There are certain jobs that are traditionally male-dominated and photography is known to be one of those, but why is that?
Is it because it is tough? Is it tiring? Does it require physical abilities that are more typical to be possessed by men? Do men have better creative thinking when it comes to building up a composition and do they understand the settings of the camera better than women do?
I have to prove to people, every time they hire me, that as a woman, I can also do all of that.
When I come to take portraits of CEOs and Directors to their offices, they always look at me with big round eyes while I am setting up lights and backgrounds, asking if I am sure I can do it by myself, and am I sure I am ok and don’t need help, but in the end I heard some of them saying that they never looked better in their life.
How often do I come to a shoot, and waiting for the crew to arrive I hear people asking when is he, the photographer, coming, assuming that obviously it is a He, and I am just a pretty edition to this photoshoot. If the assistant to the photographer is a guy, most businessmen would come and shake their hand first, assuming right away that it is the photographer.
How often (90% of the time) when a guy hires me to do the job, he says: “But you should be in front of the camera, not behind it” thinking that he is complimenting me, but instead making me feel like I am not good enough to do the job I am hired to do.
And there are hundreds of us who have to deal with this every single time.
But I still do love the challenge, and I love the struggle, I love proving people wrong for myself and for all of us.
Definitely, there are advantages in being a female photographer as well, especially in the Middle East where certain celebrations are still traditionally gender-separated. And certain ladies do feel more comfortable to be photographed by women.
However, I do often find myself to be the only woman (even in the room) in certain industry-related events, and that’s fantastic as well. Every time it feels like a win!
I have recently asked one of my clients, just out of curiosity, so why me? He didn’t say anything about my photography, but he said because I work tirelessly, because I know what they want and because I am a nice person. And that’s fair enough, I guess.
I do what I love and I do it with open heart and at the best of my ability, and it is sad that most clients would still pick a guy over me while hiring for certain project just because of the male-dominated market…or certain other reasons.
In 2017 Nikon couldn’t find a single female-photographer to promote their latest camera and all 32 ambassadors for it were men. In other brands, the situation isn’t much different to be honest.
But there are many, many talented women photographers out there, and even in the Middle East we are blessed to have a plenty of them.
So give us a chance, industry, or let us prove you wrong once again.