It is a question I asked myself a few years ago. At that time landscape photography was predominantly male-oriented, and you couldn’t help noticing that many magazines and publishers mainly focused on established names, mostly men.
I always considered myself to be a photographer first. The gender didn’t have much importance in my little world. However with growing popularity of internet and social media it became obvious that generally women were not as well known as men. That said, was the lack of visibility really down to the gender or was it rather a consequence of the subtle, quieter approach that many of us have?
After co-founding and a few years of co-running Landscapes by Women, a community that focuses on supporting women in pursuing their passion for photography, I realised that the latter was closer to the truth. I personally pick up the camera because capturing special moments, experiences and places brings me joy; it is a passion of mine and a welcome escape from the stresses and pressures of my daily job. Recognition has never been a priority. Through our growing community I met other women who share a similar outlook, which only confirmed my realisation.
Something that the writer Will Smith once said resonated with me:
“Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people – the ones who really belong in your life – will come to your. And stay.”
It reflects my belief that if you do what you love, and do it for the right reason – the joy that it brings you, you will attract like-minded people who you can share your passion with.
So where are all the women? Earlier this month I had to resign from Landscapes by Women for personal reasons, however now I know that I don’t need to ask this question any more. The landscape photography world is full of inspiring women successfully finding their own voice. A greater variety of work and names is being published. Some of the mainstream publications are even actively seeking the right balance to the point that the gender gap is much less noticeable. All we need to focus on now is the amount of the inspirational work that is being made by all of us – photographers.