Beyond the head­lines

SEPARATING FACT FROM FIC­TION

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Welcome - SUZI ESZTERHAS

There is no rea­son why there can’t be more fe­male wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers

WILDLIFE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY HAS TRA­DI­TION­ALLY BEEN THE PRE­SERVE OF MEN, BUT THERE’S NO REA­SON WHY THIS CAN’T CHANGE, SAYS SUZI ESZTERHAS.

What’s the prob­lem? Fe­male pho­tog­ra­phers are in the tiny mi­nor­ity in this field, and I know from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence that it’s not easy to break through. But there’s no good rea­son why it should be male-dom­i­nated – I founded Girls Who Click (GWC) to en­thuse and en­cour­age young women to en­ter this im­mensely ful­fill­ing ca­reer.

How will you do it?

Through a net­work of the coun­try’s most es­teemed fe­male na­ture pho­tog­ra­phers, GWC will of­fer free work­shops for teenage girls across the US. Our web­site will also of­fer young pho­tog­ra­phers an in­ter­face through which to sell their best work, with all pro­ceeds go­ing to con­ser­va­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions around the world.

Can GWC help UK women pho­tog­ra­phers?

Not yet, but we hope to go global once fund­ing has been se­cured. Right now, we’d be de­lighted if teenage girls else­where signed up to our news­let­ter and fol­lowed our so­cial me­dia, where we’ll be post­ing lots of help­ful in­for­ma­tion.

Why aren’t there more fe­male wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers?

There’s no sin­gle rea­son. One fac­tor might be phys­i­cal safety con­cerns: women are raised not to be alone in iso­lated places and na­ture pho­tog­ra­phy re­quires this. Com­bin­ing it with moth­er­hood is tough – you of­ten need to be away from home for long pe­ri­ods and that’s chal­leng­ing be­cause of moth­ers’ typ­i­cal role as pri­mary care­givers. There’s also a lack of fe­male role mod­els.

Why weren’t you put off na­ture pho­tog­ra­phy?

From be­ing a small child, I was ab­so­lutely ob­sessed with be­ing a wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher – noth­ing was go­ing to put me off! There were ob­sta­cles to over­come but I never se­ri­ously con­sid­ered giv­ing up. I was also for­tu­nate in hav­ing men­tors who be­lieved in me and gave me the con­fi­dence I needed to stick with it. It’s ex­actly this kind of dif­fer­ence Girls Who Click is try­ing to make in young girls’ lives.

Suzi wants to see more fe­male wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers.

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