There are many reasons to highlight the work of women photographers. Our reason is simple; we love to share greatness. As one of the photo industry’s leading publications, we’re fortunate to be exposed to talented women photographers. Street photography, documentary, portrait, product, and more: the female presence is on the rise across the board and it’s incredibly exciting! In fact, it was difficult cutting our list down to just 20! But we got there, and this is the best of best.
1. Sevil Alkan
Sevil Alkan is coming off the back of an incredible 2019. She found success at the Lens Culture Street Photography Awards, coming first in the series category. Her dark, deep street photography and great storytelling put Alkan in a league of her own. Making her rise even more impressive is the fact that Alkan creates most of her work on a smartphone. And despite that, her work doesn’t look elementary, but very professional. With such a big 2019, her confidence will boom and 2020 be will even more of a success.
2. Chantal Convertini
We came across Chantal Converitni last summer. It was like digging up a diamond; we were fascinated with her creative approach to photography. Convertini is a multi-skilled photographer. She can shoot portraits, self-portraits, fashion, and also tell meaningful stories. Through her self-portraits, Convertini wants to portray women in their natural form. She does not want to hide the imperfections, but instead show that all of her body (and yours) are a part of what makes you a beautiful human. Powerful stuff from a talented photographer that is only going to get better.
3. Elizaveta Porodina
Portraits can become rather repetitive and stale. That’s why we warm to a photographer looking to move the needle and trailblaze their way to the top. Elizaveta Porodina is clearly someone who saw the need to get creative in the portrait field, and with that she started experimenting. Her series, Colorbook, was the perfect example of Porodina’s creative mindset. Using multiple colors, shapes, and interesting subjects in order to hold the viewer, there’s something in each portrait that a person can catch on to, ensuring her body of work stands out from more cliche images in the portrait genre.
4. Katerina Gregoriou
After a career in mechanical engineering, Katerina Gregoriou moved to photography to pursue a passion. To our surprise, she has only been shooting for a few years. Yet she has already made a positive impact on the industry. Shooting with her trusted Leica, Gregoriou makes photographs that are works of art. Simplistic yet beautiful, minimal yet meaningful: her images have it all. But Gregoriou isn’t just about the pretty picture. Her series, Shatterd Glass, focuses on inspiring women who are making waves in male-dominated spaces. Quite fitting that she’s on the list.
5. Ingrid Alice Irsigler
We first featured Ingrid Alice Irsigler in 2016. Every year since then, Irsigler has published a series that has left us impressed and inspired. Last year saw her publish sets that focused on Afro Asian fashion. Highlighting the vibrancy, complexity, and energy of Afro Asian fashion, Irsigler delivered a series that caught the eye of many. We’re confident her trend of getting better each year will continue in 2020. We’re excited to see what’s next!
6. Polly Rusyn
Street photography extraordinary, Polly Rusyn, was one of the first names that came to mind when putting this list of women photographers together. Rusyn travels the world creating compelling street photographs. Color and composition are the core foundations of her work, and she has become a master of utilizing both to make great images. Rusyn was our number one street photographer of 2019: a position she could reclaim at the end of 2020 if she continues to deliver!
7. Hannah Gabrielle More
On the topic of travel, Hannah Gabrielle More is a travel photographer who recently caught our eye. From the UK, yet always working abroad, More has gotten with the times to make her travel photographs. Minimalism is a growing trend in society. Naturally, that extends to the art world too – the pioneer of abstract scenes. From gorgeous sandy desserts to tranquil seas, More’s body of work is calming and a joy to view.
8. Mariangela Serrano
It hasn’t been the easiest of journeys for Mariangela Serrano. That’s part of the reason why it was impossible not to include her on this list of women photographers. Born in Venezuela, and then emigrating to New York, life has disrupted her workflow. But what hasn’t been altered is her talent. Her ability to create a good photograph and tell a meaningful story has remained a part of who Serrano is. Between moving countries, Serrano also left an abusive relationship: something she had to photograph to help heal her wounds. Now in a much better place physically and mentally, we believe Serrano can push on with her talents and gain great success in the field – she deserves to!
9. Nay Jiménez
While food photography gets your taste buds excited, it’s not always the most creative genre of photography – unless you’re Nay Jiménez. Her work is the story of when food meets art, and the results are colorful, unconventional, photographic tales that leave you hungry and entertained. Some of her recent work has really set the standard of what her followers can expect. But like any creative, Jiménez will look to improve on previous work, giving us something new to enjoy.
10. Jenna Shouldice
Jenna Shouldice tells powerful stories. Based on Vancouver Island, Shouldice has already committed to creating photographs that educate and open eyes. In her project, The Labor Process, Shouldice took us into a world that many had never visited. Documenting women going through childbirth, Shouldice was a fine example of how a photographer needs to be able to gain trust, show empathy, and keep a subjects’ dignity when building a narrative. Up and coming documentary photographers can certainly learn a thing or two from her work.
11. Marta Syrko
Ukrainian photographer, Marta Syrko, uses Greek Mythology to inspire her creative juices. Not one to avoid using props, her series on narcissism really caught our eye. With the use of water and mirrors, Syrko created mesmerizing pieces that highlight the infatuation we have with ourselves. Always pushing boundaries, Skyrko is likely to have more creative projects throughout 2020 and continue to be one of the most exciting women photographers around.
12. Phoebe Jane Barrett
Phoebe Jane Barrett is an English portrait and wedding photographer. Moving between her homes in England and Berlin, Barrett is continually looking for tender moments. We’re especially impressed by her ability to photograph love, without making it look forced, but natural and fluid – exactly how love should be. She’s a hard worker and constantly looking to improve and evolve her photographic identity.
13. Katia Repina
“Anytime I want to investigate a new topic I use photography to do so…” says Katia Repina, a Russian born photographer based in New York. She’s certainly a creative detective, and her camera allows her to see into worlds she wouldn’t usually have access to. Her documentary photography challenges societal views, shines a light on taboo, and isn’t afraid of asking difficult questions. She already has a list of successful projects, but with her never-ending thirst to understand, she has many more to come.
14. Selvy Ngantung
Not all photography has to have deep meaning or look to change public opinion. Sometimes it can simply exist as a beautiful piece of art that soothes the person who views it. Selvy Ngantun is a master of soothing, minimal, nature photography. Her black and white frames are perfect for decorating your wall and giving your mind some balance. Ngantun is a highly skilled photographer and one that keeps carving out her identity – we’re sure you’ll agree.
15. Claire Droppert
Another photographer who focuses on the simplicity of our world is Claire Droppert. Droppert is essentially a landscape photographer, but it would not be an overstatement to suggest her work acts as a form of visual therapy. She makes isolation feel comforting and silence feel welcoming. It’s not easy to encourage people to go deeper than “oh, that’s a nice photo,” but with Droppert, her photographs guide you into a more intensified state of thinking. That’s real talent right there.
16. Eszter Sarah
If you like vibrant symmetry, then you’ll love the work of Eszter Sarah. Her niche exists in editorial and brand photography. She has developed a successful career in this field, and that’s due to her clean, consistent photographs that make the people with the big bucks want to use her services. For anyone looking to move into editorial photography, Sarah is a fine example of the level you need to reach. Using a blend of modern technique and an aesthetic of yesteryear, Sarah has found her flow; her work is easily recognizable.
17. Carmen Yahchouchy
Carmen Yahchouchy is a young documentary photographer from Mali. Her work has received support from the Magnum Foundation, highlighting that she’s on her way to be one of the industry’s prominent visual storytellers. Yahchoughy puts her lens on stories of struggle, showing the developed world some of the adversities people have to face every day. Her photographs get right to the point, something that’s vital for good storytelling in documentary photography. Still only young, Yahchouchy has more paths to walk down as her name rises through the ranks in her field.
18. Marina Weishaupt
Sometimes landscape photographers can shoot the obvious: a perfect shape, snow on the peak, and a beautiful lake in front of it. Marina Weishaupt, searches for the exact opposite of that traditional aesthetic, and that’s why we love her work. Weishaupt enjoys the rough, rugged, unique structural elements of earth, aiming to find their beauty and share it with the world. We’ve featured her on more than one occasion. It will be difficult not to include her again if she delivers another awe-inspiring series.
19. Vikki Martinez
Vikki Martinez is an extremely entertaining young photographer. She’s funny, talented, and, most importantly, she’s not afraid of taking risks. Her self-portraits are a clear indication of some of the thoughts that run through her mind. While most would leave them locked inside, Martinez turns them into vibrant, compelling images instead. What’s so great about her is that she never stops creating! “I have too many ideas and wanted an outlet for them,” so we can expect to see plenty more in 2020 and advise you to follow her journey.
20. Tatiana Ilina
Last but not least on this list of thriving women photographers is Tatian Ilina. Her photography has been featured in several exhibitions and galleries around New York, and her stories shared across the internet. Ilina’s photography is extremely heartwarming. It doesn’t focus on the misery of our world (although that’s important) but instead celebrates the achievements of humans. Spend any amount of time with her portfolio, and you will be left feeling like there’s nothing you can’t achieve.
Who Are Your Favorite Women Photographer?
As we said, it was really difficult just keeping this list to 20. Each year more and more talented women photographers show up and take the scene by storm. We want to see more, and we want your favorites. And if you’re a women photographer reading this, don’t hold back on singing your praises. We would be more than happy to check your work out!
All images used with direct or Creative Commons permission.