Contemporary Issues: Sexism In The Photography Industry

Sexism has been an ongoing issue within society for both genders, including the photographic sector. Personally, I have come to experience behavior that I was not comfortable with on numerous occasions which may be a result of my gender. Males and females have had issues of discrimination as clients for photographers and the photographers themselves. However, for this report, I have focused on the representation of female photographers.

When taking pictures in populated locations I have been interrupted by individuals about my work. This does not just include general curiosity when I begin to use equipment that is more noticeable when passing by, such as flashguns or tripods. Many have approached me with an undermining presumption that I do not understand basic aspects of photography.

Another issue that I had experienced was with an individual began by asking what I was doing, but after I answered he asked why. I then explained that it was for a university project which he then again asked why and where was I going next, following me and another female photographer down the street.

However, this issue has also been raised to attention within the working environment. A photographer, Anna Fox conducted research about the effects gender may have in this industry and found that 5% of photographs taken by women are chosen by photography publishers. Although much improvement has been made in modern society with careers that typically expected a male dominated working environment there are still signs that in some cases there are still issues.

Daniel Shea is an editorial photographer who has published her concerns around female photographers being discriminated. However, responses have expressed that when hiring the photographers who were unsuccessful by chance contained females, but this was due to them not meeting the requirements of the employer, not their gender. Although Shea has explained that an editor expressed to her, “that most media, art, and literature is made to fit a masculine perspective, and perhaps that’s why men are more ‘apt’ at photographing that content” (Risch, 2013). There is much debate around this issue as many think there is not enough female photographer in the industry to produce fair data on the number of males compared to females hired. Whereas many photographers feel strongly towards this problem, with their own personal experiences or knowledge of events where they blame gender.


Biddlecombe, S. (2016) Why are women so underrepresented in photography? (Online). Stylist. Available at:  [Digitally Accessed 23 April, 2016)

Risch, C. (2013 ) Are Women Photographers Being Discriminated Against in the Editorial Market? (Online). PDNPULSE. Available at:  [Digitally Accessed 23 April, 2016)


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