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An Open Letter About Sexism, Feminism, and the Industry That I Love So Much

25 thoughts on An Open Letter About Sexism, Feminism, and the Industry That I Love So Much

  1. It goes both ways, i trust her that she’s telling the truth, but men also have issues similar to the ones she described, i experienced a lot of things that weren’t appropriate from the opposite gender. You just suck it up and move forward because 99% of the time you’re not going to be discriminated by anyone and nobody is going to care about what gender you are or about your looks.

  2. Grow up. You are not a victim because you are a woman. If people are not taking you seriously it is because you are not taking yourself seriously and not presenting yourself seriously.

    No one thinks less of you because you are a woman. No one is avoiding doing business with you because you are woman. No one is neglecting to take your money for training and services you probably don’t even need because you are a woman.

    I don’t know you but I wouldn’t work with you. I was mentored by an amazing female photographer. I wouldn’t work with you because you are a professional victim who is making a business out of helping others be professional victims.

    Grow up.

  3. Everyone’s ‘micro-aggressions’ stem from their experiences. It’s like stereotyping- and stereotypes exist for a reason. I’ve lived around a lot of military bases, and 4 out of 5 female ‘professional photographers’ are moms trying to make extra money while not knowing jack about the camera she’s holding. When you have a large pool of photographers who fit into a certain stereotype, the rest of the industry is going to act accordingly to their existence.

    And the kids comments she yes, she works weddings and likely deals with a lot of older folks who lived in a time where the mom didn’t work much out of the home. So it’s not fair to be mad at them for that.

    Mostly, I know and have experienced these kinds of things, but I don’t take offense to most of it. Want to shut people down? Make an amazing business card with a top notch photo of yours and hand it over as you introduce yourself. Proof of experience in someone’s hands usually humbled them.

  4. I browsed through a few comments and I noticed most (if not all) men labeling the author a “victim” or mentioning how women having the upper hand in boudoir and baby photography. I 100% get that, but this isn’t about you though. This is about sexism women feel. The sexism the author (and women photographers) experience is not invalidated now because your gender is used against you in 1 or 2 fields.

  5. You lost me at “micro-aggressions”. Sorry.. Biology. You are offering lots of complaints, no solutions. There are none. You are asking men not to be men.
    But, how do you expect people to respond to YOUR “micro-aggressions”? “I get “Oh you do that, too?” and a sweet coo, as if I naturally photograph babies at most,..” Something wrong with photographing babies, Susan? Those photographers do not deserve respect?
    I have done a couple of weddings, not nearly as accomplished as you, and LOVE when the people tell me the when, where, why, and hows of THEIR location. Wedding planners are awesome for this.. for some reason, many of them seem to be women. Have I gone all of this time without noticing this blatant discrimination? They assume because I am a man that I have never been to a wedding and have to tell me what to do? Women micro-aggressing the hell out of me!!
    Just seems like a smile and correction would go a long way.

  6. Too many people writing articles titled “An Open Letter About/To Blah Blah Blah” I refuse to read it. Sick of all the whining about feelings, aggressions and isms. Life ain’t always fair. People can be jerk offs. Stand up for yourself and say something. Be the brave, powerful, tough smart and talented people you claim to be instead whining to anyone who will listen. If you need to talk to someone might I suggest a therapist instead of throwing yourself a social media pity party.

  7. That big camera store is probably B&H. Witnessed this myself with me and a female friend. Not once did they look at my friend or try to come verse with her even though she was trying to inquire about a new camera. Then the salesman starts making catty comments about us being in a relationship.

  8. I AM confident (egotistical). I AM strong (bombastic). I AM tough (stubborn)… when you introduce yourself as simply “Susan” there’s not much to base a first impression, but introduce yourself as The Photographer and be treated accordingly

  9. Of course the male photographers will come on here say she is complaining and crap. Due to people like you is why she wrote this. I have experienced it as well. I had a male photographer use my work and say it was his. Even taken photo classes and had male teachers talk to me like I am dumb. I have worked with a male photographer as his assistant. He had me run his printer for a photo booth at a wedding, because he wasn’t sure I could do the rest. I go to a photo expo every year and had companies tell me a higher price for a product. Then a man after me gets a lower price. I had a even craziness from other female photographers. A female photographer rolled her eyes at me for talking to her about what she uses. A female photo teacher picked only male photos to display after the class was over. “The women ones just were kinda blah. I was taught by Ansel Adams, they don’t have it.” It happens, women get no respect in this industry.

  10. I see so many men taking this post personally and getting defensive. I think that’s hilarious because you guys are exactly who she’s talking about.

    When asked about possible ideas for future products Nikon’s president recently said “For example it might be an idea to look into making a DSLR that women would find easier to use.” You men know you would be up in a riot if “women” was replaced with “man” You think this is all in our heads because you choose to ignore the evidence right in front of you.

  11. There is a thing called confirmation bias, you look for evidence to support your expectations of reality. A man working in nursing or any other female-dominated profession will face the expectations of others. Culture is slow to change, but it is changing for the better, this article focuses on all the negatives, which there are many, but misses the very real changes in society in favour of equality. The author has clearly experienced a difficult time but no more than a man entering a female-dominated profession. I have only ever taught female photographers in portrait photography and not weddings, but my experience has been that women are on the whole are received better and do a better job than most male portrait photographers. That is a massive change that I have seen change, inside my working career, maybe weddings need a little longer, but they will get there.

  12. Well, one issue or the other may be women based only and defenitly a no-go (e.g. the guy who wants her to photograph her dick) but a lot of the issues she sepaks of, do happen to male photographers as well. I don’t know for example how many times I was asked what about my family and my personal life and what I do about that I dont see my kid so often at weekends when I have to attend to weddings or the thing with the photograph shop in NYC. Even as a male I once and then stumbled about a seller who was an arrogant a**hole. Fact is, that my favorite seller is actual a woman (who is a photographer herself) and I appreciate that.

    So I think its a bit over reacted, not in every case but in a big bunch of them, and if I read this article I feel like she doesnt have a lot self esteem or confidence in herself.

    Dont get me wrong. I won’t say there is the one or the other problem with sexism (or feminism) but it’s not a problem of the business itself, but of some unique persons. And that is a problem which you have in almost every business or job.

  13. It all comes down to respect for others. Unfortunately some will never learn to give it but they sure as heck want to receive it. I must say that I’ve received the lions share of disrespect from men as opposed to from women. The problem is real. The same men who disrespect women are going to deny it every time and try to shift the blame elsewhere. It’s a very selfish mentality. Thankfully not all men think this way.

  14. There goes another one wining. Sexism goes both ways. I was threatened by a mom about sexuald abuse in Dubai because she wanted the raw files of my shot and threatened to take me to jail for it. When all these stupid feminists have gotten the support of men (good human beings) and do agree that not all men are evil…. Then who the heck are you against? Stop this bull crap and carry on with the art of creating images.

  15. #millennialproblems #snowflakeissues

    Par for the course being a photographer.

    You don’t think guys get harassed by drunk brides maids or put into compromising positions as well? We have an entire other issue to deal which is being falsely accused of being pervs , rapists, creeps and weirdos. The older a male photographer gets the worse they are perceived by models.

    I’m transgender and I can tell you it was easier to be a woman photographer than it is to be male.

    As a female I could tell a woman I saw in public that I am professional photographer, hand her a card and ask if she would be interested in doing a shoot.

    You can’t do the same thing as a man without some backlash.

    The point is, it’s a two way street each gender has their own hurdles to deal with as a photographer.

  16. The article is well written. And makes valid points. But it left me wondering why? Why did she write it? What does she want to gain? Without that key info, she is highlighting an issue but offers no solutions. And maybe there aren’t any solutions. But pointing out a problem so thoroughly and not offering a solution is only complaining. I think we all agree there is sexism – rampant sexism. But what do we do? I challenge this author & others to offer solutions.

  17. The NY camera retail/online owners are dominated by selfish people (look at the B&H scandal going on) and also (a lot of times but not always) people who have a certain impression of women that is not accurate beyond their particular section of culture….so I’m not surprised

  18. People making rude and unnecessary comments, how about I don’t know googling the author of this open letter and seeing the accolades she has before commenting. Some of these comments here are absolutely ridiculous!!!

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