It’s no secret that the film photography world is a bit male-dominated. As a woman in this field, it’s frustrating to see so few women being represented and recognized within this great community. I’ve always prided myself on following a large number of female film shooters, but having recently taken up the fight for representation more fervently, I’ve had my eyes opened to so many more talented women out there than I ever knew existed.
Starting today and continuing every month here on CP, I’ll be sharing the work of five talented female film photographers whose photography I admire. Some may be women I’ve followed for quite some time, and others may be new discoveries. All are talented artists, whom I highly recommend you check out. Please click through to see their profiles or portfolios, and if you enjoy what these talented women are doing let them know about it in the comments here and on their own pages.
Let’s get started.
From still lifes to landscapes to portraits, Kelly-Ann shoots a wide variety of subjects and formats, including 4×5, 120, and 35mm film. Working as a full time surgeon and as a photographer, Kelly-Ann is basically killing it for the rest of us trying. Comfortable shooting both commercial work and intimate family portraits, Kelly-Ann has an expert eye for lighting and composition. I find myself most drawn to her portraits.
One of my favorites is this exquisite portrait of her sister, taken with her Mamiya RB67. A part of her series titled Home Alone, this photo was taken during the COVID-19 quarantine. After living in isolation and having limited interactions with friends and family in the brief moments when they stopped by to drop off food and living necessities, Kelly-Ann captured a series of intimate, emotional portraits of the people in her life. The first time I laid my eyes on this photo it took my breath away. The gorgeous lighting, the perfectly placed shadow on the side of her face, the pin sharp focus on her eye, and the glorious shallow depth of field that renders the rest of her face out of focus left me in awe.
More from Kelly-Ann here – Instagram
I’ve been following Gabi’s work for quite some time now, having been one of the first female film photographers I discovered when I started shooting film. Having an extra soft spot in my heart for photo hikes, her gorgeous landscapes of our country’s National Parks instantly caught my eye. Harkening back to the great Ansel Adams, Gabi’s photos give the feeling of iconic majesty.
With a Yashica Mat 124G as her main shooter, Gabi is also known to fire off a Rollei 35 and an Intrepid 4×5 (among others) during her photo adventures. The image above was captured with her trusty Yashica during a hike with her husband through the Colorado Flatirons in September 2020. Through the falling and oftentimes melting snow, she was able to keep her camera dry enough to snap this beautiful composition, perfectly framing this snow-swept tree against the backdrop of the mountainside.
More from Gabi here – Instagram
If you want dreamy and ethereal and a break from the stereotypical Portra 400 shots, Roxanna is your girl. Shooting everything from Lomochrome Purple to Berlin Kino, Dubble film to souped and expired films, Roxanna is anything but ordinary. I recently discovered her through another talented lady, Jess Hobbs, and haven’t been able to look away.
In her most recent series, Roxanna has been photographing floating florals, submerging flowers in water and constructing them into various designs. The image above was captured on Kodak Vision 3 500T film with her beloved Canon AE-1. The frozen bubbles of the water, the purple hues paired with the cool tones of the Vision 3 500T film, and the way the water obscures the focus gives a perfectly whimsical feeling and makes me wonder if I’m looking into a fantasy world.
More from Roxanna here – Instagram
Aly is probably one of the oldest connections I’ve made in the film community, having discovered her Instagram and YouTube shortly after I started shooting film myself. As an admitted camera hoarder, I was immediately drawn to Aly’s focus on shooting and reviewing interesting and unique vintage cameras. Shooting everything from an Argus Argoflex to a Hasselblad 500cm, Aly has quite the impressive roster of cameras in her collection. She details even more of her film adventures on her blog including her ongoing adventures with black-and-white film developing and regular photographer interviews.
Beyond her entertaining camera reviews, however, Aly is also just a wonderfully gifted photographer. The photo above is a gorgeous fall photo she captured of some of her favorite trees that turn a vibrant yellow in autumn. They only last for a small window before they quickly lose all their leaves. Aly was able to luckily capture this snapshot from her car with her Canon TX on Portra 800 before this one quickly faded into darker days.
More from Aly here – Instagram, YouTube, Blog
I was fortunate enough to recently stumble into Denise’s work, and I was immediately taken by the variety of style and experimentation in her photography. Similar to Roxanna, if you’re looking to break out of the “old cars and gas stations” stereotype of the film world, you have to check out Denise’s photography. Impressive double exposures, self red-scaled film, mystical portraits, and the elusive Aerochrome all await you in her work.
Maybe it’s partly because of jealousy that I’ll never get to shoot Aerochrome, I find myself especially in love with the shot above. The framing of the barn and the colors of the film really sing out in this capture. Taken during quarantine while exploring rural Kansas with two of her close friends, Denise photographed this scene with her Mamiya ZE-2. Having held on to this roll of Aerochrome for quite some time, she built up the courage to finally shoot this roll and I don’t think she could have picked a better subject.
More from Denise here – Instagram
I hope you’ve enjoyed my first curated list of interesting female photographers. This will be a recurring feature here on the site, and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks in another recurring feature in which I’ll focus the spotlight on just one of the many female shooters who I’ve come to know and respect.
If there’s a female photographer whose work you’d like to share with us and the rest of the readers, please do so in the comments below. We’d love to see and promote.
You can also follow The Film Sorority, a new Instagram account focused on promoting female perspectives in photography, which I’ve co-created with Analog Talk host Chris Bartolucci, and another lovely and talented shooter named Onome.
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Thank you for the posting. ‘Bout time! I’m looking forward to more articles. I’m impressed with your selection, but Kelly Ann’s portrait of her sister is so beautiful and sensitive.
Thanks to the crew at C/P for publishing and supporting this endeavor.
To all who read this: please follow CDC guidelines, support everyone who are helping us (docs, medics, frontline workers, etc.) Get the vax when you can – if not for you, for other humans. We want to continue to see creative work, not read obits!