Through their sheer talent, dedication, and commitment to the field of photography, these eight women are redefining the predominantly male industry. According to Fashionista.com, in 2017, out of 153 magazine covers from top fashion magazines, only 13.7 percent were shot by females. While this statistic might surprise you, these are the female photographers paving the way for the industry’s future generations, providing content that goes well beyond the norm.
Each one of these women was selected for her unique voice and creative vision. From their remarkable experiences with editorial photography for popular magazines to the stories told through singular images, the talent of each woman is evident. We salute the inspiring women who are revolutionizing the photography industry for the better. Cover image shot by Felicia Simion, available here.
Damola Akintunde “utilizes visuals as a form of expression of the self;” her self portraits are a reflection of herself and her story as a Nigerian-American female. She wants to allow for people’s self-perceptions and actual appearances to mesh as one by turning them into art forms. Akintunde studied both psychology and medical anthropology, which she hopes will allow for her to better comprehend the human condition through her photographs. Her self portraits are highly captivating, expressing her strength, confidence, and beauty. Akintunde also has editorial images in her portfolio, full of striking photographs with thoughtful and intentional color schemes. Her photographs and work have been featured in Click Magazine, The Core Magazine, Vogue Italia, and more.
Weronika Izdebska, a Poland-based photographer, plays with shadows, the absence of light, the presence of dark imagery, and a feeling of mystery in her thought-provoking images. The intentional blurring, reflections, and positioning of models in her photographs allow for each photo to tell a different story. Izdebska’s photographs are hard to look away from, as they captivate the attention of their viewers instantly.
Gelardin and Hogben are the co-founders of Lobster Eye, a creative studio for the fashion and music industries. The striking images and film created by the studio are provocative, beautiful, and nothing short of bold. The two photographers have worked with numerous well known celebrities and brands, along with publications such as Dazed & Confused, AnOther Magazine, and LOVE Magazine. In addition to producing still content, the studio produces gif-style films that fall on an eclectic scale ranging from confusing (in the best way) to explosively colorful and breathtaking.
Powers is mainly known for her editorial photography, done for various magazines such as Muse, Dazed & Confused, Interview, and Garage. Powers has the ability to turn anything simple into a piece of art, from a random building, to plain mirrors and windows. Powers captures completely different emotions, styles, trends, and moods, depending on the magazine that she is shooting for.
Agnes Kotwinska’s multifaceted career highlights her many different roles, as she is a filmmaker, photographer, creative media producer, and art director. From her natural and candid photographs of street style during London Fashion Week in 2015, to her more serious tone for a Burberry campaign, Kotwinska’s voice and talent shine through. With the combination of her stunning photographs and her editing, Kotwinska conveys so many different emotions. Her website and portfolio showcase all of her stunning work and collaborations.
Celine Pannetier is a storyteller through her photography; she captures people’s candid faces and movements, as seen particularly in her “visitors” collection in her portfolio. People seem to be unaware that their photo is being taken, as their natural expressions are caught on camera. Her caption for the collection, “They came to visit and might stay one day, two, one month, half a lifetime maybe...” is thought-provoking, and brings into question what each photographed person’s story really is. Pannetier heightens the viewer’s interest with her playful use of shadows and color while maintaining distinct themes within each collection.
Ruth Ossai, raised in Nigeria, uses her roots as inspiration for her photography. Her studio photography is all largely focused on her African heritage, as she wants to express the dynamic nature and natural beauty of her people. Ossai’s photos are vibrant and bright, in order to give each person a unique narrative that reflects their own identity. She seeks to empower her community, and to capture the effortless beauty of all of those that she photographs. One of her most famous projects was her fashion film titled “Unity is strength,” again following the theme of maintaining a strong community.
Felicia Simion’s photography is obscure, emotional, beautiful, and simply artistic. Her editing style creates optical illusions and meshes art with reality to produce visually appealing images. In addition to her stunning works behind the camera, her creative talent is shown in her ability to turn anything into art; her portfolio includes an image of the same grocery bag turned six different ways, quite literally turning trash into art. She also has a separate collection with just black and white photos, which features more portraits and emotions than the colorized collection. Simion’s website itself is an artistic masterpiece, where you can browse all of her photos for hours.