Landscapes by Women

I am delighted to have been accepted into Landscapes by Women, a collective of inspiring photographers with a growing presence in the industry.  My fellow members not only have strong portfolios but they also educate, lead tours, inspire through lectures and contribute images and text to prestigious publications here in the UK and beyond.  I am honoured to be in their company.
East Sussex
By why Landscapes by Women?  In this emancipated age, do we really need a group specifically for women?  Landscape photography is a male dominated field. There may be purely practical reasons for this.  Issues of personal safety complicate being out alone with expensive kit in remote locations and low light.  Although there are many exceptions, generally women take the larger role in raising children.  It can be hard to chase the best light when tea has to be made, homework supervised, bedtime stories read.   I can’t count the number of times I have watched beautiful light through the window while cooking dinner.   Chatley Heath
I hasten to add that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I feel privileged to be a mum and consider it the best and most important job I will ever have.   But you can see why landscape photography might favour the men.
British Columbia
However, there are more female landscape photographers now than ever before. Landscapes by Women celebrates that fact and aims to ‘show that regardless of any challenges women face, we can bring unique and compelling images’. I would love it if you had time to visit the website and see for yourself.  You can also find us on Facebook.

27 thoughts on “Landscapes by Women

  1. How true your thoughts are. I feel very grateful to ‘Landscapes by Women’ for the fact they are working so hard to bring this topic to the fore of people’s minds. I always thought there aren’t many female photographers at all, but it seems that there are plenty, who were just hidden way! Look forward to seeing more images!

  2. Interesting, especially since I never considered how parenting impacted one’s photography. My children were long gone before I even bought a decent camera, but I see how this impacts my photographer daughter. Your landscapes are truly inspiring.

  3. Congratulations Rachel. Well deserved. Your work is amazing and inspiring, always a delight to view. Being a mother is the most spectacular job in the world, but like you, I have watched many incredible changes in the light disappear before my eyes while caring for my family. It is a challenge to find the perfect balance of photographing and being available for my family during the best periods of light. That is what keeps life interesting though and pushes me forward! A terrific post with gorgeous images. Blessings, Robyn

    • I might also add that it’s just as frustrating watching scenes go by on the way to work (I could stop on the way home), and looking out of an office window as opportunities came and went as my camera sat in the corner. Please, don’t take this as gripping or criticising. Women are underrepresented in all manner of fields, and I applaud the recognition they are now getting. I’m just pointing out that perhaps one’s responsibilities are less the cause of it, and more in fact to do with other equally annoying reasons.

      • I think that’s fair comment and I take it as such. Life does get in the way for most of us unless we happen to have commissions from loaded clients that allow us to fly by helicopter to remote locations at times of our choice! I am free in the middle of the day, when the kids are at school and you are at work. But for landscape photography, that’s the wrong time of day. My parenting duties take place during the best light, and that’s what I was trying to explain.
        Perhaps there are other reasons for the dominance of men in this field. And, as I acknowledged, I am happy with my life choices. In fact, I feel privileged to have children and a lifestyle that allows me to spend the maximum time with them. They are a joy to me every day and if my husband wanted to swap his career for my role, I would fight him for it! 😉
        I am very glad to have been accepted by the group and am looking forward to working with them. Photography is a solitary occupation. Mostly I like that but sometimes it’s nice to share it with others.
        As for the relevance of the author’s name when viewing an image, well I agree most people aren’t bothered about who took the picture these days. Images are separated from their authors and treated like free content all the time, although I know that’s not what you meant. But that’s a problem for another day and another post.

  4. Lovely landscapes.

    As to ‘Landscapes by Women’ …. I guess we need whatever commercial advantage we can get. Personally, I have no doubts that the work produced by some women in the area of landscape photography is as good as some men’s landscape photography and some men’s photography is as good as some women’s landscape photography. The rest of us (women and men) play catchup.

    I’m not sure what having a family has to do with not being a good landscape photographer – what does, however, is the relationship/life/family balance between partners. Unfortunately, I have to agree some people think their partners are skivvies – in which case it’s the relationship, poor choice in life partner (or shyness in putting the problem on the table to discuss). (I’d love to be out doing some landscape photography now, but DIY and housework prevent me, while the other half is making enough to put a crust on the table).

    • Hi Stephen
      See my reply to disperser above re family and landscape light. I am lucky to have a supportive partner. He worked from home on Friday so I could get down to the coast for a day’s photography and I had an absolute blast! Perhaps the first reason I posited for the relative under-respresentation of women in the genre prevails… I can only guess. But the fact remains that, for whatever reason, there are far fewer women in landscape work. You only have to google landscape photography tours to see that. So I am glad to have been accepted into the group. I have already started making new photography friends, and that can’t be bad!

      • “So I am glad to have been accepted into the group.” – absolutely! Passion is what drives success – joining a group with passion about what they do, people who ‘talk the same language’, can only help reinforce your passion.
        (It is, judging by the group’s title alone, a shame that the group sets out to be discriminatory from the beginning).

        On the question of landscape photography tours… I can’t disagree, as I’ve not done the research you have – perhaps this is the very market for an enterprising group of women to aim for – you have looked for women tour guides, if you have others will have done……a market to be tapped? I have no doubt that nowadays the key to making money out of photography (if that is what drives somebody) is to bring services to photographers – tuition/courses/tours/etc.

        As to your trip on Friday – isn’t it just great to get away to do your thing, on your own, every so often. 100% concentration, go and stop where you will when you want. Brill!

        (Apologies if I’ve taken big stick and stirred things up on your post – not my intention, I just have a thing about discrimination of all kinds – many of us can be on the receiving end every so often).

      • No need to apologise. Stir away! It’s all good humoured discussion I hope. As for your comment about running tours, well let ‘s just say you have hit upon something very topical for me, something big that I’m not yet ready to share, but very excited about!

    • Well, I can tell you, Stephen, what having a family has to do with it. A while back I was enquiring about a potential work opportunity to do with photography, only to be told by a well-known photographer “But you are a mum!”. He certainly didn’t mean that in a malicious way, but I felt like I was slapped in the face. It shows that it is not just what you call ‘poor choice in life partner’ but an attitude more widely present that having children somehow means you cannot make use of the same opportunities than those that don’t have children.

      • It’s never ‘just’ anything.

        As to your gentleman photographer friend, I’m almost aghast (what a muppet). I’m hoping you were flaming after you had thought about it for a while, I hope your attitude now is ‘I’ll prove the idiot wrong!” What if he’d taken a different approach, and asked to see your portfolio – and then told you your portfolio showed you were not good enough? Would that have been easier to bear?
        I don’t know – the last photography job I applied for, I didn’t even make it onto the short list. Why? Probably my age – age discrimination, dire.

        (As an aside, I would think I might enjoy helping out at the local primary school as an assistant teacher – but I will not, as a 50+ balding, overweight guy can you imagine what the reaction would be? Not in this land, not at this time.)

        I don’t think having a family as such has much to do with anything. Nearly all the ‘greats’ I know of and those working in landscape photography who I would recognise as ‘names’ had/have families. To my mind it’s all about division of labour within the relationship. Let’s say one works, one stays home. One at work (away from home) 50hrs a week including travelling, one at home does the family/house thing for 50 hours a week – what’s left is up to the couple to sort out between them, or does one rule the other? Who gets to go fishing all day Saturday? Who does the golf thing Sunday morning?

        Whatever the reason, whatever the pseudo justification, discrimination stinks!

  5. I was a young adult with children during the sexual revolution years – a lot has changed but you have identified an area where there needs to be continuing change. This begs the questions that I have asked for years: why does having children impact women in ways that are different than for men? Safety issues and gender roles continually need to be at the forefront of our discussions.

  6. Agree, Stephen, any kind of discrimination is bad. I suppose there are always what you call “pseudo” justifications and it is sometimes difficult to separate those from some “real” reasons. I guess trying to do so makes the journey even more worthwhile… I have been fortunate recently to have been very much encouraged in pursuing my passion for photography (by both men and women 🙂 and think my own outlook has changed dramatically because of it, for the better I might add. Now, Rachael, your last comment makes me curious as to what you have up your sleeve! Tours for women? One of the other contributors offers something like that, if I remember correctly. I shall certainly keep my eyes peeled!

  7. A delightful and thoughtful post. Just an aside… I think there’s a female running a photo workshop here in Bandon (the Oregon Coast, actually) from South Carolina (I think?) I ran into the group last summer.
    Our list of photo workshops here is growing and I have very mixed feelings about it. But, as you observed, most of them are run by males.

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