I often get asked if I feel it is difficult being a lady in this business. My immediate answer is yes. But really, more likely than not, it is just plain difficult for everyone in this game, and using ones gender as an excuse is lame.
Working for yourself is hard. Working for yourself in a competitive and often glamorized profession is even harder. There are a lot of people wanting to do what you do and often jobs go to friends of friends or the rich guy/gal with the most gear/biggest studio/most connections. Facts of life my friend.
I’m a big fan of the blog, Jezebel. I love reading about Photoshop horrors, womens’ health crisis, Michelle Obama’s fashion (etc etc). I love it because these are topics of interest to me, and topics of interest to many women (and probably also some men!). What I don’t enjoy as much is the subtle, and often not so subtle (by some bloggers, not all), reinforcement of women in America as disenfranchised and the way it affects my mindset and the mindset of others. In truth, we probably are disenfranchised in many ways. But if you focus too much on it, internalize it, and think yourself the victim it could be dangerous to your success.
I like to think being a woman in the land of beauty/fashion photography has it’s advantages. I sympathize with models’ womanly hang-ups: oh, you think you look weird from your right side? I SO understand! I would also never ask models to do anything that would purely objectify them: I want my models to be mulit-dimensional: sexy, funny, approachable, etc NOT just a piece of meat. I enjoy working towards a less skewed presentation of women in the media.
So is it harder to be a woman in this business? It doesn’t matter if you buy into it or not. Sometimes just entertaining the idea is harmful – negative thinking has an amazing power to produce negative things. It’s a rough gig this freelance photographer life, but if you have the determination and passion, regardless of gender, it is sure to be a crazy and hopefully rewarding path.