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To coincide with International Women’s Day, this March 8th, in this article I’m sharing a list of inspiring female photographers, as recommended by members of my online community and Facebook group.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list (there are so many incredible female photographers out there!), but my intention is to shine the spotlight on some of the women who are considered by some to be leading the way in the photography industry.

The common thread between all of these women is that they have been recognised by fellow photographers for the great work that they do. That may be in relation to their business success or their pioneering spirit, or in other ways such as how they inspire or support other photographers.

Let’s celebrate female photographers

My hope is that if you are interested in discovering female photographers who are well-worthy of a follow, then this list will give you some useful recommendations.

Let’s support each other and recognise the incredible talent, passion and professionalism of some of the women within the international photography community this International Women’s Day and beyond!

Inspiring female photographers as recommended by YOU!

In alphabetical order, here are the nominated female photographers:

Click on their name to go to their Instagram handle or website.

Andrea Whelan

“Andrea has an amazing eye and her style is very unique, she’s a trendsetter rather than a trend follower which is quite rare in the photography world. I love her candid takes on baby and family photos, her images are vibrant and full of life.”

The words of Stephanie Belton of Stephanie Belton Photography

Anna Hardy

“Anna has been my mentor since I started out in business. She’s really knowledgeable, supportive and experienced in everything photography business-related.”

The words of Hannah Brooke of Hannah Brooke Photography

Annie Liebovitz

“Vienna, the summer of 1993. I was a student on a German course as part of my language degree and was fortunate to have afternoons free. So my friend Fiona and I would explore the nooks and crannies of the city. We stumbled across a little art gallery in a local church that had a photography exhibition on. I knew nothing about photography, didn’t recognise the name of the photographer, but liked looking at pictures so in we went.

We entered at the same time as the exhibitor who was about to do a talk about her work. She was an earnest-looking American woman with wispy hair and glasses and walked around the gallery talking about the photographs filling in the stories behind the shoots – the one and only Annie Liebovitz. I was totally hooked.

Not only were the photographs amazing but the stories behind them were spine-tingling fascinating – her dad taking her to the airport, how she got Whoopi Goldberg in a bath of milk, or spending an afternoon photographing John and Yoko hours before he was killed.

Inspirational because of the breath-taking quality of the images, the generosity of her knowledge sharing, and the fact that she made it all sound so ordinary and natural that anybody could do the same….(not likely!).

The words of Andrea Thornton of Andrea Thornton Photography

“The fact that she is a household name speaks volumes. With a career that started of working for Rolling Stone magazine and photographing The Rolling Stones on tour there was no looking back for Annie. Her style developed into the go to portrait photographer in the late Eighties and Nineties. Mixing flash and ambient light to create images with strong narratives and drama that popped off the page in magazines and the walls of galleries.

Still photographing today with a recent retrospective of her fashion work, she has certainly made her mark as a celebrity photographer who is a celebrity in her own right!”

The words Marcus Ahmad of Marcus Ahmad Photography

Barbara King

“I admire Barbara for her resilience, energy and kindness. She always has time for people who are not as fortunate as she is, and has provided several charity shoots including for the Red Sky Foundation and donations to St Benedict’s Hospice. She has also helped a local Empowering Women’s group too. She is a really liked, trusted individual who people turn to and has been a great role model for others to follow.”

The words of Stephen Hopkirk

Chloe Barnett

“Chloe creates gorgeous golden photographs capturing gorgeous family connections. She is able to document beautiful moments that people will cherish forever. She has gorgeous warm tones and does the most stunning golden hour sessions. Her branding work is colourful, vibrant and full of movement.”

The words of Laura Douglas of Laura Douglas Photography

Debrah Snyder

“A female photographer I admire is a woman named Debra Snyder. She is a local photographer from my hometown, Leesburg, Florida. I am no longer in Florida, though. I moved to Georgia 16 years ago. I found Debra on Facebook and when I realized she was in my hometown, I sent her a message. Since then, she has been such a huge help in my journey.

Her photography style is amazing, to say the least. She is so humble and strives to connect with her clients on a personal level. I hope to one day have my client list as full as hers. She is super nice, even to a fellow photographer. She doesn’t see fellow photographers as competition. I love that about her.”

The words of Eva Reynolds of Eternal Compass

Dorothea Lange

“Her portraiture of dustbowl-era Americans remain some of the most touching and powerful I’ve seen. “Migrant Mother” (Florence Owens Thompson) – often imitated but rarely equalled in the 90 years since it was made – must surely be one of the most famous portraits of an ordinary person ever made. She co-founded Aperture magazine and shot for Life magazine, placing her at the vanguard of what we now understand as documentary photography.”

The words of Nick Rawle of Nick Rawle Photography

Elaine Constantine

“She took fashion photography by the scruff of the neck and in the Nineties was regularly found gracing the pages of The Face or Vogue Italia.

Starting out as an assistant for the infamous Nick Knight, she soon developed her own style of photographing highly choreographed images go “girls having fun”. Harking back to her love of the sixties, she, later on, made an acclaimed film devoted to Northern Soul, her sets could be a pillow fight in a suburban bedroom or speeding through the streets of Brighton on a Raleigh Chopper.

Instantly recognisable images, where the clothes are an accessory, that documented a time of Britpop and Cool Britannia.”

The words Marcus Ahmad of Marcus Ahmad Photography

Eva Rose

“Eva Rose is a birth photographer who is trying to turn people’s perception of birth on it’s head and celebrate the beauty of birth and normalise it.”

The words of Franki Kershaw of Wonderful Chaos Photography

Eve Arnold

“Born in 1946, Eve Arnold was a lifetime member and founder of Magnum Photographic Agency. With an unwavering eye and fierce determination, she won over her subjects with a quiet and warm personality. Known principally for her candid portraits of women, in particular Marilyn Monroe on and off set.

Armed with a Leica camera, she documented the world around her in an unobtrusive way and sadly passed away in 2012. Her legacy remains as we can see from a recently published retrospective of her images of the aforementioned Marilyn Monroe.”

The words Marcus Ahmad of Marcus Ahmad Photography

Jamie Beck

“Jamie Beck is a gorgeous photographer. After being a jobbing photographer for years in Manhattan she moved to Provence for a year and never left again. She now lives an idyllic life with her (photographer) husband and daughter, documenting their day to day wandering through provincial market towns, wafting through chateaus and eating the most gorgeous looking foods.

She also hosts super informative lives and teach-ins on how she creates her arty still life vignettes with lots of behind the scenes tips to glean so you can learn to create your own.”

The words of Sara Delaney of Surrey Social Stock Photography

Johanna Elizabeth

“As a leading boudoir photographer Jo never fails to make others feel special. Jo really does go above and beyond for every woman who reaches out to her. Her imagery is both creative and beautiful, always taking into consideration the feelings, thoughts and the mental health of her clients. When you book a boudoir shoot, you book an entire experience never forgotten.

Not only does Jo have a wonderful client base that loves her, she is also an incredible business woman. An inspiration to many.”

The words of Karen Massey of Karen Massey Photography

JoJo Cooper

“She creates the most artistic and stunning family and newborn images. Her studio photographs are gorgeously golden, deep and warm in the most wonderful pockets of light. Her family photographs are warm, tender and emotive and she is such a talented light chaser.”

The words of Laura Douglas of Laura Douglas Photography

“JoJo is an amazing photographer. She has a lot of experience and many years in business. Regardless, Jojo is kind, generous, warm, and is always ready to help others. I’ve approached JoJo when she didn’t even know me, and she has always been the kindest. JoJo’s work is pure art and she is an inspiration for many other photographers.”

The words of Vanessa Gomes of Vanessa Gomes Photography

Julia Kelleher

“I admire Julia Kelleher. She happens to be a local photographer to me, her style is very different from mine but I respect what a great businesswoman she is. I love how open and honest she is when she teaches and I have learned so much for her. I also love how she always seems to be reinventing and pushing herself to do something new, like her painted photographs.”

The words of Cambrae Chimpan of Photography by Cambrae

Karen Massey

“Karen is a great wedding photographer and wonderful smiley welcoming presence in an industry often dominated by men. She oozes positivity, encourages and promotes strong female photographers through which she founded.”

The words of Andrea Thornton of Andrea Thornton Photography

Katy Tanner

“Katy is such a funny personality, she lights the room wherever she goes! She is an amazing artist and her work is so stunning. She is very approachable and always kind and ready to help others. Katy is an incredible human and makes a positive difference in the photography community.”

The words of Vanessa Gomes of Vanessa Gomes Photography

Kirsten Lewis

“She is a documentary family photographer in the states who approaches each photoshoot like it’s a proper reportage job. She keeps it real, never interferes by asking people to turn lights on or stand near a window, or sit by a pretty bush for example. And she just keeps it real by thinking ahead on what frame she’s trying to set up, sits there and let’s the action unfold with little ones – and it always does unfold.

She is a strict photojournalist, never manipulating the scene and letting children be children. Something I think is key to capturing excellent and candid family photographs.”

The words of Louisa Peacock of Louisa Peacock Photography

Lucy Laucht

“One of my favourite female photographers. I first met Lucy when she was working for J.Crew and was launching the UK store in Regent Street. Way back then she had an amazing eye but moved on from her PR background to develop her gorgeous photography site which is chock full of the most sublime travel and lifestyle imagery. It just carries you away as you scroll, and she’s also got a fab print store where you can now purchase her prints.”

The words of Sarah Delaney of Surrey Social Stock Photography

Magali Nougarede

“A contemporary photographer who has worked across fine art and commercial disciplines, but is now head of photography at the University of South Wales, Cardiff. Magali’s eye for what could be called ‘quirky’ but telling detail and close cropping, very often of hands, clothes and everyday items, has been central to her work for decades, and she uses it to examine the relationships between communities, their home spaces, and cultural identities.”

The words of Nick Rawle of Nick Rawle Photography

Maggie Robinson

“Maggie Robinson is not only an incredible photographer but also an incredible businesswoman. She is fantastic at teaching others what she has learnt herself, how to maximise on sales, sell beautiful wall art to clients in a way that is irresistible to them. Providing them with fantastic experience and giving them what they want without them even realising it.”

The words of Anna Kireeva of Anna Kireeva Photography

Melanie East

“Melanie is a perfectionist, inspirational educator, passionate and meticulous about her art. There is so much to admire about Melanie who taught me so much about newborn photography and the business of photography as a whole.”

The words of Andrea Thornton of Andrea Thornton Photography

Natalie J. Watts

“Natalie runs really inspiring training courses for wedding photographers and has built her business from scratch as a single parent. Her advice on creating editorial group shots is second to none and she’s a really lovely, helpful, human being!”

The words of Hannah Brooke of Hannah Brooke Photography

Nina Mace

“Great photographer, excellent trainer and general lovely lady.”

The words of Karen Wiltshire of Karen Wiltshire Photography

“She creates gorgeous colourful outdoor portraits and is a wonderful mentor and trainer. Her courses are clear and the worksheets she produces to go with them keep you on track. She is present in the facebook support groups to help you every step of the way and to add accountability. This helps you get the best results. She is a hugely successful businesswoman.”

The words of Laura Douglas of Laura Douglas Photography

“Nina is not only an amazing portrait photographer, but she’s also a great mentor and businesswoman. She’s managed to combine her creativity, marketing and people skills to help hundreds, actually probably thousands of other photographers. She’s got so much energy and generosity and has inspired me to raise my game many times!”

The words of Stephanie Belton of Stephanie Belton Photography

Penny Bird

“Penny inspires me through the various projects she throws herself into. She’s combined her storytelling skills with her photography and sheds light on some very inspiring members of the local community.”

The words of Stephanie Belton of Stephanie Belton Photography

Sandy Puc

“Sandy Puc’s work is very different from mine but she is such an outstanding businesswoman. She was the first educator I feel like I really learned from and I learned so much, from the basics to getting legal with my business, to pricing and more. She has such a wealth of knowledge to share. She also doesn’t shy away from sharing about real life, mistakes she has made, and personal things she has overcome.”

The words of Cambrae Chimpan of Photography by Cambrae

Sarah Mason

“Sarah Mason’s films and photography is addictive. It’s the type of art that you just cannot tear your eyes from. She somehow sees absolute beauty in the most ordinary situations. A steaming cup of tea, washing on the line or dust dancing in the sunlight.

I think it is her amazing understanding of light and how it can change and add emotion to a scene that holds her audience that moment longer. She captures the beauty of the every day – without being whacky or embracing the latest trend.

She made a film about her uncle. It is the most heartfelt, warm, sad, loving 2 minutes of film I have ever watched. Not only is she a thoroughly lovely person, she’s a brilliant photographer and film-maker, and champions other photographers through her Instagram hashtag ‘storiesoftheeveryday’ and mentoring.”

The words of Hester Barnes of Hester Barnes Photography + Film

“Sarah Mason is such a lovely and generous human, always willing to share her knowledge and help educate others with her equally lovely wife Suzi. She takes beautiful photos and makes beautiful films. She’s a huge inspiration.”

The words of Franki Kershaw of Wonderful Chaos Photography

Stephanie Belton

“Stephanie Belton is one of the photographers I admire the most – for me personally, she started me off on my photography journey over ten years ago. Still, I have also seen her continue to build an incredible community and train amateurs and professional photographers in the most supportive and inspiring way.

On top of this, she has continued to grow and expand her own photography business and never stops evolving. Her commercial and branding photography, and growth via local networking, has been a model example of how to keep innovating and trying new genres.”

The words of Nina Mace of Nina Mace Photography

Tianna J Williams

“I admire Tianna J Williams. I love her work. I love her use of bold colours and beautifully patterned fabrics. But what I admire most about her is how open and kind she is. I approached her at a photography show and she didn’t know me at all and she was more than happy to give me advice and help. She was warm and caring and just happy to help in whatever way she could. She comes across as a very real and down to earth person and I think that shows in her work.”

The words of Daniella Staub of Daniella Staub Photography

A selection of inspiring female photographers from around the world

A big thanks must go to all those who contributed to this blog. You jumped at the chance to tell others about the female photographers you admire, and it’s much appreciated!

If you didn’t nominate someone in time for your suggestion to be included, do share in the comments below any inspiring female photographers that you would have put forward. Let’s keep this going!

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