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The Photographers Group

A new group founded by Dr Monica Ann Walker @MonicaAnnWalker that looks to celebrate, educate and highlight the works of female photographers throughout history. This is a non-discriminatory group that is completely free and open to all and everyone. This group meets every other month.

The next PhotograpHERS meeting will take place on Tues 9th July 2024 at 7:00 PM in Gallery 1885 at The Camera Club.

Vivian Maier Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg

Objectives of the group

The PhotograpHERS group will have 5 key activities they will engage in at their meet-ups. The group is open to external speakers and the general public and will base it's meetings on the following:

Historical Context

Extraordinary female photographers have paved the way for future generations despite societal barriers. In the 19th century, Anna Atkins, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lady Clementina Hawarden, and Gertrude Käsebier broke new ground. 

Throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, women like Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, Diane Arbus, Annie Leibovitz, Vivian Maier, Sally Mann, Cindy Sherman, Mary Ellen Mark, Martine Franck, and Eve Arnold continued pushing photographic expression.

Scientific Merits

Photography has long intertwined with scientific endeavors. Anna Atkins published "British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions," pioneering the use of cyanotypes for scientific illustration. Berenice Abbott visualized scientific phenomena, making complex concepts accessible to a wider audience. Additionally, photographers like Constance Fox Talbot, Rosalind Franklin, Imogen Cunningham, Ruth Bernhard, Maria Sibylla Merian, Rebecca Norris Webb, Barbara Bosworth, Cristina Mittermeier, and Erika Larsen made significant contributions to various scientific fields through their work.

Political Significance

Photography's power to expose societal issues and ignite political action is indisputable. Female photographers like Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, Susan Meiselas, Lynsey Addario, Lee Miller, Gerda Taro, Jill Freedman, Letizia Battaglia, Donna Ferrato, and Carolyn Cole documented and advocated for change, informing public policy and raising awareness of global conflicts.

Artistic Merits

Female photographers have consistently contributed to the aesthetic evolution of photography. Diane Arbus revolutionized portrait photography by challenging conventional beauty standards. Annie Leibovitz captured subjects through unique visual storytelling and signature lighting techniques. Additionally, Francesca Woodman, Graciela Iturbide, Nan Goldin, Lorna Simpson, Shirin Neshat, Rineke Dijkstra, Zanele Muholi, Carrie Mae Weems, Barbara Kruger, and Helen Levitt produced thought-provoking, deeply personal work that has reshaped the boundaries of the medium.

Major Discussion Points

Appreciating these influential female photographers requires open discussions about their work, historical context, and obstacles faced in a male-dominated field. We must challenge the traditional canon of photographic history and question prioritized voices.

Our Commitment

As members of The PhotograpHERS group, we pledge to:

  1. Conduct research on female photographers.
  2. Promote educational resources and programs focused on their achievements.
  3. Foster a diverse and inclusive environment for discussion and analysis.
  4. Advocate for recognition and representation in cultural institutions.
  5. Encourage participation and mentorship of aspiring female photographers.
  6. Engage in ongoing dialogue about women's evolving role in photography.