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  • Monica Malone

To Show Truth or Pose a Truth - Inspiring Female Photographers Everyone Should Know

I am a photographer. I have considered myself a photographer for many years, but never wanted to fully claim that title. It's hard for me, knowing I've had no formal training and the only reason I know how to compose a photo is because I was a visual artist first. I've been using a Nikon camera since I was 14. It started with just a school assignment, but then turned into a true love. Being able to explore the world and explore all the different ways to capture a photograph is one of my favorite things in the world. With cameras at our fingertips these days, everyone is a photographer. There have been some beautiful photos captured on iPhone cameras and so many people are learning what is the best way to compose a compelling photo - for marketing materials, to be an instagram influencer, or to get the best shot of their friends. There is something special though, about seeing a professional photographers work. The technology has advance so quickly that many photographs these days could look like paintings. Similar to my paintings, I want to be able to tell a story, show and emotion, or just capture some beauty.


Still from SHSU's production of "The Love of the Nightingale"

I wanted to personally research female photographers to know that I am not alone. There are women out there who have paved the way for me and others and I wanted to know who they were. In preparation for my gallery this week, I thought this would be the best time to showcase a few women that I've found that everyone should know about. Quick - can you name 5 female photographers right off the top of your head? I certainly couldn't. These are five women whose work I respect and admire.


I am continuously learning how to self-promote and show my work, but as much as I want to showcase myself, I want to showcase other women's work as well. I love art, and I want to help give other women more space to show their work as well as mine. Here are some female photographers I think you should know! Included are links to their personal websites or more information should you choose to continue to find women's work that inspires you!



5 Female Photographers That Helped Give Me Support for Opening My First Gallery


Ami Vitale


A documentary photographer for National Geographic and a Nikon Ambassador (yay Nikon!), I first discovered Ami through the photograph pictured here on NatGeo's Instagram page. I have always loved big cats and would love the opportunity to photograph them in the wild. This image struck me because it was so calm and peaceful. Documentary photography is something I'm interested in, but that might be many many years and lessons down the road, so for now I love seeing Ami's work and following her around the world via social media.


She too believes strongly in the importance of the story a photograph can tell. And she uses her work to help educate others on the importance of taking care of our world. Her website if full of incredible photographs, including the worlds last male northern white rhino. She is definitely one to keep an eye on, and is now on my list of people I would love to meet and work with.


For more information - www.amivitale.com


Anna Atkins


Anna Atkins gets top nerd status. She studied as a botanist in the early 1800s and is credited as the first woman to publish a book of photography. It was a book for scientific research of different algae (particularly seaweed) but the results look like beautiful art prints ready to hang in any modern home. It is debated if she is truly the first female photographer or not, but there is no denying that Anna Atkins made an impact on the scientific and photography world.


For your viewing pleasure - Public Domain Review

More information - Amazon


Shirin Neshat


One of the most feminist artists in the modern world, Shirin Neshat ( SHEE-REEN neh-SHAHT ) was born in Iran and moved to Los Angeles in 1974 to study art. This was just prior to the Iran Islamic Revolution. I don't know much about that, and it is something we should all do a little research on, but I do know she wasn't allowed to return till 1990. It was then she started her work in photography.


Her focus is women. Being a woman in this world is hard and she brings that to the surface in her stunning work. Breaking down stereotypes and telling the true story of Arab and Iranian women and their power. Her work, however, has never been shown in Iran.


For More information - National Museum of Women in the Arts

Ayana V. Jackson


Jackson graduated from Spelman College in 1999. Her work focuses on the representation of black bodies in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Her portraits are usually studio based, but that makes them all the more striking. The lack of business in the background helps but the portrait in even more of a prominent focus. Often stepping into the role of subject as well as photographer, her work can be seen across of the US as well as in Europe and Africa.


I hope to continue to follow her truly beautiful and outstanding work. The stories she tells are some many don't hear. One of her most notable works is, "African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth" in 2003 - 2005.


For more information - www.ayanavjackson.com


Casey Gardner


Photography by Casey Gardner

An Atlanta local, Casey did my headshots and has done my headshots for the past few years. She is such a gem and in the realm of theatre photography she is regarded as one of the best. Though I may be a little biased, her work is beautiful and she always does her best to capture the best moments of any theatre performance.


She is local to Atlanta and is a great performer as well as a photographer! She is also recently engaged! Keep a look out for Casey, I believe her work will go farther than just Atlanta, but Atlanta is lucky to have her!


For More Information - www.caseymgardner.com






For more female photographers not listed here, check out this incredible list for more. There are more important female photographers than you know.

For more of my personal photography, you can go to my gallery here.


Holding a camera gives me power. It gives all of us power. To show truth, or pose a truth. It's up to the person behind the lens to decide what story they want to tell.


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