Is Sexism still alive and well in the Photography Industry?
Recently Nikon released a new camera. It is one that many have been waiting for, the D850. It is the update for the popular 800 series and has been highly anticipated. Nikon Asia naturally wanted to promote the camera and pulled together 32 photographers from around Asia, across many different genres. Nothing really wrong with that, except there was.
Not one of them was a woman.
Apparently sexism in the photography industry is not just in my imagination.
Nikon copped a lot of flack for doing this. Which is to be expected and should happen. It is horrendous that here we are in 2017, 50 years after the 60’s and we don’t seem to have got anywhere. Companies still think their market is men.
Is it because men are designing for men? Is it because the marketing people are men, so they don’t think that women take photos?
Nikon’s response was that they contacted some women but they never responded. Seems they didn’t try to hard. There are a lot of women photographers out there who would have been more than happy to try it out.
It is a band wagon I’ve been on a few times. Women do not get the same recognition in the photography industry as men. You see it all the time. If you look at the ambassadors for Nikon the number of women are far less, and the ones that are there are all portrait, wedding or photo journalists. Apparently women don’t do landscape photography, or anything that doesn’t have people in them. In fact look at Nikon Australia Ambassadors and find they are all men.
Maybe I am bitter. Maybe I have to accept that I am crap and that is the real reason.
I’ve tried hard to get Nikon Australia to work with me, but they don’t want to have anything to do with me. My photography isn’t good enough, my writing isn’t good enough. I don’t know what the issue is. Is it because I am a woman, and an older one at that?
I approached Sony and was told to put in a proposal. I did as requested and was told that someone from Sony would be in touch. That was over six months ago and I’m still waiting.
I recently approached Canon Australia to see if we could work together in some way. It was all looking good and I felt positive that we would be able to work something out. They seemed excited about the direction I was heading in, and I got to write one article for them, but again, was told no thanks. It isn’t the first time. So, the door has been slammed in my face again. Do I need to ask that question, is it because I’m an older woman?
It has to be asked, if I was a man doing the work that I do would more opportunities be open to me? It seems clear they think my work is good. I’ve been told on many occasions my photography is beautiful, but then nothing. I have even been told it is unique and different, but they don’t want that, apparently.
I have tried asking the questions, is it because I’m a woman? Is it because my work is too different? Is it because I’m in my 50’s? I get told it is none of those, but not really told what the problem is.
When I saw all the stuff on Facebook at the release of the D850 I was saddened. I’m very happy that Nikon was held accountable for this decision, though, in many ways it really confirms for us what most of us already knew.
Where does this leave me?
I guess it means I have no loyalty to any of them now. I have ordered the D850 from Nikon Australia, though at the rate they are going with filling orders I won’t get it until next year. I had hoped that I would get it soon so I could start writing about it, but it will be old news by the time I see it. Still, I’m excited about it. It does look like an amazing camera.
NB – The featured image was taken with the Canon 5D Mark IV, a comparison between it and the D800 series, will be coming soon.