Photo Credit: @ladyist Instagram
Photography, as an art form, has historically been used against women. Male photographers have typically presented their female subjects as sexualised, passive, and weak; a subject to be looked at from the heterosexual, male gaze. The feminist photographers of the 1970s contested how women should be perceived in images, establishing themes of provocation, self-objectification, and non-traditional representation. Women photographers today can represent the complexities of womanhood through an honest viewpoint, without relying on the voyeuristic tendencies of masculine photography. Their contemporary images allow the viewer to adopt an alternative view of reality: the creator’s point of view, who carefully curates the image into something which promotes the truth of people today.
Sandy Kim shares intimate portrayals of the people who surround her, whilst working in her home of California. Her photographs are of unfiltered events, even in her more editorial shoots, her subjects remain natural compared to the exaggeration often found in fashion photography. Her array of NSFW images do not shy away from honesty. Her subjects’ nudity is not forced or uncomfortable, but simply an aspect of their personality and freedom.
Ashley Armitage breaks down societal standards to include all bodies in beauty and intimacy. Her photographs often have feminine qualities of gentleness and sweetness, embodied across all genders and body types she depicts. Creating images of women, without adopting a voyeuristic lens, Armitage instead uses a welcoming intimacy to present her subjects.
Ayesha Kazim is creating fresh portraits which embody the individuality of each of her subjects. Working between New York and Cape Town, Kazim’s portraits often blend nature and people to produce gorgeous sunlit subjects. Her subject is the star of her portraits, with their personality shining through Kazim’s photographs to freeze joyous moments in time.
Amber Asaly’s photography brings together the nostalgia of Y2K editorials with the Tiktok stars of today. Recently shooting Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio, Asaly is recreating the beloved style of the 90s and early 2000s photography which plastered our favourite fashion magazines. Her shots embody a nostalgia of 2000s pop stars, and when paired with chic 90s styling, creates romantic images.
From cultural references to provoking intimacy, and showing pure honesty, these photographers embody the nuances of femininity. Women artists are rethinking what they choose to present to the public; using their power to establish the women’s point of view in a previously masculinised lens.
Words By Caitlin Sahin