The rise of female fashion photographers
Fashion photography has always been dominated by men. However the times might be changing especially in the light of the recent allegations against some of the most influential male photographers. The majority of big fashion campaigns would traditionally be awarded to males in their 60’s or 70’s who have made their name photographing nudity (at least to some extent). In the past, models would not speak about any advances from a celebrity photographer if they didn’t want to jeopardise their modelling career. We are living in a new era - one in which is ok to speak up if you are taken advantage of and quite rightly so.
For female fashion photographers it is harder to make a name in the fashion industry - just think how many big fashion photographers you can think of who are women? Even the most famous female photographer Annie Leibovitz is a celebrity portraiture photographer rather than fashion photographer. I believe that female photographers can bring to photography something unique and can connect to subjects in a different way. Often photographs created by women photographers can be more emotive with less sexualisation of the subject.
Millennials changing the future of fashion photography and women photographers, the game-changers are on the rise
I believe with the new millennial generation, the fashion photography will have to adapt to appeal to this demographic group which still consists of unique individuals. I don’t think ostentatious images of affluence and glamour is what this generation likes anymore. Emotive images with a story behind a brand that is socially responsible and authentic is more likely to catch their attention. They have different attitudes and behaviours to their parents and their preferences are likely to transform the fashion industry including photography. They are more reluctant to compare themselves to sexualised images in the media than the previous generation. They want to see authenticity which cannot be achieved by treating models as hangers / subjects but unique individuals with a personality. The drive for equality (with regards to gender and age) will also mean the rise in interest in younger female photographers and images that convey emotion; make them feel something. In the light of many allegations against male photographers it might also be less risky in terms of potential reputational damage to hire women for a change? Can 60 or 70-something males really understand this generation especially women or would brands be better off hiring photographers who are closer to this generation?
Zuzana Breznanikova is a fashion and portrait photographer based in London. Follow her on Instagram: @breznanikova.photography