In a recent discussion between myself and the other photographers over at the Fine Art Photoblog, the topic of female artists came up. We’re talking about possibly holding another open call for portfolios and it was pointed out that the seven of us are male, as were most of the applicants in round one. It was then also pointed out that I’m male, as is Epic Edits — meaning the writing style, topics, and thus attracted audience.

So… now I’m curious about you, the community members and onlookers. I think it would be interesting to find out just how many guys and gals we have out there. As a writer, I’d like to know if my articles and posts are too male-oriented — who knows, I may be completely ignoring the ever growing group of female photographers!

{democracy:46}

And the poll (questionnaire) from last week is still running and taking suggestions for future topics here on the blog. Currently, most people don’t want to read about a photography topic — they want to know how I juggle my work, home, blog, and photography schedules! So, due to popular demand, you can expect to see a post on the topic within the next week or so… as soon as I find some time to write it.

21 responses


Do you want to comment?

Comments RSS and TrackBack Identifier URI ?

Brian, I will admit this now. One of the reasons I didn’t promote your new photography endeavor when you sent out that pre-launch email is because I took one look and I saw a bunch of male photographers and not one female in sight. I thought to myself, “Great…another all-boys club.”

I’ve blogged about the dearth of inclusion of women in the online photography enclaves. I work hard to include other women in VFXY Photos’ weekly picks. I frequent other women’s photoblogs (although, not necessarily the most “popular” (by mostly male standards).

We women often look at the world in a different way. Unfortunately, that translates to unpopular in most online communities because it isn’t status quo.

I think it would be great if you all included women. I wholeheartedly support that move.

May 13, 2008 9:03 pm

Dawn, it’s great to hear these things from you! This is exactly what the 7 of us are talking about right now. When we do decide to bring on a few more photographers, we’ll be seeking out some female photographers that we know and ask them to give it a try. We’re also talking about bringing in a well-known female photographer or artist to help us judge the entries and keep our male-selves in check.

May 13, 2008 9:10 pm

I don’t feel that you have a male centric site. I am a female and I am not bothered about anything at all. I never feel left out of any of the sites I go to and see. I just want to sit and absorb all the information that is being posted on photography so that I can become a better photographer myself.

May 13, 2008 10:29 pm

Well that’s also good to hear! I’d feel kinda bad if the site was turning away women because of my own writing.

May 13, 2008 10:36 pm

Being a male, I would’t mind seeing the demographic flip flopped. There are too many male photographers. :-)

May 14, 2008 12:46 am

Brian,

I hardly know the gender of the writers whose websites I frequent. Epic Edits, yes – along with a few others… but I don’t really notice in my daily internet wanderings… If anything is inclusive or exclusive, it is subconscious, and if anyone finds your website, it is because of being “excessively” conscious about gender differences.

I disagree with Dawn in that, if female photographers want to be recognised, all they have to do is step up.

I don’t see that a tonne of people are going to be discriminatory on the internet (were we are mostly anonymous)! If it were not for my picture on some social media websites, I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t know whether Susheel was a male for female name!

I encourage female photographers, but would not go out of my way to do so. This is all in the interest of “equal opportunity”. Why give the female gender and undue advantage if they’re not interested?

If you want the cup, step up and drink! I’ll not deny anyone that… but I’m not going to walk down the corridor and hold it out to you just because you’re female.

P.S. – I hope that this does not cause controversy, I’m just expressing my views. I’m not biased (i hope) I’m just being fair in the only way I know.

May 14, 2008 1:23 am

Awesome points Susheel! And yes, we’re also having these same discussions and ponderings between the Fine Art Photobloggers. When the time comes to bring in new photographers, we want to encourage the ladies out there, but we also have to be careful not to bias ourselves in any one direction just for the sake of diversity.

May 14, 2008 2:12 am

I agree with Susheel, isn’t positive discrimination the same as discrimination? I’m male but I really don’t have a feeling this is a male only blog, just as for instance flickr is a male only community. I really don’t care whether a picture is take by a man or a woman, or if an article is written by a man or a woman. Now that I think of it, how about newspapers? I often don’t know if the writer of an article is male or female and it’s not something that makes a big difference to me…

May 14, 2008 3:39 am

Well i can honestly say that i thought it was another boys club when you started Fine Art Photoblog, just as Dawn previously said. You do need to spice it all up with nice female’s photos.
As for the blog content, i am pretty happy. There is no such thing as male or female orientated articles.
Even outside of the internet there are more male photographers than female. So no wander males are most of your readers.

May 14, 2008 4:25 am

Hi Brian,
Being a female visitor to your website, I don’t find your content to be discriminatory against female photographers. I found – and now follow – your site because I am interested in learning about photography and you write content that is engaging and educational for professionals and enthusiasts alike. It does not bother me whether this info comes from a male or a female, I simply want to learn and improve. However, if my first visit resulted in nothing but photos of cars and football, for instance, I would most likely have clicked away and not re-visited!
I am interested and pleased to see that you and your fellow photographers at the Fine Art Photoblog are recognising that it currently lacks female participation. And it is not “reverse discrimination” to do so. Even in this online environment there are female bloggers who have been discriminated against which is very sad to see.
So thank you for bringing this up – it’s good to discuss.

May 14, 2008 5:08 am

What a coincidence! Yesterday, at a web development blog I visit, the author asked the women who visit to post a comment, since he also felt his followers were mostly male. I’ve discovered that on many of the forums and blogs that I visit, the majority of subscribers, people who comment, etc. are men.

Not sure if it’s just the sites I visit, if it points to men being more open to asking questions/posting comments, or if it truly means there is a larger majority of men vs. women visitors.

I agree with Anthea, that the content you write is not discriminatory toward men or women. I visit because I find the material interesting, the photos compelling, and the discussion entertaining.

May 14, 2008 7:07 am

hi,

i’m Belgian women, so sorry for my english.

I don’t mind the manlyness of websites, photography is very technical, so it’s normal men are more common phographers. If women like to take photographs they must have some manly genes or something. i myself studied cartography (also a manly business) and find myself more interessted in technical stuff.

by the way, it’s great fun to be the only female photographer at a sport event, the male winners on the stage always look into my lens even though there are 20 other lenses pointed at them (i must confess that i use some female features at my advantage ;-))

May 14, 2008 7:18 am

I don’t think your articles (or site overall) are too male oriented. I think if it weren’t for your photo and name on the posts, I’d be hard pressed to say whether the author was male or female (you really can’t assume anything online). That being said, I do think that males tend to focus more on the technical aspects of photography and maybe that is why your site seems to draw more male input.

Like others, I don’t hold any gender bias on much of anything – books, articles, blogs, art. I don’t make a point of seeking out content written from the female perspective even though I am female. Honestly, I don’t even notice or wonder about the gender of who creates what. It’s really not what’s important – engaging content can come from anyone, anywhere.

May 14, 2008 9:27 am

regarding the pic… is kinda stereotype the alien! because it was the shortest among all… xD

May 14, 2008 10:42 am

Wow, it’s great to see so many ladies dropping comments on this one! This is turning out to be an interesting discussion with many people voicing similar thoughts on the topic of “gender on the Internet”. I’m also kind of surprised to see that nearly 1/3 of the readers are female — that number has been fairly constant as the poll goes on.

Let me also say a few things so that there are no assumptions or implications. When we decide to bring on new photographers to the photoblog, entries will be judged only on artistic merit. I’m all for equal opportunity, but I don’t support “reverse discrimination” (meaning no extra points for being a minority). The equal opportunity will be in the form of everybody having the ability to submit a portfolio for review as equals. Sure I’ll be encouraging a few female photographers to throw their portfolio in the mix, but I’ll also be encouraging some male photographers whose work I equally enjoy.

One other thought on the outcome of the first round of Fine Art Photobloggers… the intent wasn’t to create a “boys only club” — it just happened that way. If you look back at the original 30 entries, I believe we only had 2 females present their portfolios (maybe 1 or 2 others — some of the internatinal names are a bit tricky for me to figure out). If we had 15 women in the mix, I’d expect that several of the finalists would be female. But that wasn’t the case.

Great discussions gang! Keep it going!

May 14, 2008 11:01 am

Art is genderless I say. As far as like looking at a fine art image, you don’t say to yourself, I wonder if a guy did this, or a woman did this one. It’s who did this, and how can I see more of their work. You just keep doing what your doing Brian. :)

May 14, 2008 1:48 pm

This is a great discussion and I’m glad to see it taking place. For those who don’t know me, I’m a member of the Fine Art Photoblog and first presented this topic to the others for discussion. It looks like the thought of “boys club” has passed through the minds of some of our readers and that was my initial fear. Personally, I’d love to see an even playing field across the board, but I also agree with others in that those who do not step forward can’t rightly be considered. So, my only question is where’s the next Imogen Cunningham or Sally Mann? :-)

May 14, 2008 2:19 pm

Funny you should bring that up !

I NEVER thought about gender when thinking photography nor when reading your blog.

I admit I have thought however how a women can handle a gear that weight as much as a 1D with a long lens. But it was more from a physical perspective

May 14, 2008 6:01 pm

Brian, I love this site for the way it doesn’t discriminate against me as a new photographer. I certainly don’t feel in any way excluded or discriminated against because of being female. Now, if the site had a predilection for ‘artistic female nudes’ then I might get bored really fast.

The point of gender equality is to take gender out of the decision-making process when weighing value. If your contacts, collaborators and readers are predominantly male, then so what? This is a site dedicated to photography and – thankfully – creativity, skill and artistic vision are not dependent upon the contents of someone’s underwear. Nor their skin colour, ethnic origin or their mobility.

Carry on as you are with a site that is intelligent, inclusive and informative. Please, please, don’t get sucked into tokenism.

May 15, 2008 5:26 am

I have never noticed a bias on your website. I think that if you had one I would pick up on it, at least subconsciously, and not visit as much. I never thought about whether bloggers are male or female although looking at my feed reader I see now that a majority of the sites I follow are written by men. However I run a Flickr group that routinely has local meet-ups and there are usually more women than men in attendance.

One thing that will turn me off very quickly is if you start writing articles directed towards women.
“10 ways to improve your photography with things from your purse.” LOL. Well not that, but you get the idea. Keep up the good content, as has been your hallmark, and everyone will be happy.

This IS a very interesting discussion and I look forward to reading more comments.

May 15, 2008 6:29 pm


Comment now!