Lady Photographresses

Over the last few years, I have noticed more and more female photographers on the sidelines at sporting events. (I began noticing this trend before I got my own digital SLR, so it’s not just a case of me noticing it more once I had an interest.) I wonder why this is.

Could it be the inroads into locker rooms that female journalists have made over the two decades? Perhaps, but I doubt that is a significant factor given the presence of other women in the stands and on the sidelines.

Could it be that the owners and producers are pandering to their mostly-male audience? I think not as cheerleaders are a pre-existing and more direct attempt at that.

Could it be the advent of digital photography? I’m sure feminists would dismiss out of hand the idea that the mechanical and chemical aspects of film photography were barriers to women entering the field. Without arguing nature versus nurture, I don’t buy that argument, if for no other reason, due to the large number of young ladies in my high school photography class (mumble) years ago.

My completely unsubstantiated hunch is that it’s the change in the economics of photography, driven in part by the change in the technology of photography, that has changed the demographics of the photographers. For example, I suspect that ten or twenty years ago the news services, newspapers, and magazines were the only employers of or buyers from sideline photographers. Now there are web sites and blogs that publish photos yet don’t pay like the others. Not only publishing via the web, but publishing via prints has become cheaper. These seem like fundamental changes to the forces at play. My guess is that the photography economy has undergone, and continues to undergo, upheaval.

I still think it’s cool that there are more female photographers.


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