International Women’s day is the the best way to pay tribute to all amazing women in our lives. From art to everyday life, they manage to leave a mark and make a world more memorable place. It’s no surprise that many artists celebrated women and thought of them as their everlasting source of inspiration.
Do women photographers see things differently than men photographers is a question that exists ever since women became an important part of the photography world. Some were working alongside their husbands, printing materials for them and others were doing photography all by themselves.
Women’s contribution in photography wasn’t always acknowledged, but nowadays we have more and more female photographers who are completely changing the world with their unique aesthetics and being brave enough to stood up for themselves.
"My greatest challenge as a female photographer is getting the same pay rate as men doing the same job as me. And when we really fight our rate, sometimes we are seen as 'bitchy' or intimidating. I have been called names in the past because I was assertive and stood up for myself." - Kayla Varley
It’s an indisputable fact that man and women share different point of view, especially when it comes to photography and the way they capture moments and people around them. Since this is the day when we celebrate women, we will focus on their perspective and learn more about their approach to photography and how they see the world.
"Seeing the world through the eyes of a woman isn't always easy, I experience a lot of insecurity and self doubt about my appearance. There is a lot of talk about self-love and self-care these days, and that is good, it means we are moving in the right direction. I feel that women are supposed to be kick-ass in our careers, at home, with our appearance, in our relationship- it's just a lot to handle and a lot of weight that we have to bear consistently." -Kayla Varley
If we turn to psychology just for a moment, we can’t help but notice there are some really significant differences between men and women. Women are more prone creating an emotional relationship with others and better at communication skills, while men engage differently in a conversation.
They tend to use more rational side of their brain and emphasize all the logic aspects of the situation they are in. If we look at this from an artistic point of view, then psychologists might be on to something.
Many male photographers will tell you that they like to capture a well composed image and pay attention to all the technical details in the photo, while women enjoy capturing the raw emotions in a very specific type of way. They tend to connect more with their models rather than focusing on the technicalities.
There has also been a discussion that women can identify some facial expressions significantly faster then men can do, which leads us to an interesting theory. Women tend to use their emotional intelligence in order to connect with their models on a more personal level, while men, equally drawn to the subject have different ways of communicating their vision.
"The greatest challenge I had to face as a female photographer is finding a space that amplifies voices that are not cis male in an art world that is dominated by them. Fortunately there are movements seeking to dismantle this and provide these spaces such as Oakland’s NOT UR BABY (USA) - which is personal to me as I was recently apart of their show. While more women are now represented in the art world, there is a disparity in which our work is actually exhibited." - Jessica M. Kirk
"What does it look like seeing the world through the eyes of a woman is a rather difficult question as I do not know what it is to see the world through a man's eye. I do not think it is a matter of man or woman but of sensitivity. As for me, I have a problem of hypersensitivity but I also think this is a part of the particularity of my work. That's what comes back the most when someone talks about me and my work." - Maud Chalard
The researchers Mohammad Sattari and Sadegh Mousav also explained that for example war photography, known as a masculine genre, was also documented by numerous successful female photographers with a different perspective. They were taking photos of women and children affected by these horrible circumstances and wanted to explore how does war affect family life.
"Seeing the world through the eyes of a woman feels soft and strong and the same time." - Jessica M. Kirk
In the end, great photographs are taken by talented photographers, regardless if they are male or female. That's the true beauty and the reason why diversity plays a big part in the world of photography.
It wasn’t always easy for women to express themselves and be acknowledged for all the work they had done. Not so long ago, seeing the world through the eyes of a woman, meant that you weren’t always allowed to dream with your eyes wide open and do what makes you content.
Now, we live in a society, where we can talk endlessly how much impact women have in our culture and in our lives. Today, we can acknowledge the contribution of all the female photographers, their beautiful aesthetics and how it has change photography forever.
Happy Women’s Day!