Before we get started, close that After Effects window, put down your Nikon, ask yourself, "Do I REALLY need to ever pick this up again?”, and let’s open up a conversation.
Firstly, I get it. I totally appreciate that when it comes down to it, there just ARE more guys buying cameras than girls.
That’s cool. Nothing wrong with that.
Growing up, every creative field that I felt pulled to was dominated by men and honestly, this never phased me in the slightest. I loved the idea of being this badass girl-nerd who was more than comfortable being in a place where she was a minority. It was almost a chance to ‘prove myself’ and put my thick skin to the test.
Fast forward to now, I’m starting to realize how damaging the lack of female representation, particularly in the camera world, can be.
Due to it’s nature, there’s always going to be an uneven ratio in this type of industry, and whilst I think it’s great to be encouraging more women to get into these fields to “even out” that ratio, I don’t think that this ‘unevenness’ is necessarily the problem.
There are plenty of insanely talented girls powering their way through their own journeys of being creative professionals - and we all know that journey is brutal enough, no matter your gender.
These women face very real consequences in this industry that aren’t getting enough attention, and that’s where the problem lies.
This lack of representation isn’t so much a problem for us women in the industry as it is for the outside world and those potential clients who are looking to hire us. Yes, it would have been awesome if I was exposed to more female badass creatives when I was growing up, but I powered through and fought my way into the industry anyway so that’s not where my qualms lie.
The fact that women aren’t shown as the face of the industry enables the narrative that males know their way around a piece of tech or equipment or software more than females, which as you can imagine, ain’t great for us gals.
In my relatively short time as a freelance photographer, videographer and web designer, I’ve been purposefully underpaid, undermined, regularly patronized and excluded from vital project discussions. Young females who have built their own creative businesses from the ground up really do have to fight for respect in fields that they are LITERALLY professionals in. We are constantly drawing the short straw with people trying to profit off us, use us and manipulate us, just because, in their eyes, we can be pushed around.
I know this is only a fraction of mistreatment that is still very prominent in our general society, and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being surrounded by so many talented guys doing their thing. It definitely makes for more of a challenge which I’d accept any day of the week. As a female, if you’re good at what you do, it can sometimes even play to your advantage, as you can often stick out like a sore thumb.
THAT BEING SAID…
Next time you’re doing a ‘follow-friday’, or a series of shoutouts on your Instagram (whatever the kids are calling it these days), make sure you feature some badass female creatives in there.
Give those badass girls the same attention you give to Peter McKinnon (sorry Sam Newton) or Sam Kolder. Just don’t be creepy about it, because that sh*t don’t fly.
Thank you for dropping knowledge and providing a fresh perspective Lois. This is what it's FX'n about!
Check out more of Lois' writing at www.auburnroe.com
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