Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On being a female photographer

Yes dear reader, it's true, I am female and I'm a photographer, I come from a long line of feisty women, my ancestors were in the NE branch of the suffragettes with Emily Dickinson, we're a determined type of women.

Now, over my 5 years of being Mandy Charlton Photography I've mostly been assisted by men, not sure why, it just so happens that I've had more male assistants than female ones.

The crazy thing about it is whenever I'm shooting a wedding and I send my male assistants to check things with vendors or members of clergy or DJ's they always assume that the male assistant is the photographer and I'm the assistant, I wouldn't mind half as much if my business didn't have my name in it, not all the guys who've assisted me can look like they're called Mandy can they?

Women have achieved so much in photography, look at Nan Goldin or Annie Lebowitz, look at the phenominal success of Loretta Lux, women have been achieving greatness in photography for a very long time so why assume that the men are in charge? 

Well I guess I've just found one of the reasons, there seems to be a branch of women who really aren't helping themselves to be accepted within the industry, news reached me today of the latest photography magazine aimed at women in photography, it's called Pix and describes itself as 

"PIX is a photography lifestyle magazine for women. If you love to snap photos, chances are you’re pretty creative and artsy about the rest of your world too. It’s important to you that your business is modern and cool, you’ve always got an eye out for hip clothing and accessories, and looking professional and shooting well are top priorities."

Upon reading it contains articles on which makeup to wear for shooting weddings, adverts for lens covers to match outfits and don't even get me started on the cover of the magazine.  

If you love to snap photos??? if you want to create cute crafts for your studio, someone  please kill me now.  Is this magazine seriously aimed at female professional photographers?  

The ones who have to fight to be recognised as anyone other than their assistant?

This magazine does more damage to women in the industry, women don't need to be differentiated as female photographers, we're simply photographers who work as hard as the next person, it's not like sport, there are no male and female sides, we're simply all photographers striving to create art and make a living out of this career we've chosen, this job we love.

I am Mandy Charlton, I'm a photographer, that is all....




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2 comments

Dirk van der Werff said...

Well said young lady!

Sounds like a pile of lifestyle wanna-be nonsense to me ..

Jamie said...

Speaking as one of your occasional (male) second shooters, I can confirm that there is a gender problem in the wedding industry. As you know, and as we have laughed about, even in the midst of being astonished, it's SO often the case that I'm approached by guests, co-ordinators, vicars, toast-masters etc., looking to me to see what the state of play is.

Point in case. I helped Mandy out with a lovely wedding a few weeks ago at the Thistle Hotel in Newcastle. The DJ turned up, so I went over to ask a few questions about the first dance. I was ABSOLUTELY clear that I was assisting Mandy Charlton but when he called the first dance, he said, "Ladies and gentlemen, please come up to the dance floor where the official photographer Jamie will be taking photos of the lovely couple". WTF?

This is not an isolated incident - so many similar stories.

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