While it seems like the photography world is dominated by men, there are many incredible women photographers out there whose photographs not only inspire us, but give us something to aspire to. Not only are they capturing incredible images, but many of them are also using their photography to help make the world a better place. And it’s high time we give some of those women photographers, alongside their work, some recognition as well.
Check out these female photographers’ work on Instagram or maybe even IRL at a gallery or in one of their books.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva might be the best known of all the women photographers we’re featuring here. The Canadian writer, photographer and filmmaker is the founder and CEO of Photographers Without Borders, which connects volunteer visual storytellers with grassroots NGOs around the world to help them tell their stories and achieve United Nations sustainable development goals.
Danielle’s portraits are particularly striking. She tends to have her subjects face the camera directly, illustrating her aim “to connect people to the earth and to each other.”
Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
Based in Stockholm, Lola Akinmade Akerstrom is a photographer and writer published in Travel + Leisure, Outside and National Geographic Traveler. Recipient of the 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year Bill Muster Award, her travel photography is, of course, stunning.
Take a look at her photo series, such as her Intimacy Project, which examines positioning of the eyes of her subjects, and the Fishmongers Project, which captures the lives of fish purveyors in her birth country of Nigeria, in Croatia and in the Seychelles.
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American Nancy Chuang focuses on underrepresented populations in her storytelling, illustrating the lives of the diaspora and focusing on labor and culture. Her background in both journalism and design is evident in her photography. Prior to 2018, she shot almost exclusively on film, developing and printing everything herself.
Nancy has traveled widely and tends to immerse herself in a destination, resulting in photos with meaning and depth. For example, she lived on the border between Thailand and Burma for five years, working with Burmese migrants. A Brooklynite, she’s currently in Ghana for a travel project. She’s had several solo shows, the most recent one in the U.S. was in 2017 and featured her images of immigrant street vendors.
Another of our American women photographers is award-winning travel photographer Sivani Babu. Sivani has what she describes as a “sometimes-unhealthy fascination with extreme landscapes and weather.” She makes the world look unique in her dramatic landscapes, whether it’s her sculptural closeups of Antarctic icebergs, helicopter shots of river patterns or capturing the moment a glacier calves.
She’s been published in BBC Travel, Outdoor Photographer and Nature Photographer. A former lawyer, Sivani is also the co-founder of Hidden Compass, a magazine focussed on travel photojournalism and narrator-driven nonfiction.
Canadian Joann Pai is a food and travel photographer based in Paris. In addition to food and beverage, she photographs hotels, restaurants and destinations. Her broad list of clients, from Nespresso to Relais & Chateaux to Coca-Cola, and her editorial work in CN Traveler, Vogue and Saveur reflect her varied style.
Published in fall 2018 are her two books Eat Like a Local and Aperitif: Happy Hour the French Way. She uses a Fuji Xe2, loving its quick focus, compact size and interchangeable lenses, as well as an iPhone. She also teaches photography workshops -- her tip for food filters is to dial the intensity of the VSCO filters down between three and six, to keep the look subtle.
READ MORE: 9 Food Photography Tips to Make Tasty Treats Look Enticing
Just 24, visual artist Nadia Rompas has a wide variety of work which includes design and fashion. Several of her portraits feature models with their eyes closed, bringing an entirely different feel to the image.
Nadia is Indonesian and had completed her undergraduate degree in Canada and her Master’s in Marketing Communications at the University of Melbourne. Her photography has been featured in Belly Mag, PhotoVogue and Vice.
Winner of Travel + Leisure Magazine’s 2016 Photo of the Year Contest, American Jodi Nasser is a travel and lifestyle photographer. She’s worked with The Sailing Collective, Luxury Collection Hotels and Beautiful Destinations.
Jodi's landscapes are particularly impressive, with both arial and traditional perspectives and vivid colors. Through her photography she aims to be both a storyteller and to connect her viewers to the world.
Drawing on her background as a teacher, American Kirsten Lewis excels in her Day in the Life Sessions. She takes a photojournalist’s approach to a family’s weekend, resulting in what she calls “a documentary about your family.”
Kirsten's approach is to pay close attention to how her subjects interact with each other and to connect with them. Check out her session from Key West. Her black and white images have depth and warmth; you can almost hear the giggles emerging from them.
With her photos, American Marianna Jamadi aims to agitate and capture a moment’s feeling. A writer as well as photographer, her interests are varied. She calls herself a “half Finnish, half Indonesian creative creature.” Her photography portfolio includes travel, fashion, portraits and lifestyle.
Marianna has shot for Vera Wang, Aldo, United Airlines and more. She’s also a teacher who aims to help learners use their photography for storytelling. Examine her work for the patterns she finds and highlights with her images.
This award-winning documentary photographer and Magnum nominee has had her work featured at Staley Wise Gallery in New York, in the New York Times, National Geographic Magazine and with other leading photography outlets. Diana Markosian examines the “relationship between memory and place,” drawing on her Armenian roots and from immigrating from Russia to the U.S. as a young child.
Diana’s ability to vary her style is evident in her Big Sea series, for example.