I recently attended a meeting with a group of other women in the photography industry ranging from established photographers to recent graduates. Women have come a long way in the past several decades, but it was comforting to hear that I am not the only one who has been mistaken for a stylist, rep, etc. on more than one occasion. I have been showing my portfolio to prospective clients and had them ask me whose work they were looking at. This has happened so many times that I come to expect it when meeting someone who is unfamiliar with my work. But I am never offended. How many times has someone told me I was shooting a CEO and my gut reaction was, “What’s his name?” We have all made these mistakes. It’s just not as common for women to be CEOs or commercial photographers. It’s really not that common for very many people, regardless of gender, to reach the upper levels of any industry. Family, finances and mental fortitude are just a few of the many obstacles that tend to keep both men and women from rising to the top.
So what can women do to help their chances at success in photography? Other than not taking it too personal when they get mistaken for someone else, they should do the same thing that men should do. Persistence and fantastic work are a given, timing and a little luck don’t hurt either.