A few months ago I realized there is a gap in photography. A gender gap. What started this realization was reading this article on the top 20 most influential photography blogs. I noticed that they were, 19 out 20, men. The one woman was a wedding photographer, a type of photography I did not have much interest in. I was shocked. Where were all the women?
I mean, here in my corner of the internet, I see mostly women. Most of my blog followers and online friends are women. Most of the blogs I read and photographers I look up to are women. I learned most of my photography skills from women teachers. I came to photography from scrapbooking, an overwhelmingly female-dominated craft. In my world-view, photography is dominated by women.
I looked around a little bit after reading that article and realized for the first time, that yes, in fact, photography is dominated by men. I was surprised at first, until I realized that so much of what is written out there about photography doesn’t appeal to me, and isn’t about what I value. If I visited those blogs before, they didn’t capture my interest enough to come back, no matter how well-known they were. Either I don’t connect with their writing or their topics. I’m happy that many of these blogs exist, because when I go looking for information on a subject, I can find it. As far as ongoing reading goes, I’m interested in the art of photography. The expression of heart and soul. The connection to other creative people.
I bring this up because I met a new photographer friend for coffee today, and he suggested I look into proposing an article to a magazine he reads. Since I love photography and writing, it’s a perfect combination, don’t you think? Funnily enough, I found myself quickly rejecting the idea. I immediately thought I would not have something to share with a wider photography audience. I joked with him about how the average guy photographer would react to my Find Your Eye classes. “You mean you want me to journal about photography? You’re looking for a connection to my heart? You’ve got to be kidding.” We both chuckled.
Now, there may be some truth to that statement, when speaking about the stereotype. The gender gap, to me, appears real. But I was already rejecting myself before giving the idea serious thought. Why? I have gotten comfortable in this little corner of the internet, and with people who have a similar approach to photography. I’m realizing my view encompasses a very small space in a much, much bigger place.
It seems like a wide chasm out there. I’m wondering how to bridge the gap.