I photographed a professional networking event the other day, and it was better than usual. This time I only got harassed by five adult men, instead of like ten.
There’s this thing with female photographers and how we are treated. In my experience, there have been many positives, but also many negatives.
Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite moments of being a photographer have been photographing the bride getting ready at 5am or being able to style models’ makeup and hair with my own experience in these fields. However, those are just small moments that don’t make up for the harassment that women have to go through in the industry.
I am not a sob story, but we also are not weak. I’ve had so many experiences of adult men trying to tell me how to do my craft, or “if I know how to use that camera?”
What makes these older men think they can walk all over us? Besides the superiority complex set up by men in power, women are told to keep quiet and stay polite, but ladies, it’s time to fight back.
Use powerful phrases and stand up for yourself and the rest of the professional women in our art.
It’s not only men, but it’s people in our small hometowns, our family members, our friends, and it can be anyone out there challenging us.
Dear Female Photographers, Stand up for yourselves and our community.
Here is my advice for things you can respond:
When they ask…
“Do you even know how to use that camera?”
Yes, I do. In fact, I bet I could show you some cool features of it.
Stand up for yourself, but then show an open mind, an invitation to learn, and to prove to ignorant minds that you are excellent at what you do.
When they say:
“Oh yeah, I’m a photographer too, I used to…. (Rant)”
“You interrupted me while I was trying to explain my passion. That’s cool that you shoot as well, but let me finish.”
When the creepy guy on the street photo bombs your model, and says “CAN I BE IN THE PHOTO?”
You say, “That’s not funny, I’m trying to work.”
When a creepy adult at an event/wedding/gig asked to see the photo you took, show them if you want, but if they start touching your arms, hands, camera, or rubbing your back, demand them not to touch you. You are a professional and tell an authority figure or event coordinator that they were being inappropriate.
If they ask if they can take a photo of you, you can say no. If they ask anything you are uncomfortable with, you can say no. Every single time.
Everyone can learn to say no to people who challenge you. It can be scary to say no or stand up for yourself, but it’s so worth it.
This is your passion, your art, your creativity, your work , and don’t let harassment stand in your way.