The 'Soccer Mom' insult. Sexism and Camera Ownership.

If I see one more sneering comment about female photographers like 'This is a camera for soccer moms' I think I may explode. This seems to be the ultimate insult on certain sections of the internet. It seems to imply a lack of photographic prowess and knowledge, the inability to come to a sensible decision, lack of ambition and above all guilty of the greatest sin that anyone can possess in owning a camera, being a woman. US males, since this is who posts this sexist crap, should realise just how rude, insulting and offensive it is. Why this is tolerated is beyond me and I've resolved to delete any post and block any contributor who uses any phrase like it on any of the Google+ groups I administer. And if anyone tries to argue that 'soccer moms' isn't a sexist insult aimed at women photographers, expect the same treatment.

Just imagine the outrage there would be if instead of demeaning women, there was an instance of racial profiling in such statements. But somehow the macho world of the photographic forum seems to give itself free licence to insult half the human race. We don't seem to see the phrase 'This is a camera for soccer dads.' Why not? The picture at the top of the post shows Harrison Ford being just that. 

Just to show the ignorance and prejudice of such comments I will conclude with the following list of (some of the) significant female photographers from Wikipedia.



  • Sara Facio (born 1932), celebrity portraitist and cofounder of La Azotea, South America's first photo publishing house
  • Annemarie Heinrich (1912–2005), originally German, portrait photographer
  • Adriana Lestido (born 1955), her black-and-white photographs document the often difficult place of women in society
  • Grete Stern (1904–1999), originally German, a notable Modernist


  • Narelle Autio (born 1969), photojournalist working first in Europe and the USA before returning to Australia in 1998 as staff photographer for the Sydney Morning Herald
  • Polly Borland (born 1959), now living in England, known both for her portraits of famous Australians and for several series of stylized portraits
  • June Browne (born 1923), photographs under the pseudomnym, Alice Springs
  • Suzanna Clarke (born 1961), see New Zealand
  • Olive Cotton (1911–2003), modernist photographer working in the 1930s and 1940s in Sydney, receiving commissions from the publisher Sidney Ure Smith
  • Maggie Diaz (born 1925), American-born photographer, noted for her 1950s Chicago Collection
  • Joyce Evans (born 1929), opened the first commercial photo gallery in Melbourne, later working herself in portraiture and landscapes, taught history of photography
  • Anne Geddes (born 1956), stylized photographs of babies published in book-form or calendars
  • Kate Geraghty (born 1973), photojournalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, covering the 2002 Bali bombings, 2003 invasion of Iraq and much more
  • Margaret Michaelis-Sachs (1902–1985), see Poland
  • Carol Jerrems (1949-1980), explored issues of sexuality, youth, identity and mortality
  • Tracey Moffatt (born 1960), explores issues of sexuality, history, representation and race
  • Polixeni Papapetrou (born 1960), noted for her themed photo series about people's identities
  • Alexia Sinclair (born 1976), fine-art photographer
  • Ruby Spowart (born 1928), photographs of the Australian outback in the 1980s and 1990s


  • Claire Beck (1904–1942), Jewish photographer in Vienna, died in the Riga concentration camp
  • Gerti Deutsch (1908–1979), photojournalist for Picture Post and other publications, particularly keen on photographing music
  • Trude Fleischmann (1895–1990), society photographer in Vienna, re-established her business in New York in 1940
  • Dora Kallmus (1881–1963), fashion and portrait photographer
  • Margaret Michaelis-Sachs (1902–1985), see Poland
  • Lisette Model (1906-1983), see United States
  • Inge Morath (1923–2002), Magnum photographer in London, then covered Europe, the Middle East and South America for Holiday, Paris Match and Vogue
  • Margherita Spiluttini (born 1947), specializes in architecture
  • Edith Tudor-Hart (1908–1973), social documentary in her adopted home in Great Britain


  • Rena Effendi (born 1977), interested in the environment, post-conflict society, the effects of oil industry on people and social disparity



  • Ingeborg de Beausacq (1910–2003), see Germany



Photobooks by Carol Beckwith, Nina Berman, Marrie Bot, KayLynn Deveney, Rena Effendi, Aya Fujioka (藤岡亜弥), Cristina García Rodero, Fay Godwin, Lourdes Grobet, Mikiko Hara, Reiko Imoto (井本礼子), Kyōko Ioka (井岡今日子), Olya Ivanova (Ольга Иванова), Betsy Karel, Rinko Kawauchi, Vaida Keleras, Yōko Kishikawa (岸川洋子), Fusako Kodama, Eriko Koga (古賀絵里子), Ljalja Kuznetsova (Ляля Кузнецова), Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Helen Levitt, Markéta Luskačová, Bertien van Manen, Mary Ellen Mark, Miyuki Matsuda, Susan Meiselas, Inge Morath, Yurie Nagashima, Mika Ninagawa, Kei Orihara, Chizuru Ōta (太田ちづる), Megumi Ōtsuka (大塚めぐみ), Doris Quarella, Emmanuelle Riva, Inta Ruka, Toshie Saitō (齋藤利江), Rosalind Solomon, Toyoko Tokiwa

China (People's Republic)

  • Chen Man (born 1980), fashion photographer using digital techniques to produce covers for Chinese and international magazines
  • Hou Bo (born 1924), portraits (and less formal photographs) of leading officials including Mao Zedong and the founding of the People's Republic in 1949
  • Shao Hua (1938–2008), daughter-in-law of Mao Zedong, photographed party celebrities, factories and army units in the 1950s, head of the China Photographers Association
  • O Zhang (born 1976), photographs of Chinese youth including Chinese girls adopted by Americans and Chinese art students in London
  • Zhang Jingna (born 1988), now in Singapore, professional photographer for companies including Mercedes Benz and Canon, has also contributed to Harper's Bazaar, Elle and Flare



Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic



  • Ann Tenno (born 1952), landscape photographer and photo artist, noted for her photographs of Tallinn and the churches and manor houses of Estonia



  • Martine Barrat (date of birth unknown), based in New York, has photographed the black inhabitants of Harlem since the early 1980s
  • Claude Batho (1935–1981), remembered for the detailed images of her home and for her series on Claude Monet's garden at Giverny.
  • Valérie Belin (born 1964), whose photographs have played with the distinction between illusion and reality
  • Alexandra Boulat (1962–2007), photojournalist and co-founder of the VII Photo Agency
  • Claude Cahun (1894-1954), photographer and artist, remembered for her self-portraits (1927–47)
  • Sophie Calle (born 1953), writer, photographer and installation artist, also photography professor
  • Dominique Darbois (born 1925), photojournalist who has concentrated on the victims of European colonialism
  • Françoise Demulder (1947–2008), war photographer
  • Geneviève Élisabeth Disdéri (c.1817–1878), early photographer, wife of André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
  • Ergy Landau (1896-1967), see Hungary
  • Claudine Doury (born 1959), photojournalist
  • Gisèle Freund (1908-2000), German-born, known for her documentary photography and portraits of writers and artists
  • Laure Albin Guillot (1879–1962), portraits of Paris celebrities, wide variety of other genres, several high-ranking administrative positions
  • Florence Henri (1893–1982), surrealist
  • Irina Ionesco (born 1935), erotic images of lavishly dressed women posing provocatively
  • Germaine Krull (1897–1985), photographically-illustrated books, photojournalism
  • Brigitte Lacombe (born 1950), photographer of film sets
  • Catherine Leroy (1945–2006), photojournalist, particularly known for her photography of the Vietnam war
  • Dora Maar (1907–1997), both a commercial and a street photographer in the 1920s and 30s
  • Sarah Moon (born 1941), fashion photographer, now concentrating on gallery work
  • Janine Niépce (1921–2007), prolific photojournalist
  • Bettina Rheims (born 1952), strip-tease artists and acrobats, stuffed animals, also advertising, and photography of nude women making her a best-seller
  • Sophie Ristelhueber (born 1949), who has photographed the effects of war on landscape
  • Emmanuelle Riva (born 1927), primarily an actor but also a noted and published photographer
  • Lise Sarfati (born 1958), images of listless young people in Russia and the United States
  • Stéphane Sednaoui (born 1963), reportages, portraits, fashion
  • Christine Spengler (born 1945), photojournalist who has concentrated on the victims of war
  • Agnès Varda (born 1928), film director and photographer, documentary realism, feminist issues
  • Véronique de Viguerie (born 1978), photojournalist, particularly known for her photography of the most recent Afghan war



  • Ianna Andreadis (born 1960), combines photography with her interest in archaeology, also landscapes from southern Africa
  • Nelly's (1899–1998), noted for her Greek temples, Berlin Olympics, later advertising, photo-reportages in the United States
  • Mary Paraskeva (1882–1951), possibly the first Greek woman to have left a large photographic legacy from the beginning of the 20th century
  • Athena Tacha (born 1936), conceptual photographer


  • María Cristina Orive (born 1931), photographer, reporter and photojournalist, co-founder of the La Azotea publishing the work of Latin American photographers





  • Parisa Damandan (born 1967), has collected portrait photographs illustrating the history of Isfahan, continuing her work after the 2003 Bam earthquake
  • Shadi Ghadirian (born 1974), portraits of women dressed in traditional style, often juxtaposed with modern anomalies such as a mountain bike or cola can, now increasingly exhibited in the west
  • Zahra Kazemi (1948–2003), Iranian-Canadian freeland photojournalist who died following arrest in Iran after covering poverty, destitutions and oppression in the Middle East
  • Shirin Neshat (born 1957), photos of women confronted by Islamic fundamentalism, later working with multimedia and film
  • Shirana Shahbazi (born 1974), conceptual photography, installations
  • Mitra Tabrizian (born 1959), British-Iranian, professor of photography at the University of Westminster, photobook Correct Distance, a critique of corporate culture
  • Maryam Zandi (born 1947), founding board member of Iran's National Society of Photographers, has published many calendars of Iranian portriats





  • Mikiko Hara (born 1967), colour snapshots of people or things in everyday life, often causing feelings of levity or foreboding
  • Hiromix (born 1976), life from a teenager's perspective and photo books on identity, community, gender and the everyday
  • Hisae Imai (1931–2009), specialized in the photography of horses
  • Miyako Ishiuchi (born 1947), contrasty prints including close-ups of the very old
  • Rinko Kawauchi (born 1972), serene, poetic photography
  • Fusako Kodama (born 1945), depicted Japan as a nation of high technology, and life in Tokyo
  • Michiko Kon (born 1955), new approach to mainly black-and-white still lifes with images of everything from toothbrushes to timepieces and fish parts[1]
  • Miyuki Matsuda (born 1961), an actor who has published photography of nudes
  • Michiko Matsumoto (born 1950), portraits of artists and dancers living in various countries
  • Yurie Nagashima (born 1973), portraits, including portraits of herself and her family in the nude, street photography, still lifes
  • Mika Ninagawa (born 1972), brightly coloured photographs of flowers, goldfish and landscapes, commercially successful in fashion and advertising
  • Rika Noguchi (born 1971), landscape photographer
  • Yoshino Ōishi (born 1944), widely-travelled photojournalist
  • Yuki Onodera (born 1962), images of everyday objects such as old clothes, tin cans, birds, houses shining in the darkness, and human figures[2]
  • Kei Orihara (born 1948), documentary and portrait photographer, has published books on life in New York, and books for children about the disabled
  • Tsuneko Sasamoto (born 1914), Japan's first female photojournalist, has photographed some of the country's greatest personalities and historic moments[3]
  • Shima Ryū (1823–1899), earliest known Japanese woman photographer, photographed her husband in 1864, later opened a studio in Kiryū
  • Mieko Shiomi (1909–1984), abstraction and realism, known for her monochrome compositions
  • Kunié Sugiura (born 1942), creator of photograms
  • Cozue Takagi (born 1985), creator of montages
  • Toyoko Tokiwa (born 1930), best known for her depiction of the red-light district of post-occupation Yokohama, for a clientele of US servicemen
  • Eiko Yamazawa (1899–1995), portrait photographer and founder of a photography school
  • Miwa Yanagi (born 1967), staged events with women of various ages, frequently using the computer to alter the image in strange ways, several published series including Elevator Girls
  • Ruiko Yoshida (born 1938), has published several photobooks designed to fight against discrimination towards the poor and blacks, best known for Harlem Black Angels[4]


  • Inta Ruka (born 1958), specializing in portraits of people in the areas where they live



  • Marianne Majerus (born 1956), specializes in garden photography contributing widely to magazines and newspapers



  • Emmy Andriesse (1914–1953), noted for her clandestine photography of the Netherlands under Nazi rule
  • Katharina Behrend (1888–1973), German-born Dutch amateur photographer, wide variety of genres including a nude self-portrait
  • Eva Besnyö (1910–2002), Dutch-Hungarian photographer active in the Dutch "New Photography" movement
  • Ania Bien (born 1946), see United States
  • Rineke Dijkstra (born 1959), portraits of adolescents
  • Jacqueline Hassink (born 1966), visual artist, noted for her Table of Power projects related to the world economy; also lectures on photography
  • Inez van Lamsweerde (born 1963), fashion photographer
  • Dana Lixenberg (born 1964), portrait photographer
  • Alexandrine Tinné (1835–1869), first female photographer in the Netherlands, produced large images in The Hague
  • Ans Westra (born 1936), see New Zealand

New Zealand



  • Karimeh Abbud (1896–1955), professional photographer in Nazareth in the 1930s, also producing postcards


  • Ania Bien (born 1946), see United States
  • Margaret Michaelis-Sachs (1902–1985), Austrian-Australian photographer of Polish-Jewish origin, portraits, architecture of Barcelona, Jewish quarter in Cracow
  • Nata Piaskowski (1912–2004) Polish-born American photographer, portraits and landscapes, based in San Francisco


  • Alexandra Croitoru (born 1975), seeks to challenge accepted ideas of power sharing and gender in Romania



South Africa

  • Vera Elkan (1908–2008), remembered for her images of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War
  • Constance Stuart Larrabee (1914–2000), South African's first female World War II correspondent, also known for images of South Africa
  • Zanele Muholi (born 1972), has used photography in support of LGBTI issues, several solo and group exhibitions since 2004
  • Colla Swart (born 1930), photographs of people, landscapes and flowers in Namaqualand

South Korea

  • Nikki S. Lee (born 1970), self-portraits posing in various ethnic and social groups such as punks, hip-hop musicians, male partners






  • Elena Filatova (born 1974), photographs of the Chernobyl area
  • Anya Teixeira (1913-1992), took up amateur photography in London when 47, often working with children and actors, also founded the Creative Photo Group

United Kingdom

United States


  • Umida Akhmedova (born 1955), photojournalist working in Central Asia, arrested in 2010 for her images of the Uzbek people