In honour of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating women in photography whose work we love. These inspirational women vary from the iconic and commercially successful, to up-and-coming photographers who are well worth watching.
As all good photographers know, finding a subject you’re passionate about is the key to unlocking your best work. These photographers all have a very different muse, and their own unique artistic style. So whatever your tastes are, we hope someone here will inspire you to pick up your own camera.
Holly Andres is a fine art and commercial photographer from the USA. Her images are dynamic and compelling, and this talent has won her commercial shoots and editorial assignments with the likes of the New York Times Magazine and Vanity Fair, but it’s her fine art images that have really grabbed our attention.
Holly’s personal work most commonly explores the themes of childhood, flawlessly executed in a sharp film noir style reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock. Each shot feels cinematic, and styled with a retro vibe that exudes an odd familiarity. She has the uncanny ability to tell a rich story through her photographs, with small details often revealing further elements of the narrative.
Wander into Holly’s website and get lost in her work.
Marianne Harris is a pro music photographer from the UK, who specialises both in band portraits and live music photography. She’s taken her camera and her passion for live music to countless festivals and shows, snapping a huge range of artists and bands; from Pink and Tinchy Strider, to Paramore and Skunk Anansie.
Take a look through Marianne’s portfolio and you can see how well she works with the notoriously difficult shooting conditions of live music events, navigating strobe lights and smoke machines to capture the moment. In other shots, she’ll be deep in the crowd, or right up on the stage, getting so close to the artists you can almost feel the speaker vibrations.
Experience the energy of Marianne’s photography over on her website.
Jo-Anne McArthur is an award-winning Canadian photojournalist, author and animal rights activist. She is widely known for her “We Animals” photography project, which documents human relationships with animals over all the world.
Jo-Anne’s love of animals is a clear, driving force behind her work, and it shines through in every shot she takes. The “We Animals” project puts a sharp focus on the interactions between humans and other animals, both the good and the bad. She captures everything from the harsh realities of factory farms and bullfights, to affectionate moments between devoted companions. Her work is emotive but not for the faint of heart; it swings from the hauntingly sad to the intensely hopeful, and pays tribute to those who dedicate their lives to helping animals in need.
See more of Jo-Anne’s passion for animal welfare at the We Animals project.
Tabitha Boydell is a UK-based artist who specialises in fine art photography. With a penchant for fairy tale themes and a love of elaborate flowing gowns, she works with creative flair and a distinctive style.
Tabitha’s photography has a whimsical edge that is instantly recognisable. She often plays with harsh juxtaposition; gorgeous flowing gowns and elegant models, set against the decaying backdrop of dilapidated buildings. In her photography, the location works as hard as the model does, whether it’s a wide open field or the crumbling bricks of an urban building. The end result is as dramatic as it is beautiful.
We couldn’t compile this list without including Anna Atkins; the lady who invented the photo book. She was a British botanist born in 1799, and she published the very first book to be illustrated with photographic images in 1843. Anna used cyanotypes (sometimes known as “sunprints”) of the plants and algae she studied to illustrate her book, “Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions”.
The process required using an iron compound known as “Prussian Blue”, which acts as a light-sensitive pigment. This gives the impressions their striking blue colour. The method was invented by John Herschel, but it had previously only been used to make copies of written documents. It was Anna who saw the potential of this new technology to capture the beautiful intricacies of the plants she studied.
Her work was groundbreaking, and she paved the way for future use of photography in scientific publications. But her photography is also aesthetically fascinating; her ability to make algae look beautiful and artistic is a testament to the value of photographing the things you’re passionate about. Even the most seemingly mundane subjects can look stunning when captured through enthusiastic eyes, and Anna knew that those photographs you’re the most proud of deserve to be put in a book and shared.