Why is it so hard to believe that a women can be a landscape photographer? Why can’t we trust that a woman can answer a complicated technical question? Why does it surprise us when we hear that a woman is a professional landscape photographer? Whatever the reason, it is certainly more difficult to establish credibility as a landscape photographer when the prevailing attitude is that you must be male if you have awesome landscape photos. Lace Andersen has often been mistaken for “Lance”, and Sarah Marino is often assumed to be her husband Ron’s assistant, who surely took up photography so she could tag along with him when he traveled. This is something I have witnessed while working with my wife, Varina Patel, as well. Although she started out in photography many years before I owned my first camera, and went pro long before I did, she has been told how lucky she is to have a great teacher like me to teach her.
Here are few things you can do to establish credibility as and for female landscape photographers:
- Female photographers should insist that your name be present and correctly-spelled on all your work. This includes magazine publications, blog posts, and any events in which you participate.
- Female photographs can establish a solid internet presence through social media, newsletters, and subscription offers that direct traffic to your website.
- Consider leading a workshop or two, participate in online landscape photography forums, submit articles to magazines, and partner with popular blogs to establish a solid reputation as a pro landscape photographer. Male photographers can consider inviting a female photographer to co-lead a workshop, or take on a leadership role in an event you are planning.
- All photographers should be actively supporting female photographers by visiting their websites, leaving comments on their blogs, clicking the like button on social media, and sharing their work when it impresses them.
Women only make up about 25% of traffic on Visual Wilderness, even though 50% of the articles on our site are written by female photographers. Active support is a powerful long-term strategy that can have a significant impact on changing attitudes in the landscape photography industry as a whole. However, for this to work it requires an organised, conscious and consistent effort by male and female photographers alike.
This problems requires a long term attitude change. As a male photographer, I can make a difference by standing up for my female counterparts. When I see someone mention “Jay’s eBooks” or “Jay’s video courses” (this happens all the time), it is my responsibility to point out that Varina and I created those products together. Our business has been a collaboration – and Varina’s contributions have been invaluable.
To be continued Female Landscape Photographers – Being Respected