I think everyone has a hobby they’d call “the one that got away.” More often than not, it’s something from adolescence we could’ve spent more time practicing instead of resisting. For instance, could I have ended up a world-renowned violinist if I never quit my after-school lessons? Probably not, but I guess we’ll never really know. That sense of dread, at least according to my personal experience, increases when it’s a hobby you start and end as a grown-up. (I’ve got a laundry list of them.) And if social media is any indication, I’d bet photography (selfies not included) is something plenty have tried but ultimately realized wasn’t their calling or simply stopped trying. Thankfully, these crazy talented photogs have done quite the opposite.
Unfortunately, as with most industries, photography isn’t immune from the professional setbacks and general lack of visibility faced by women. As cliché as it sounds, representation does matter, especially if this is the case. It’s why I’m thankful for initiatives like the See In Black Project and NATIVES PHOTOGRAPH who prioritize shifting our collective lens onto image makers whose own cultures and life experiences can be felt through their work. More importantly, their POVs challenge and expand the way we see the world. In fact, they remind us that life doesn’t exist in our little bubble. Plus, let’s be real—their technical skills are a sight to behold, too.
If your Instagram feed is drowning in political commentary, beauty tutorials, and celebrity gossip, restore some balance to your daily scroll by following these women photographers whose absolutely stunning visuals will leave you starry-eyed and inspired.
This New York City-based photog will leave you mesmerized with her stunning portraits and candid snaps featuring beautiful Black people.
Try not to get lost in the dreamy aesthetic of this New York photographer’s editorial shots.
This Black queer photographer’s lens captures everything from neighborhood protests to high-profile celebs.
If you can tear yourself away from her beauty looks and tutorials, you’ll be equally impressed by Alissa’s gorgeous beauty portraits or herself and other subjects.
Baraka, a director and photographer, has the kind of skills that will instantly transport you to the setting of her subjects.
In addition to capturing adorable family moments, Ashley Ann (who is a member of our SHE Media Partner Network) also lends her expertise to SnapShot, a subscription-based website that offers photography lessons and courses.
I’m especially enamored with Pena’s black-and-white photography.
Raven B. Varona
Also known as “Ravie B.,” you’ve likely seen her work with multiple celebs, including the Beyonce.
The crispness of Alcena’s photography is just, *chef’s kiss.
Spitzer’s mixed media art pieces are simply stunning.
Romero’s Chemehuevi heritage is felt and seen throughout her work.
Martinez’s lens is mostly focused on Mexico, where she creates intimate portraits and showcases natural terrain.
Renstrom’s work can be seen most frequently in The New Yorker, where she’s the Senior Photo Editor.
This music photographer will have you pining for a ticket to your local festival.
Jessy Boon Cowler
This London-based artist and educator creates unique prints that combine multiple photos into one.
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About Nikki Brown
Nikki Brown is a bonafide Jersey girl and the Editorial Director of BlogHer. When she’s not creating content or connecting with our community, you’ll most likely find her taking way too many pictures of her cats or curled up with a book. She’s also pursuing a Master’s degree in Creative Publishing and Creative Journalism at The New School, so try to keep up by following her on Instagram @missnikkibrown.