Nature Photography: Where Are the Women?

It’s an undisputed fact; there are fewer women in the arena of nature photography than there are men. But why? Do men bring something special to the arena? Or is it simply a stereotype that this is a man’s profession? There doesn’t appear to be a clear reason for the disparity between the numbers of men and women in this profession.

Let’s dig a little deeper. What are the necessary traits and skills that are actually required of a nature photographer? Imagine the following advertisement:

WANTED: Nature Photographer

Must have:

A love of nature and adventure

Skill with a camera and computers

A creative and artistic eye

Story telling and writing skills

Willingness to persist through difficult challenges

Tolerance and enjoyment of outdoor conditions and all sorts of weather

Business savvy and marketing abilities

Patience and a collaborative personality

None of these qualifications are gender based. They are a diverse set of skills that encompass the profession of nature photography. Who says that men possess these talents in greater numbers than women do? Why has this imbalance occurred?

Let’s Learn the Facts and Bust These Myths

Women aren’t delicate flowers.

We give birth.

Women are in the military, right alongside male colleagues, carrying heavy combat gear and enduring challenging weather, long hours, and physical battle.

Women are 50% of our astronaut force.

Women work on oil rigs and fight fires.

Women captain ships on every sea.

Women climb Mt. Everest. In fact, 536 women have reached the summit.

Clearly, women are as capable as men of being successful professional nature photographers. So, if the profession is so gender neutral, then why are there fewer women? We believe that there are multiple, complex factors at play, but there are a few components that seem to matter most.

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