All images used with permission in our interviews.
Over the years, we’ve interviewed quite a number of photographers. While the industry is very much male dominated, there are a lot of fantastic women photographers who deserve special recognition for the work they do. These strong women put a major emphasis on creating and capturing fantastic images that will inspire many out there.
Here’s our roundup of some of the best women we’ve interviewed over the years.
“Most of the time I am wandering around – I wait until I see something speaks to me. My photographs are all about how I see the world, or incredible experiences I think are worth recording.
When it comes to architectural compositions I look through my viewfinder and try to find unusual perspectives, what no one might have seen. When I capture images of people – I want to get the most personal intimate moment.”
Also be sure to check out the Women in Photography blog
“Oh, you’re supposed to have a plan? I didn’t have a plan. I had a camera and a dream. Which was stupid to be honest. There is something about that entrepreneur spirit though. Sometimes you have an idea and you need to seize the moment. Sometimes the planning destroys the momentum and excitement. I had a lot of business experience so I knew what running a business was like. I can’t tell you I recommend this way of working. It just works for me.”
“I didn’t do any directing other than sometimes asking them to stand in front of a wall or background that was less cluttered, or not looking directly into the sun. Sometimes i would stop someone in the middle of a crowd and didn’t have the option to alter the background, so it was shot exactly how I met them. I just let them do what they wanted for the camera. I shot 2-3 images max per person, to get both horizontal and vertical, so what ever they did, is what I got.”
“We’ve been so lucky to have the opportunity to travel frequently, and we’ve shot in so many beautiful places. It’s hard to make a list of the top five… but some of our favorites include the Kilauea lava flowing into the sea on the Big Island of Hawaii, the iceberg-strewn black sand beach at Jökulsárlón in Iceland, the turquoise waters of Fishermans Bay in Port Stephens, Australia, Glacier National Park in Montana, and Utah’s towering sandstone hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park. Most of all though, we both look forward to the next location we’ll be visiting…wherever that might be. We love to shoot in new places where we’ve never been before.”
“I was invited to photograph some of the pieces of the incredible avant grade jewelry designer Laurel Luxe. I had photographed her pieces several times before, but this series of editorial images would accompany a feature on her art and work for a prestigious publication. Laurel creates a wide range of interesting metallic body pieces from headdresses to body cages, to dresses made of metal linked chains. After seeing clips from her most recent runway show, I decided to create a series of images themed “golden goddess”. I would feature her gold pieces and the theme would be powerful, elegant, and gold.”
“It really depends. Sometimes, I have a story board (for fashion it’s always like this, or also for more complicated shots). Other times, if I’m just inspired by a particular light or place, I just go with instinct.”
“Shumilova, who spends a lot of her time in a farm with her two young children – Yaroslav, 5, and Vanya, 2, has been taking advantage of the picturesque spots in and around that farm and its dramatic ever-changing weather conditions for her photos. She’s gotten into the habit of taking her photos at the most opportune time – at a golden hour, on a snowy evening, or during a fog-covered dawn to add texture and dynamics to her images.”
Elena likes to imagine and paint the reality she sees into different colors. “It seems to me that this is the aspiration that makes you an artist, it is an opportunity to change the world around a little bit and to feel yourself a co-creator in some sense.”
“The intent of my work is greatly influenced by my background in photojournalism and sociology. I love the idea of human connection through a photograph: creating a sense of empathy or suspense between the audience and the characters in each image. With that in mind, I’m constantly trying to put the viewer in the middle of a moment with an implied beginning and end. Of course each photo means something personal to me, but I hope the audience can discover their own story. There’s something really powerful about connecting with people through a photograph, even if it’s only for a fleeting moment.”
“For Sarah, becoming a mother was the most important and most transformative day of her life. “It may be hard for some people to understand why someone would want pictures during a time that is very vulnerable, often messy, and extremely intimate, but as a mother of four I totally understand the importance,” says Sarah. “The photos may not be ones you pull out when company comes over but they tell the story of a life. Birth isn’t a subject everyone is comfortable talking about but ask a 90 year old woman in a nursing home her birth stories and she can tell you them.”
“It is a psychological reason I guess. As mentioned before, I started with it in order to get different perspectives of myself. Photography allowed me a completely different view on me and helped me exploring who I was and what I can be. Still I have to say there is a development going on. Now I often use my body as an instrument for certain concepts. I do not see myself in the pictures anymore, rather an anonymous being completely incorporating the emotions and ideas of the concept. It is very practical to work with myself now, because I am always available and I know exactly how far I can go with myself. Another plus is that I have an easier communication with myself regarding the images in my head and acting them out.”
“I’m always fascinated by the contours of horses, the emotions and expressions they exude and their elegant, noble appearance.” Droppert says regarding her inspiration, “In this series, I intend to focus primarily on the character, elegance, power and nobleness of the horse. Working with tones, colours and contrasts, I wanted to create a feeling that will appeal to your emotions.”
“As strange as this may sound, underwater photography is so amazingly meditative.” says photographer Tracie Maglosky about her underwater portrait photography. “Under the water there is very little sound and/or smells…since most creatives have peaked senses, eliminating a few is never a bad thing. It forces you to give all of your vision to the moment and distractions are minimized greatly.” Tracie is an Olympus Visionary who has been featured on the site before for this kind of work and her lighting style. Seriously though, who ever thought of doing an Underwater Maternity Photo Shoot?”
“Part of my day job involves product photography. After a while I got really bored shooting similar images against a white backdrop, so I started to incorporate shapes, colors, and various lighting setups to make those products more interesting. I found myself having a lot of fun with that challenge and knew I could do a lot more, especially with objects of my choosing.
Since I couldn’t actually use most of those images anywhere, I talked my boss into letting me use the studio for an hour a day for personal work. And the still life series was born.”
“Seeing the large historical fresco’s for the first time, was like being struck by lightning. At that stage of my life I needed it to express myself artistically. Creating works like that was also a bit like therapeutic for me, essentially the old concerns and situations are not very different from today.”
“When I first started out with photography, I was very much a landscape and architecture kind of girl. I had no desire to shoot portraits or weddings, in any way shape or form! But I’d been sharing my work online for quite a while and two friends, who were getting married, approached me one day and asked me if I’d photograph their wedding. I immediately said no! I understood the importance of wedding photography and did not want the responsibility or the guilt if I messed up. But my friends were pretty stubborn (and extremely relaxed and encouraging about my work) and so I finally agreed to do it.”
“I originally wanted to shoot food and interiors. I took a part time course at a local photography school, where an amazing lecturer seemed to think I should give fashion a try. I thought he was mad. My first assignment was on Testino and LaChapelle. And that was it. I was obsessed. I felt like I had discovered a chest filled with hidden treasure. The idea that you could create these extraordinary images and fantasy worlds just caught hold of me like a firefly in the moonlight.
I love everything about photography! The creative process (which starts usually around 3am in the morning with an idea in my head), to the set, working with my amazing team or discovering and sourcing locations right to the very end of the final image development is just the most extraordinary journey. It is honestly what gets my heart pumping double time and blood running through my veins.”
“Of course I shoot journalistic style with my dogs as it is second nature. I’ve given myself a pseudo deadline of at least one image a day, kind of like a photojournalistic daily exercise.
Getting realtime images of my dogs is no easy task. Bella likes to stay at least 50 feet ahead of me when on walks. At home when Bella sees me getting ready to take a picture she will turn her head away. Patience is key in the field of canine photography.”
“Portraits are the best way to express my ideas. I love my models, every one of my fairies are not simple mannequins, they are really unique persons with interesting characters. They must be on the one wave with me; that’s why my casting is very specific. I like that natural beauty of human beings can be multifaceted. I always need to be admiring my models and be totally inspired by them to shoot something nice. Also the one of my hobbies is making handmade accessories and props for my shoot. They are fantasy headpieces, sometimes clothing and decorations. I’d like to continue my work in sphere of fashion design, and people here are the fundamental element either.”
“I’m the type of person that feels things quite deeply. I’m often off staring into space, day dreaming about things that have happened in the past, but also about things that may happen in the future. I’m a real thinker too, always analysing situations and creating worlds where things I wish could happen actually happen. I channel all of this which is why my work is nostalgic and reminiscent of a time that has happened, might happen or you wish could happen. I guess that’s why people also tell me my work is quite romantic in a way because I romanticize things. Someone once told me that my images give “a sense that one lonely soul has been left behind, but the uncertainty is in which world and time that lost soul resides,” which I thought was very interesting.”
“Few years ago, I was lost in my life, photography has picked me up as a person, gave me strength and confidence. As well taught me how to appreciate more of my daily life, the moments with friends and family, it’s actually quite an incredible transformation to experience. And a hobby transformed into a passion. Today I cannot imagine a life without photography.”
“In this series, I’m trying to show my fight with myself, the other part of me. The one who is always remain silent, wants to escape, and everyone has this part in themselves.” says Flora in an email exchange with the Phoblographer. “It’s a struggle between the ‘good’ and the ‘evil’ part in me.” Indeed, the struggle surely does come through.
“I think the biggest influence paintings had on me is in the understanding of how light can turn the most mundane setting into pure poetry. Rembrandt’s portraits, Van Gogh „Potato Eaters“ and Monet’s haystacks are some of the most beautiful images I have ever seen.”
“I take my camera everywhere, so the shot really depends on the atmosphere, things which surrounds me, my and other people’s feelings. I don’t have any rules for myself and I do both planed and not planed shoots and I shoot almost everything what catches my attention. Most of the time I spend at home right now, so I also enjoy to create some compositions for photo, for instance I like to play with light and shadows.”
“After sometime of secretly photographing people on the street I decided that I wanted to interact with my subjects and learn something about them before taking more intimate photos.” says photographer Iwona Pinkowicz about her latest street photography project. Iwona, who you’ve read about previously, is all about facial expressions. Indeed, one of the pillars of portraiture is that the eyes are the windows to the soul. And if you generally approach strangers in the right way, you’ll see that we’re just human beings afterall.
“I tried many different subjects in photography trying to find what I like and what I’m good at. I knew I love capturing colors, light & textures and I knew I loved telling stories that inspire people. I always search for beautiful things in life and I’m also very interested in design, business & branding, so it made sense to focus on lifestyle photography and help other businesses with photography for their branding and marketing. At some point, I got a job at a lifestyle magazine and had to photograph food, interiors and portraits and tell stories about creative business owners and I really enjoyed that. It was something very different from the most common choice in photography- weddings, but I felt it suited my personality and lifestyle choices much better (I didn’t want to work on weekends and I’m an early riser, so I wanted normal work hours and B2B work was a better choice).”
“I conceptualize the shoot from the beginning to the end. I’m a control freak and i find it difficult to relinquish control. I will create a storyboard with images that communicate the feeling and direction of the shoot in terms of posing, hair, make up and clothing to help my model, hair stylist and designer i’m working with, but more often than not, i’m there when they are creating their part to make sure it is in accordance with my vision.”
“I think it was a simple curiosity. And right after I made my first portrait session with a stranger I felt like it was my new dope. Before that I was working really hard with composition, making mostly still life photography, using a light-painting technique. But in the terms of interaction it was a still one-way ticket for me. Portraiture is the work of at least two people, it becomes harder this way, yet gives a different level of emotional response. Making a picture of a person is much more complicated than doing the same with an apple. You never know where it will end up and you never have the full control of the situation.”
“Daria Khoroshavina, a photographer based in Moscow Russia, has a gift for creating beautiful cinemagraphs of many things, though a clear emphasis can be seen on food. One such series captures the process of preparing, cooking, and -of course- eating some delicious looking garlic cheese bread. It is shot beautifully, and really takes that connection that a viewer can have with food photography to another level. She’s been featured on the site before, for her cinemagraphs, but her Garlic Bread work is too tempting to pass up!”
“Photography has taken me on an incredible journey these past two decades. I was introduced to the experience of taking photos when my parents bought me disposable cameras for Girl Scout camp in Missouri. My camera became a way that I made friends and allowed me to enter into social situations that I would have otherwise been too nervous to put myself in. And then I would sit down with my whole family at the kitchen table and go through the photos one by one telling them about every detail. It became a routine. I started learning how to process events and moments in my life by piecing them together with the photos I took.”