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19-09-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmrmartinho View Post
Lara Stone said in an interview that she doesnt like to work with female photographers (other than Inez) because they dont have a clear image of what they want for the photoshoot.
it's exactly this! Female photographers tend to be a lot more hesitant/indecisive...they change their minds, aren't sure, etc. Men tend to know exactly what they want - with them it's either yes or no. In the end it's much easier to go with a strong idea and vision than to try and grasp or understand an idea that is ever-changing, being doubted or sometimes even far too complex.

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19-09-2012
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^ And I suppose that's why I find the quality of at least mainstream editorials to be piss-poor, boring, and repetitive, not to mention frequently sexist. For me, they are typically the least interesting part of any magazine.

I think it's possible that women just aren't terribly interested in the idealization (shall we say) of women that is fashion photography.

The part I find odd is that the women in charge of these editorials don't have better taste. I think many of us are amazed that Terry Richardson has the career he does.

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19-09-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aynoray View Post
it's exactly this! Female photographers tend to be a lot more hesitant/indecisive...they change their minds, aren't sure, etc. Men tend to know exactly what they want - with them it's either yes or no. In the end it's much easier to go with a strong idea and vision than to try and grasp or understand an idea that is ever-changing, being doubted or sometimes even far too complex.
Wait a second here; so, you're saying that female photographers (and women?) in general are hesitant and indecisive? On what basis are you making this assumption? On what evidence?

The prevalence of male photographers in the fashion industry, in my opinion, is due to socio-economic factors and has little to do with a lack of talent.

There's definitely a time-lag in place which was alluded to earlier in this thread. The top photographers operating at the moment grew up in a time in which men were offered greater opportunities than women (Demarchelier was born in 1943, for instance.) A female photographer growing up at the same time would have faced far greater pressures than their male counterparts. Women were taught to have different aspirations from men and may have faced prejudice on account of their gender. For these reasons, we're seeing fewer top female photographers. It's not so much that there weren't women around of Demarchelier's generation who had the potential to become great photographers, it's more that their talents were not nurtured.

Hopefully a new generation of bright, female photographers will emerge in the near future. Although we're far from achieving gender equality, hopefully more modern egalitarian values will produce a crop of great female photographers. I believe that the rise of the internet and availability of cameras has levelled the playing field enormously. More people can become photographers and are able to share their work easily online. This is a brilliant development.

I agree wholeheartedly with YoninahAliza's about the sexual nature of many male fashion photographer's work. There is nothing wrong with sexuality in fashion photography. In fact, it's an important part of the art form. The trouble is that the work of some (but certainly not all) male fashion photographers can be sexually exploitative. The work of Terry Richardson et al presents women on a plate, arguably as nothing more than objects. We often forget what a great impact fashion photography has on our society and how it often guides the way in which society views women. If women are so frequently presented through a male lens and are objectified in images, they become sexual objects in the real world. It's disappointing how uncommon it is to see a fashion photography which feature women in control or celebrating their own sexuality.

Do you think that more female fashion photographers could perhaps improve the way in while society views women? Would we see more egalitarian imagery in fashion? As fashionista-ta mentioned, I often find that the women portrayed in some fashion photographs are more commonly conforming to male sexual desires than female ones.

I know that I'm veering off topic here slightly but this documentary about advertisement and it's impact upon gender and race is definitely worth a watch. It was in parts on Youtube but I can't find it. It might also be interesting to expand this debate into why there are so few fashion photographers of colour?



Last edited by mimirose; 19-09-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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19-09-2012
  19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aynoray View Post
it's exactly this! Female photographers tend to be a lot more hesitant/indecisive...they change their minds, aren't sure, etc. Men tend to know exactly what they want - with them it's either yes or no. In the end it's much easier to go with a strong idea and vision than to try and grasp or understand an idea that is ever-changing, being doubted or sometimes even far too complex.
Yeah, I don't think men are more decisive. They just don't share their inner dialogue as much as women do. Because they know that's not how to get your will through. So they are better at getting ahead because the stereotypes that affect them do not detract from advancement.

But what should change? The charge-ahead attitude or the way we perceive strength? Why is strength associated with being obstinate and inflexible?


Last edited by iluvjeisa; 19-09-2012 at 10:00 AM.
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19-09-2012
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I'm not quite sure about that one, men photographers having a clearer point of view than women. I guess this depends on what one wants or looking for. Sarah Moon for example has been in the industry for years. I'm sure men photographers still dominate for the same reasons why there's significantly less women directors out there in the public. The roles were deemed as something men did and I believe some of this attitude still exists today.

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19-09-2012
  21
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Sylvie Malfray is the first female photographer that comes to mind for me.
I've done a little bit of fashion photography and I've been asking myself the exact same question. Why is it that so many men who haven't got the slightest idea about fashion in general take up fashion photography? Most of the ones I know don't even bother to pick up the latest copies of Love/Hunger/you name it. In my humble opinion I think it's rather necessary to be up to date with the latest editorials and try and educate yourself visually, or even better, do some proper research, there are plenty books on the subject.
A bit later I found one possible answer. They honestly hope to hook up with models. I'm serious. I have met quite a lot and most of them (90%) have the same habit of making a move on their models. One of the guys I've met practically lived off this type of ego boost !
Personally, I like supporting the female creatives in this industry, whether they are designers, editors or photographers. And I'm hoping to see more of them in the future.

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19-09-2012
  22
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i'm sorry but to blatantly say that men have a better eye than women,i find horribly offensive. if not,downright misogynistic. i cannot believe anybody would ever say such a thing on a fashion board filled with stupendous women with exceptional point of views and perspectives.

not only is that making a very broad generalisation based on one's gender but that's also like saying that you know every female photog in the world. not every woman is the same just like not every man is the same. there is a little thing called a personality. personally many of the women i know and whose work i've enjoyed over the years have all developed a very distinct vision so to suggest that they're somehow more uncertain or unclear of their ideas,is completely baseless. your judging a couple photographers based on what one or two at the max? that's terribly absurd.

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19-09-2012
  23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimirose View Post
Wait a second here; so, you're saying that female photographers (and women?) in general are hesitant and indecisive? On what basis are you making this assumption? On what evidence?

The prevalence of male photographers in the fashion industry, in my opinion, is due to socio-economic factors and has little to do with a lack of talent.

There's definitely a time-lag in place which was alluded to earlier in this thread. The top photographers operating at the moment grew up in a time in which men were offered greater opportunities than women (Demarchelier was born in 1943, for instance.) A female photographer growing up at the same time would have faced far greater pressures than their male counterparts. Women were taught to have different aspirations from men and may have faced prejudice on account of their gender. For these reasons, we're seeing fewer top female photographers. It's not so much that there weren't women around of Demarchelier's generation who had the potential to become great photographers, it's more that their talents were not nurtured.

Hopefully a new generation of bright, female photographers will emerge in the near future. Although we're far from achieving gender equality, hopefully more modern egalitarian values will produce a crop of great female photographers. I believe that the rise of the internet and availability of cameras has levelled the playing field enormously. More people can become photographers and are able to share their work easily online. This is a brilliant development.

I agree wholeheartedly with YoninahAliza's about the sexual nature of many male fashion photographer's work. There is nothing wrong with sexuality in fashion photography. In fact, it's an important part of the art form. The trouble is that the work of some (but certainly not all) male fashion photographers can be sexually exploitative. The work of Terry Richardson et al presents women on a plate, arguably as nothing more than objects. We often forget what a great impact fashion photography has on our society and how it often guides the way in which society views women. If women are so frequently presented through a male lens and are objectified in images, they become sexual objects in the real world. It's disappointing how uncommon it is to see a fashion photography which feature women in control or celebrating their own sexuality.

Do you think that more female fashion photographers could perhaps improve the way in while society views women? Would we see more egalitarian imagery in fashion? As fashionista-ta mentioned, I often find that the women portrayed in some fashion photographs are more commonly conforming to male sexual desires than female ones.

I know that I'm veering off topic here slightly but this documentary about advertisement and it's impact upon gender and race is definitely worth a watch. It was in parts on Youtube but I can't find it. It might also be interesting to expand this debate into why there are so few fashion photographers of colour?
In response to other posts, just wanted to clarify that I think this field is well behind most others in terms of female participation.

Isn't Demarchelier significantly older than some of his peers--Meisel for instance? The age of the top photographers does skew a little older, but I'm not sure that can explain this.

This situation is a bit analogous to female directors, but there are more than just three or so of those to point to (fewer now than Nora Ephron is no longer with us ).

I think perhaps the problem here is the paradigm. It seems that men are defining what work in this field looks like. I would love to see that change, considering that fashion magazines are made largely by women, for women. I find it ironic, given the known "man-repelling" quality of high-fashion clothes, that fashion photography is still apparently defined by the male gaze.

Do fashion critics ever turn their gaze on fashion photography? It seems to me it could use some criticism, say during the off season ...

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19-09-2012
  24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
I interpret this to mean that the male photographer knows exactly who he wants the woman/model to be, and perhaps the female photographer wants to see what develops toward the theme rather than dictating exactly what is going to happen. In that case the male photographer would have very specific notes for the model. That is far from having a superior eye.

I am not a photographer, but I feel somewhat this way about meetings. I'm not opposed to an agenda, but I'm also not opposed to departing from the agenda either if some good brainstorming occurs. If you discover the whole point of the meeting is invalid, why continue to talk about it? Many men would disagree violently with this viewpoint ... which I see as utterly foolish. Perhaps this is analogous to what Lara is pointing up. And perhaps the female photographers would like her to take some ownership of the process--I don't know.
You're bringing up a good point here (I think). Isn't it "stereotypically" () said that women are more collaborative when they work together, so perhaps these female photographers are hoping to maybe have a more reciprocal relationship with a model on set? I don't know, but it might be something to consider.

It's almost like comparing filmmaking styles, where there are directors who really don't allow for much improvisation and have everything already mapped out in their minds versus ones who give more creative freedom to their actors.


Last edited by blueorchid; 19-09-2012 at 11:55 PM.
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20-09-2012
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fashionista-ta you can say what you want but I'm just stating my opinion in general and not just what I think is happening in my country. I'm from Indonesia and we had a woman president years and years ago, that doesn't happen to a lot of country is it?

I think the same question can be asked why there are more male chef than females? in general females can cook better than males but more males choose cooking as a career than females do
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20-09-2012
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^I'm sorry but I don't understand why you are reducing specific jobs to one gender. Is there really any proof that women are better cooks then men? Or that men are better photographers then women? Obviously much of this is subjective, based on what style of photography you like or what type of food you enjoy, yet when you make such blanketed statements it can reduce people to stereotypes (like women being good cooks). Because, I'm a women and I'm terrible at cooking, and perhaps more importantly I don't want to be pigeonholed into a specific type of career or become a stereotype.

One place that you can see up-and-coming female photographers is Rookie magazine (Tavi's project). What I really like is that they often have younger women not only modeling in the pictures but also behind the lens as well. And they often accept photography taken by amateur girls, just learning the craft, it's rather interesting to see. One of there contributors, Olivia Bee, even did a photography project with Hermes recently (and she's only 18)! So I have to say, it's girls like Tavi and Olivia Bee that give me hope that magazines/editorials/photography won't be like they are now. And that women's voices will be much more prevalent in careers like fashion photography.

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Last edited by YoninahAliza; 20-09-2012 at 02:33 PM. Reason: forgot a word
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20-09-2012
  27
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You can be one if you have some ideas to share...I think.

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20-09-2012
  28
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I'm with BerlinRocks. Men outweigh women in most, if not all, fields, either by quantity or by force/level of influence (modeling). The way a business is designed, the way dynamics to enter that business are shaped, how you stick around, it's all thought for men, or by men, it isn't just about making it in a male-dominated business but changing parameters so that no one has to 'break' through a structure that admits specific behavior but simply be in a level-playing field from the very beginning, and by beginning I'm talking about the way we're brought up (cultural elements that shape how we're to interact as adults, usually following what's expected of women/men).

I respect the focus on the microscopic world of fashion photography but that's merely reflecting where we are as a society, it has nothing to do with whether someone feels more or less, or is indecisive, or more decisive or just has more ideas or talent.. that's surface, the record we're supposed to repeat to ourselves in our professional life in order to explain (and justify, quite evidently) why things are they way they are.

Anyway, back to female photography.. many of my all-time favorite photographers are women (Deborah Turbeville, Sarah Moon, Vanina Sorrenti, Carlotta Manaigo, Lee Miller), I definitely think their approach to photography is remarkably different.. it's more complex for me, it's not really about exploring a certain aesthetic or working with trends (which men respond to quite well imo), there are multiple layers, a yes and a no in the same picture, criticism and tradition, and for the same reason (back to my point on business structure), I feel like that's why they (the ones I listed anyway) are not going to succeed in the same way someone like Meisel has, because what sells, what's expected is molded for someone like Meisel (or anyone who can do the same).

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20-09-2012
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mullet,i think you hit the nail on the head right there about female photogs. and perhaps that's the key.....maybe those women are a bit more complex in their ideals.....defying trends and typical standards that entices that cliched fashion market. but just because you may not understand their aesthetics or their working process,that certainly doesn't give one the audacity to degrade an entire gender by saying men have a better eye. i don't abide by that sentiment one bit...it infuriates me that in 2012 people still have that kind of attitude.

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20-09-2012
  30
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^ I don't think I said it, but what I was thinking about the typical ed is 'one-dimensional.' I would really be interested in hearing from someone in the magazine industry why this same simplistic work is presented over and over again.

I find it interesting that I do really like Steven Meisel's work for Lanvin, and I imagine that must be due to Alber's direction. I find his work for US Vogue stultifying. Yet Irving Penn did really interesting work for Vogue. Perhaps it takes a special genius to overcome Vogue's unrelenting aim for the lowest common denominator?

Perhaps some examples would help ... I would be interested in seeing examples of complex fashion photography by women.

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