Men have dominated the photography industry for years. Only 15% of professional photographers are women, according to Female in Focus, an award that aims to highlight women photographers around the world. If we want to inspire change in the industry, we all need to do our part to put more female photographers at the forefront. It could be as simple as recommending a female photographer for a job or hiring one for your next project.
Here are three easy ways to put women photographers in focus.
Create a Community and a Support Network
Bullying is a prominent issue in the photography industry. In a 2018 report in the Columbia Journalism Review, women said they are afraid to speak out for fear of being branded ‘difficult.’ Photojournalists described behavior from editors and colleagues that ranged from assault to unwanted advances to comments on their appearance or bodies when they were trying to work.
Work environments should always be a safe place, and women need to know they are going to get the support they need in any situation. Companies need to put protocols in place to make sure that’s always the case.
Recommend a Photographer You Know
If you’re a photographer or business owner, support your network. While you might not be able to go to work today or shoot a wedding this weekend, you can still build trust with your clients, work on your brand identity, and serve your community.
Do you know a talented photographer who would be perfect for shooting an editorial? Are you too busy with work, and can’t fit in any more photoshoots this season? Chances are you know someone who is a female professional photographer. Keep them in mind, when a job opens up.
Let Your Clients Know What You Are Going Through
If you’re currently out of work, due to the recent events unfolding, you’re not alone. Every entrepreneur and business owner is facing a new challenge, and having a plan will help you weather the storm. If your clients are calling to cancel weddings, photoshoots, or editorials, let them know they can count on you when everything settles. Use the downtime to work on your website or portfolio. Create content for social media and engage with your audience. Keep it real and let your community know what you’re currently going through and look for ways to support each other.
Life as we know it is changing very fast. Every day there is a new business closing, a wedding postponed and people are practicing social distancing. While many photographers may be out of work for the next few months, if we want to see some changes in the industry, it’s essential to keep women photographers in mind for future projects.
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