness of the landscapes and hope I can relay the uniqueness of the place in my photographs for other people to see. When I’m out photographing Icelandic landscapes, all alone, nothing else matters.
Darlene Jacob – Kansas (USA)
Nature fascinates me. The blooming colors of spring and summer, the fall when green turns to autumn shades and the starkness of winter with trees bare of leaves and covered in snow. Statues interest me, I can’t create that type of art, but I can bring the statue to life with my camera. Being in a garden or along a lake to capture the beauty of nature fills me with joy.
Shannon Kalahan – Connecticut (USA)
I find immense peace and joy in nature, I have an insatiable travel bug, I’m a visual person – I learn and remember best that way, and pictures are an extension of that – and I’m the type of person who needs an outlet for her creativity. All of those things combined make landscape photography a natural fit for me. Honestly, though, those are all somewhat superficial reasons.
In reality, landscape photography has a greater meaning for me. I have always been driven to help leave the world a better place, and landscape photography is both a vehicle for that and a means of communication. I’m passionate about preserving and protecting both our planet and the diverse species we share it with, and landscape photos are a way to bring some awareness to the challenges we face. I’ve also used it as a way to bring awareness to things like social inequalities (such as the gender bias in landscape photography!), cultural issues, and humanitarian crises. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to firmly grasp the idea that we all have a responsibility to each other, and to speak up about the big-picture things that are important…and photographs help with that goal.
Furthermore, landscape photography encourages me to travel, which has a few benefits. First, culturally, there are a lot of stigmas and speed bumps for women, especially regarding things like solo adventure. Traveling immensely helps with independence and self-confidence. It also helps, in my opinion, shape my world view. It’s easy to vilify people and places you have no experience with…but a personal connection breeds compassion, understanding and tolerance. And landscape photography gives me a handy reason to see more places and experience more cultures!
Finally, landscape photography – and well, running a photography business in general – has helped make me a well-rounded person. I’ve grown my photography skills, my people skills, become a better writer, and experienced a lot of personal growth.
Basically, it’s probably harder to justify NOT being a landscape photographer! lol
My father has a passion for photography and gave me the bug when I was a little girl. I love capturing that moment in time and trying to hold on to it forever, I believe photography lets you do that. Whether it be a memory of a special vacation or a family photo. I have even started experimenting with some trick photography (light painting and water droplets reverse photos). I believe that photography is an art that is both easily accessible and unbelievably powerful. Landscape photography allows me to share my travels with those that can’t come with me.
While photography is a hobby of mine, I am a construction manager, another field that is very male dominated. I believe it is very important to keep showing girls and other women that any job is attainable for a female
Charlotte Gibb – California (USA)
I fell in love with nature at a young age. I’m most at peace when I am photographing a beautiful scene and when I’m in the mountains, I feel closer to my father, who died in a climbing accident when I was young. I love to see with my camera what my eyes cannot see and I love making art from what nature provides.
Erika Peterman- USA
I’m often asked if I do families/babies, etc. but I never hear my male counterparts asked the same thing. I love landscapes as well and feel like women have a lot to contribute to that genre, in addition to every other genre of photography historically dominated by men. We can’t help but see the world differently and it seems quite obvious that the world needs a new perspective. That’s certainly the case in America (where I live) right now.
Ginger Cook – New Mexico (USA)
I’m 61 years old and for the past few years I have been photographing the Llano Estacado where I was born and raised. Specifically, I travel up and down the roads through 32 counties on the High Plains of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. It is flat, full of tumbleweeds and pump jacks and generally considered devoid of anything interesting. As a native daughter, I see the beauty of the land and experience the friendliness of the people. When I put the camera up to my eye I see my memories first and what it actually looks like second.
Kristel Schneider – France
Photography is more than just a passion for me; it’s a way of living and the best way to express myself more creatively. I work with an eye for detail to give birth to intimate compositions so that people can also play a part when they look at it.
Sherri Cavalier – Toronto (Canada)
I’m sixty-five years old and have had a camera at hand since I was nine years of age. I worked as a graphic designer and art director, sometimes doing freelance commercial photography, and for much of my career was reluctant to call myself a photographer until more recently. My thinking now is that was because of fear to presume I was good enough for, as you point out, the male dominated field.
Nowadays I feel no constraints and enjoy the natural beauty of our world in my photos to include landscapes. The power of nature is also a strong draw for me.
About the Author
Marie Gardiner – North East England
I think for me, taking landscape photographs is a form of preserving a memory, or that’s how it started, anyway. I wanted something tangible that said ‘I was here, at this time, in this place.’ As much as I admire and enjoy other forms of photography, it’s always the pull of landscapes I’ve felt and perhaps part of that is the need to see new places and experience new things.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the feature. What astounded me, was that despite the subject matter being landscape photography, there was such a huge variation in the women that got in touch with me, and that was nice to see. There are people listed here, from all over the world, of a variety of ages and each with their own unique perspective on landscape photography.
I’m grateful that writing the original article has put me in touch with so many wonderful photographers.