We usually do not talk about men vs woman photographers but… Dear Men: Stop Disrespecting Women Photographers in the Field. As woman’s shooting assignments around male photographers, we commonly feel the need to act with bravado in order to prove our self worthy around other — primarily older, primarily male — photographers.
If you think male and female photographers sometimes have very different styles, the reason might go beyond their tastes and approaches to shooting. Men and women see the world differently — literally. A new study by vision researchers have found that the two genders have different ways of collecting visual information.
According to the findings, men are more sensitive to moving objects and seeing small details, while women tend to be sharper in seeing color changes.
Regardless of their experience, whether it’s a suburban dad, a hobbyist, or a press photographer, right off the bat, we are regularly treated as inferior — it’s a hurdle that I have to consciously combat to be taken seriously.
Over the years, we’ve built up a series of strategies to avoid being written off when going into a situation in which I will be around other photographers.
Take the whole “my lens is bigger than yours” concept — We frequently keep our lens hood on our lens, even in situations where it isn’t necessary, in order to act tough and to try to prove our worth with the physical size of our gear.
Some things man could learn from a woman photographer about woman portrait
1. Make them feel comfy
Women who shoot boudoir, implied or nude portraits normally make women feel more comfortable than their male counterparts. The reason for this, is that women tend to acknowledge and bring out the “emotion” in their subjects, where most male photographers are only shooting what they think is ‘sexy’. I think male photographers should learn about their clients before shooting, and think more romance, less sex.
2. Know the best poses
Men need to take time to learn what makes different female body types look good on camera. Women are typically more aware of what poses work for various body sizes and shapes.
3. Keep the gear simple
Female photographers TEND to be more practical in their photography related purchases than men. Men could take a few notes on not jumping into big ticket purchases without justifying the cost and ability to regain lost funds from it.
4. E is for Effort
Female photographers tend to go the extra mile with preparing for their sessions, they tend to constantly be on the look out for the coolest/cheapest/perfect props or garments. A lot of male photographers just hope the clients bring everything. Even if you have no clue, ask your wife/girlfriend or watch what other photographers are using in sessions. When out, if you see something that was cool in a photograph, snap it up!
5. Boxing clever
Lastly, I think for male photographers that love to shoot women, I would recommend having a woman on your team, with a large role. Women feel vulnerable and exposed when they are being photographed. Whether or not they have removed all, some or NONE of their clothes.
If you want to shoot women, you should have another female on set, and during initial correspondence where they can make the females you shoot feel secure, safe and not uncomfortable.
We just hope this industry wises up to how we, as women photographers, have to be conscious of this dynamic and prove our self-worth daily in order to get the basic respect that most male photographers are familiar with naturally.